Danko Jones – Fire Music (2015)

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Danko Jones begins things in much the same manner as before, with a sturdy rock-trio offering called “Wild Woman.” It neither advances nor diminishes any long-held concept of this Canuck trio as a next-gen brand of meat-and-potatoes rockers like, say, AC/DC. (They are just as consistent, by the way, if for some reason nowhere near as popular.)

It also provides little hint of eruptive attitude shift to come. Fire Music quickly tosses that time-tested recipe, and Danko Jones starts to sound like something else, entirely. More Misfits than Thin Lizzy — maybe that’s the best comparison of all, really — the machine-gun succession of “The Twisting Knife,” “Gonna Be A Fight Tonight” and then “Body Bags” rumble past with a punky, sing-along energy.

There’s often been a touch of this attitude in Danko Jones’ music, but Fire Music seems to focus more intently on that part of their musical DNA. Only the occasional mid-tempo rocker like “Live Forever” (oh, and the brilliantly portentous “She Ain’t Coming Home,” which boasts an obvious tip of the hat to Judas Priest) provides any semblance of a break from this Danko Jones album’s impressively relentless assault.

Fire Music, released this week by the Swedish imprint Bad Taste Records, smartly mixes in a touch of Steel Panther-style humor on “I’m Getting Into Drugs,” too. But Danko Jones keeps returning to its central theme, with the raucous hard-rock punk of tracks like “Watch You Slide” and “Piranha”: Fire Music, aptly named, is meant to played fast, and heard loud.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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