danko jones

#964.5: The Lists – 2021 Year in Review – Part Two

Here We Go Again:  End of Year Lists 2021

2021:  the year of the hamster wheel.  It sure felt like we were spinning our tires all year!  Sometimes inching a little forward in the mud, only to slide right back.  What a year.  But we did get some great music out of it.

Here at LeBrain HQ, if you go strictly by the numbers, there were two bands that dominated the year, both oldies acts from the 1980s:  Coney Hatch and Iron Maiden!  They (or members thereof) appear numerous times in the lists you’re about to read.  Not so “oldies” after all eh?  Five appearances for Iron Maiden, and a whopping seven for Coney and its members!

Even I was surprised by the lists this year!  All my favourite things, and the stats of 2021, are curated below.

Top 11 Albums of 2021

11. PolychuckShadows Exposed EP
10. Suicide StarIsolation
9. Max the AxeOktoberfest Cheer EP
8. Mammoth WVHMammoth WVH
7. Danko JonesPower Trio
6. AcceptToo Mean to Die
5. Smith/KotzenSmith/Kotzen
4. Iron MaidenSenjutsu
3. Lee AaronRadio On
2. Coney HatchLive at the El Mocambo
1. StyxCrash of the Crown

Top Five Box Sets of 2021

5. KissDestroyer
4. WhitsnakeRestless Heart
3. Def LeppardCD Collection Vol 3
2. TriumphAllied Forces
1. MetallicaMetallica 

My Favourite Movies of 2021

5. Black Widow
4. Eternals
3. Free Guy
2. The Suicide Squad
1. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

(placeholder) Spider-Man: No Way Home – you have to assume it’ll be my new #1 when I see it!

Top 11 Interviews / Unboxings of 2021 (by YouTube views)

11. Robert Lawson interview
10. Sean Kelly interview
9. Suicide Star interview
8. Coney Hatch live LP unboxing
7. Andy Curran round three
6. Andy Curran part one
5. Paul Laine interview
4. Mike Fraser interview
3. Martin Popoff interview
2. Andy Curran + Mike Fraser interview
1. Iron Maiden Super7 figure blind box unboxing

Top Five List Shows / Deep Dives 2021 (by YouTube Views)

5. Top Concept Albums
4. 5150 Deep Dive with Tee Bone
3. Desert Island Discs
2. Top Maiden Art
1. Top Five King’s X with Martin Popoff

Top Reviews of 2021 by Hits

4. STYXCrash of the Crown
2. IRON MAIDEN – Senjutsu 
1.  – Off the Soundboard – Tokyo 2001

What’s in store for 2022?

  • The Book of Boba Fett
  • Jethro Tull – The Zealot Gene
  • Marillion – An Hour Before Its Dark
  • Guns N’ Roses – Hard Skool EP
  • new Sven Gali
  • Scorpions – Rock Believer
  • new Coney Hatch live with two new studio cuts
  • new Journey?
  • new Def Leppard?
  • Bryan Adams – So Happy it Hurts
  • Liam Gallgher – C’Mon You Know
  • Thor: Love and Thunder
  • Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • Disney+: Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, She-Hulk, What…If? season 2, Secret Invasion, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
  • The Mandalorian season 3
  • New albums from Ghost, Rammstein, Ozzy Osbourne, King Diamond, Weezer and more



Friday December 31, 9:00 PM E.S.T. on YouTubeFacebook and also Facebook!

REVIEW: Danko Jones – Power Trio (2021)

DANKO JONES – Power Trio (2021 Sonic Unyon)

Let me tell you something’ people.  Danko Jones?  He’s the real deal and he’s back with Power Trio, an absolutely smokin’ new album heavy on the riffs and attitude.

Something about this pandemic has been driving our favourite artists to create some of their best work.  From Lee Aaron to Styx and Iron Maiden, we’ve been getting a lot of seriously great albums this summer.  Danko Jones joins their ranks with 11 of his best tunes to date.

“I Want Out” is relentless hammering with nothin’ but pure soulful metal aggression.  He gets a little sly on “Good Lookin'” before the pounding of the mighty axe resumes.  Great guitar and vocal hooks.  “Saturday” brings the party with no less adrenaline or acceleration.  Let’s use that word “relentless” again.  Power Trio is an album with the emphasis on power.  The band take it down to a mid-tempo slammer on “Ship of Lies”.  “Everybody knows it’s getting old, let’s sink this ship of lies.”  Amen, brother!  Great jagged riff, chunky tone.

