Are you ready to rock? Do you want a good time? Do you want to get high?
If the answer to any of those questions is yes (and it really should be), then the undisputed kings of balls-out rock ‘n’ roll are back to provide maximum satisfaction. An elite, three-man squad, dedicated to the noble art of riffs, melodies and life-affirming rock anthems, DANKO JONES are ready to serve up all the Electric Sounds you could possibly need.
Formed in Toronto in 1996, Danko Jones have seen and done just about everything over the last quarter of a century. Powered by a DIY punk rock spirit, and inspired by the good, great and grotesque of electrified rock ‘n’ roll, they have steadily built a colossal international fan base and become one of the most acclaimed live bands around, embraced by everyone from mainstream radio-rock fans to diehard metalheads. Along the way, they have released ten widely praised studio albums, generating a peerless repertoire of fists-in-the-air crowd-pleasers into the bargain. From the spiky blues of 2002’s Born A Lion and the crazed power-pop of its follow-up We Sweat Blood (2003), to the priapic perfection of 2010’s Below The Belt, the band’s knack for hitting rock’s sweet spot has never wavered.
Over the last decade, Danko Jones have visibly moved up a few gears. Since frontman Danko and bassist JC joined forced with drummer Rich Knox, the band’s creative fire has blazed more brightly than ever. A succession of all-killer, no-filler albums – Fire Music, Wild Cat, A Rock Supreme, Power Trio – has led to even more gung-ho touring and unapologetic service to the rock cause. In 2023, Toronto’s archbishops of amplification release their 11th album, Electric Sounds: proof that even a global pandemic couldn’t stop Danko Jones. In fact, it just made them even more unstoppable.
“Not working for two years really felt like touring rock bands were being put out to pasture,” recalls Danko. “But I guess that only made us try harder. We were still able to record and release an album during the pandemic (Power Trio, 2021). We toured as soon as we were allowed. Now that Electric Sounds is getting released, it doesn’t feel like we missed a beat. During the pandemic, we moved away from each other. JC lives in Finland and Rich lives in Prince Edward Island. So the writing for this band has changed. We used to bash out ideas in our rehearsal place, day after day, but it’s more about sending files back and forth now. However, last summer, while on tour, we did manage to jam out ideas in a rehearsal room in Berlin for a few days. Out of those jams came the nubs for five songs…”
Five songs have since been expanded to a perfect eleven new Danko Jones songs, and Electric Sounds has the instant sound and feel of a classic. When the wheel is spinning freely and propelling you forward, there’s no need to reinvent the damn thing: instead, this band are simply honing and refining their craft, and always at full volume.
From the chest-out chutzpah of the opening “Guess Who’s Back” and the muscular new wave strut of “Good Time,” to the title track’s promise to “smash a thousand guitars tonight!” and “Stiff Competition”’s angular, cock-eyed stomp and juddering bull’s-eye of chorus, Electric Sounds is a deceptively diverse affair. Meanwhile, no band has ever sounded more ready to hit the road than the pumped-up threesome showcased on hell-for-leather ragers like “Eye For An Eye,” “What Goes Around,” along with the mad-eyed and murderous closer, “Shake Your City.” Guest spots from Tyler Stewart (Barenaked Ladies) on “She’s My Baby,” Damian Abraham (Fucked Up) on “Get High?” and guitarist Daniel Dekay (from Canadian thrash legends Exciter) on Electric Sounds complete the picture with a snotty flourish.
“I’d like to think Electric Sounds falls in line with all our previous albums,” says Danko. “Over the years, we’ve carved out a sound and we’re sticking to it. But if you were to zoom in and compare it to other albums, I’d like to think it’s a bit faster than our other albums. Initially, I wanted all the songs to sound like our song, ‘Cadillac’ – plodding, mid-tempo, heavy, and to the point. That idea got lost fairly quickly, once we started the writing process. When it comes to the lyrics and given our sound, I don’t think we have too much leeway in terms of subject matter! Our songs are usually about rocking, wanting to rock, enjoying life while rocking, and sometimes I’ll sing about a woman. You can expect zero surprises!”
Armed with yet another stone cold classic, Danko Jones will launch themselves into 2023 like men on a renewed mission to rock the living shit-lights out of anyone and everyone that wants to join the party. After 27 years of active service, the trio’s commitment and intensity continues to grow, and their popularity and prominence continues to follow an upward route. With countless victories and achievements under their collective belt, Danko Jones are a band of brothers with little to prove. But fuck it, there are always more people to play for and more shit-kicking Electric Sounds to sing.
“Hopefully we get to tour this record and people show up,” says Danko. “I’m always pleasantly surprised when there’s a crowd in front of us every night. I heard that Ozzy, to this day, is worried if people will show up to the gig, and I kinda understand that mindset. But you know what? We just played Wembley Arena! That’s a checkmark off the bucket list. I’m proud that this band has played Wembley Arena, and Maple Leaf Gardens, and Moscow Stadium and CBGBs. And really, every time we put out another studio album, it becomes our biggest achievement. This album is number 11 and we’re already gunning for number 12!”
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