HardReviews 5
by Martin Popoff

Danko Jones - We Sweat Blood
(Danko Jones/Universal)

Like Andrew W.K. (and a gone thing called Buckcherry), Danko Jones is hard rock by bad hard rock makers written for folks who don't know or care much about hard rock. The songs are simple, unremarkable, not all that hooky, very predictable, commercially, unobtrusively recorded. Critics who work at entertainment weeklies, CMJ, Spin, Rolling Stone and the like will think this is heavy, and compared to their slavering darling pop heart-sleevers, it is. They can walk on the wild side, bro, while they add as (always ironic) asides, that Slayer and Motorhead deserve a throw of the horns too. Where's my cred? Oh yeah, in my man purse. Plus, it's the kind of music that can work on a bad stereo and a bad clubby P.A. Or actually, Danko Jones is a band that will likely be backing up bigger corporate acts (favours repaid, payola smeared), which entails even larger audio challenges, something at which the band's facile, simplistic chordings (yawn) will excel as good as any. Primary colours only. Lots of spaces in which the sensitive can catch their ambrosial breath. But I do like Danko's blubbery lips-flapping enunciations around various luv musings (basically an update on the canon of fellow Canadian blowhard David Wilcox). Other pluses? The Cross almost rocks, perhaps because Danko is screaming in a different style to his Kravitz jones. Heartbreak's A Blessing nicely updates a ZZ Top riff - but when your most complicated guitar part is comparable to ZZ Top, you know the rest is vanilla corporate-safe all the way to the dank bank. Please people, if you rock, you rock. Don't pretend.
Rating 4