Potential album highlight “Raise Some Hell” sounds like an anthem for bands sidelined by the pandemic.  “I’m tired of watchin’ it go by, sittin’ in the fence,” sings Jones as he looks forward to getting back out there for some rockin’.  “‘Cause sooner or later we’re gonna break the spell.”

“Blue Jean Denim Jumpsuit” has the best title on the record, but does this thing ever move!  The riff is like an engine.  The guitars on “Get To You” take on a more traditional metallic tone, though the song maintains the Power Trio drive.  “Don’t you let them get to you,” preaches the man; someone who knows.  “Jealousy don’t look good on ’em,” he roars.  “Take it as a backhand compliment, every time they take the shots.  Every sling that gets thrown at you only serves to drive up your stock.”  Wise words my man.  Just as Dee Snider took on bullies in the 80s, Danko is here to continue the work in the 2020s.

“Dangerous Kiss” has bite, as it clocks in as the shortest bomber on the album.  Second shortest is “Let’s Rock Together”, a real upbeat corker of a stomp.  Like classic Andrew W.K. but with a guy who can really sing.  The screamin’ “Flaunt It” turns up the tempo even faster, taking it to punk rock velocity.  This serves to set up the optimistic AC/DC-like closer “Start the Show”.  Yes, let’s!  Special guest Phil Campbell on guitar.

There have been several albums this year that were deemed to be the records we needed in 2021.  Add another worthy contender to the list.  Power Trio is another in a long line of consistently good Danko Jones.  The biggest difference is that we need Danko more than ever now.

4.5/5 stars

Power trio:  Danko Jones, Rich Knox, John Calabrese.

BONUS ==>  Misheard Lyrics

“I’m tired of watching it go by sittin’ on the fence,” totally sounds like “I’m tired of watching Nickelback sittin’ on the fence”!

#853: “The wedding is coming and life is very sweet!” (Getting More Retro!)

Jen dug up this Facebook note that I wrote on August 8, 2008.  I thought it would be nice to include as part of Getting More Tale.  Even back in 2008, I was excited about Sausagefest and bitching about the Record Store.  The wedding was August 31, 2008 and I was obviously very excited.

GETTING MORE TALE (Retro) #853: “The wedding is coming and life is very sweet!”

I can’t believe I haven’t written a note in more than a month. If you had told me that getting married was this much work, I wouldn’t believe you. Actually, some of you DID tell me that getting married was this much work, and I didn’t believe you.

However it wouldn’t have changed anything. I still love my crazy Leafs girl and would have married her anyway.

So what’s new? Well, last I wrote, I was just about to head to Sausagefest. I did and it was awesome. The new format needs a little work* I think, there were a few kinks in the tape. Meat, Tom and Haslam hosted a great party and we had an awesome time. Even Tyler’s dog Zeppelin didn’t bug me this time. And Zach’s lamb was DELECTABLE. My compliments to the Chef Britton.

After that, I turned 36…wow…unbelievable! However I will still tell people that I am 26.

Work is great. Unbelievable amount of responsibility and it weighs heavy sometimes. However I have been there over a year now, and it looks to be like I will be there a long time to come. There will be news about that soon but I can’t talk about that yet.**

It’s interesting. I spent 11 1/2 years working in the record store, working my way up, until there was nowhere left to work up to. A lot of people wish they could have worked in a record store, and I’m glad to say that I did it. I always have the best work stories,*** and I’m glad to say that with the glow of nostalgia, all the stories are good ones.*^ However everyone grows up, everyone gets older, and I didn’t want to be that guy who’s on call 24/7 anymore. In my 30’s I wanted to do something else.

So, I spent the last 3 years working in accounting departments, working for manufacturers and refining my skill set and experiences. It’s slowly been paying off; it’s tough starting over but it was worth it. Now I never have to bring my work home with me, and when the phone rings on the weekends it’s usually a telemarketer, not work!

So here I am about to embark on the next stage of my life, this time as a married dude. In a lot of ways I’ve become the guy I never wanted to be when I was a younger: The guy who never buys a CD by a new band because he thinks all the new bands suck. The guy who thinks nothing since 1978 has ever sounded as good. But you know what? I don’t give a fuck. I stick to my guns, always have and always will, and I’ll never go for the trends. Sure when I worked in the store I bought a lot of stuff, but my heart and soul will always be with the heaviest of metals.

Meat can bug me about the Danko Jones (ha ha),**^ but who cares…in the end he knows that I like what I like not because YOU think I should like it, but because I liked it.

This is another busy weekend…tomorrow our new bed gets delivered, tomorrow we’re going to hopefully pick our rings, and Sunday we meet with the DJ to cross the t’s and dot the lower-case j’s.

