By Greg Maki
It isn’t considered “cool” in today’s popular culture, and may never be again, but to me there’s still something irresistible about hard rock. I don’t mean the “modern rock” bands that dominate rock radio these days. I’m talking about the all-time classics—bands like AC/DC, Motorhead—that only needed guitar, bass, drums and vocals to take you away from everything else in your life for 40 minutes or so. I don’t know how this kind of music fell out of fashion, but thankfully there are bands out there still flying that flag—no matter how “uncool” it might be.
One of those acts is Canadian trio Danko Jones, which now has been rocking hard—mostly under the radar—for 25 years. If you’re familiar with the band—or if you read the first paragraph of this review—you know exactly what to expect from its 10th album, appropriately titled “Power Trio”: power chords, driving rhythms, guitar solos, catchy choruses. The song titles alone—“Good Lookin’,” “Saturday,” “Raise Some Hell,” “Blue Jean Denim Jumpsuit,” “Let’s Rock Together”—should give you a good idea of what you’re getting into, and you’re probably not wrong. No ballads allowed here, just straight-up rockers up and down the track list, all leading up to the phenomenal, ironically titled album closer, “Start the Show,” featuring a scorching guitar solo by Motorhead’s Phil Campbell. (I think Danko has found the perfect concert opener for a long time to come.)
You just can’t sit still listening to this music. Though recorded in isolation during the pandemic, these 11 songs crackle with live energy and enthusiasm, playing like the soundtrack to the best party you haven’t thrown yet.
Sonic Unyon – Aug. 27, 2021