Release Date – March 3rd
Record Label – AFM Records
Danko Jones is to Rock as heavy petting is to teenagers. Vastly unheralded in the United States Danko Jones is to me, a synonym for Rock n Roll. He and his band embody the truest spirit of rock n roll. I’ve never met the man but I envision one who’s alarm clock blasts “For Those About To Rock” by AC/DC, who’s bedtime story is The Dirt by Motley Crue and dreams are filled with flying V’s and Ace Frehley solos. 24/7 Rock n roll. Danko Jones is back with a new record called Wild Cat and I’m here to tell you about it.
At first listen it’s easy to dismiss Danko’s music as derivative three chord meathead rock with juvenile and dated lyrics. While easy to do you’d be wrong. There is something so true and pure about his music. Listening carefully it’s clear he has a direct feed to the Gods of Rock. While not reinventing the wheel we call rock music, he is a no frills refined rock reduction. Put Led Zeppelin, KISS and the Misfits in pan. Boil for twenty minutes and what you’ll have is pure Danko. Best served loud.
Danko Jones played a prominent role in Loose Cannon reaching out to me to join his then burgeoning podcast Cobras & Fire. So it only seems fitting he join me in a track by track review of Danko’s latest record. So let’s talk about Wild Cat.
Bakko: As you know Loose, Danko Jones has a new record coming out. Any pre-Danko rituals planned?
Loose Cannon: Whenever a new Danko album is announced, I celebrate for a month prior by duct taping my left hand into the form of the devil horns symbol. This is inconvenient but it’s the least I can do in tribute. Both the man and the band symbolizes rock ‘n’ roll. He’s also a great podcaster and writer for countless publications. And the fact he’s an unabashed KISS fan doesn’t hurt.
Bakko: The day after I heard he had a new record coming out I spiked my hair, put on my Levi’s jean jacket and smoked cigarettes behind a local high school. I also spent an hour in the detention hall drawing pentagrams in a notebook. I snuck in a Walkman and listened to a Danko mix-tape. Oddly no one asked why I was there. Aside from our highfalutin tributes, what did you think of the record?
LC: This is much better Black and Blue and a few ticks greater than Fire Music. Does it have filler? Absolutely. It reminds me of Below The Belt as the songs have more variety in pacing, subject matter, and groove. The superior riffing alone takes it next level.
Bakko: I tend to agree. As I recall, I liked Fire Music more than you but I too feel this is a stronger record than the prior two. The record opens with “I Wanna Rock” which was a fairly typical Danko opener. Upbeat rock n roll standard. I thought it was a strong start.
Loose Cannon: Simple, effective and a perfect concert opener like “Hello There Ladies and Gentleman” by Cheap Trick. The next track “She’s My Little Rock n Roll”, the lead single, Was a major grower. And two tracks in a row with rock in the title. Wow.
Bakko: He’s starting to tread into AC/DC turf with the overuse of “Rock” in titles. He needs to start overusing “Balls” to put it over the top. But I dig it.
Loose Cannon: At first pass I thought it was just OK and I still don’t like the “uhu uhu uhu” part. But Danko‘s faithful partner in crime JC‘s bass playing is phenomenal and his contribution to the band overall can’t be understated. The chorus is infectious and a great choice for a first single.
Bakko: I love this song. It has everything I love about Danko. It makes me want to touch myself inappropriately.
Loose Cannon: The next two songs “Going out Tonight” and “You’re My Woman” make a solid 1234 punch out the gate. The main riff in “You’re My Woman” reminds me, especially with the sparse beginning, of Green Day‘s “Brain Stew” but then flips to complete Thin Lizzy worship. That’s a good thing.
Bakko: There are two bands I keep hearing in Danko’s music. Janis Figure and Michael Graves era Misfits. “Going Out Tonight” could easily be a Misfits track from the American Psycho record. “You’re My Woman” is ok but not one of my favorites on the record. What do you think of the next track “Do This Every Night”?
Loose Cannon: I don’t hate it but skippable. JC‘s bass groove high in the mix once again saves it from complete filler.
Bakko: I like it better than “Woman”. But again not a track that will bring me back to this record.
Loose Cannon: Which brings us to “Let’s Start Dancing”. Let’s not. It has the lyrics “feet don’t fail me now.” They did. Next.
Bakko: That’s harsh. I love the music. The gallopy riff with driving drum track. This is a fun song for me. I may not put it on the setlist but I’m not gonna press skip when it comes up. How about the title track Loose? Did it bring you closer to a full chub?
Loose Cannon: I’m always interested to hear a title track for the first time. It’s either the best song on the album or just a cool name for an album. This one was a grower and in this case it’s one of the best on the album.
Bakko: Agreed. I like it better with each listen. 3/4 rock boner.
Loose Cannon: “She likes it”. Fun track, should fit in the set nicely.
Bakko: Maybe my third favorite track on the record. The chuggy riff and chorus are the sort to get stuck in your head. The lead is one of those parts that reminds me of Janis Figure. Not exactly a household name I wonder if he’s ever even heard of them. This is a really cool track. I’d say the same about the next track “Success In Bed”. Some of his best lyrics.
Loose Cannon: Disagree. Unsuccessful. Next.
Bakko: You’re such a rube.
Loose Cannon: Very nice. Does that mean you like the next track “Diamond Lady”?
Bakko: Yeah. You don’t?
Loose Cannon: Meh.
Bakko: Just a great rhythm track. Hard to keep from head bopping. I like this song a lot more than a “meh”. Which brings to the last song on the record. “Revolution But Then We Make Love”. What do think of the last song Wild Cat?
Loose Cannon: It’s an ok closer.
Bakko: Agreed. Not a bad song but again not one to bring me back. But I don’t hate it. Overall this is Danko’s best since Below The Belt.
Loose Cannon: A nice return to form and I would say the same about it being the best since Below The Belt. It scores a 7/11 for me. But I’m a picky Bitch.
Bakko: Out of 11. Nice Spinal Tap touch. I’d give it a solid 7/10. Meaning I rank it slightly higher than you and that I am a bigger fan than you.
Loose Cannon: Now who’s the rube?
There you have it. From two of their generations brightest Danko Jones minds. Fan’s of Danko Jones should be pleasantly surprised with this record. If you felt his last two were a bit of a step back you will undoubtedly see Wild Cat as a return to form. Loose Cannon and Bakko give a combined rating of 7/10.5. Which means you should buy it.