But for tonight, I think I shall rock to The Scream featuring John Corabi, and play Lego Star Wars. Yes I shall.


* This could have been the infamous “Bag of Rock” format that nearly derailed Sausagefest.

** The news was that I had been offered a permanent position, but I couldn’t say anything until papers were signed.

*** Record Store Tales.

*^ “Good” as in good stories, but not necessarily happy ones!

**^ Meat raked me over the coals for picking “Take Me Home” by Danko Jones as my tribute song.

REVIEW: Danko Jones – Born a Lion (2002)


My very first THREE-WAY (review)!  For today’s installment, Aaron AND James from the KMA and I are all reviewing the same disc.  Check out all three reviews!

Aaron:  DANKO JONES – Born a Lion
James:  DANKO JONES – Born a Lion

DANKO_0001DANKO JONES – Born a Lion (2002 Universal)

How fucking cool is Danko Jones?!  I love this Torontonian rock idol, just as much as Danko himself loves the Rock.  His enthusiasm for hard rock and heavy metal is contagious.  His music basks in it.  You can hear his passion for the Rock in the grooves.  He’s incredibly prolific, and monumentally talented as a writer, singer, and guitar player.  The band itself (also called Danko Jones) is just a trio, so he has a lot of bases to cover and he does it with aplomb out the wazoo.

I don’t own all the Danko records (and I don’t know anybody who does) but of the ones I have, the debut long-player Born a Lion is still my favourite.  It was a favourite back in the Record Store days too, receiving daily store play as a new release.  Joe “Big Nose” felt that Danko was as close as anybody had gotten to the vibe of Thin Lizzy since Phil Lynott.  I wouldn’t necessarily agree with that fully, but I see what he was getting at.

The swampy blues guitar that opens “Play the Blues” is just a feint.  This is a slamming, heavy rocking blaze.  “If you wanna know how to play the blues, get yourself a woman! YEAH!” howls Jones.  It’s an adrenaline shot to the heart, eyes ablaze as “Play the Blues” tears from the speakers.  “Pick it sweet! Slide it slow! WOO!” Jones unleashes a killer solo as you reach for your asthma inhaler!

If you’re not hooked by now, then you probably don’t like rock and roll.  “Lovercall” was the single, for which a killer video was made.  Getting into a groove this time, Jones instructs us on how to pick up a lady.

You see when I was growin’ up…
I got the inside scoop,
I used to watch all the older fellas work down the block,
that’s right when they used to work I used to watch,
and when I watched I learned…
The Lovercall, baby!

Danko Jones has a way of using his sassy spoken word verses to maximize the cool factor, before sliding into a chorus that you can sing along to. “Lovercall” is the best example of this.

So are you in or are you out?  That’s all Danko needs to know on “Sound of Love”.  Not as mindblowing as the first two, it’s still a swaggering confident rock song based on a solid groove.  “Every time you see her, she’ll get a little hotter,” whispers Jones, and you certainly believe him because he sure does sound like an expert in such matters.  “Now where the pretty girls at? ‘Cause I’m the man with the black hat.”  There you go.  Free advice from Danko – black hats are in, but he says it with so much swagger that you have to believe there are some serious mysteries of the universe opening up before us!

“Papa” is the song from which the title Born a Lion was derived.  “I was born a lion, and like a cat I’m gonna dance.”  Sure, Jones has only one thing on his mind, but who gives a fuck?  I ain’t leaving now; I’m sticking around for the Rock.  “Soul on Ice” has a mean AC/DC prowl that could have fit on an album such as Black Ice.

DANKO_0002“Word is Bond” is dynamite up the ass with no fuse!  The energy is unbelievable, and Danko’s swagger is always intact.  When he says “If you want it, I will do it — my word is my bond!” I believe him.  This is another AC/DC rocker, and it absolutely tears up the joint, leaving nothing but rubble and ashes.   But Danko Jones will survive like a cockroach and live on to meet more ladies, as he does on “Way to My Heart”.  Don’t let the title fool you, this ain’t no Warrant or Whitesnake ballad.  Nope, it’s all rock and groove and balls.  “Let’s go on the side of the road, I can be your Romeo.”  There’s no romance here, it’s sheer lust.

Racial diversity is the theme on “Caramel City”, the first time Danko’s not singing about girls on this record.  It’s kind of a weird chorus (spelling out the word “C-A-R-A-M-E-L”) but it’s good enough for me.  “Get Outta Town” is more fun, another blazing fast rock groove.  It’s infectious, but I don’t believe him when he sings, “All the girls got boyfriends, but man I don’t got a girl.”  Sorry Jones.  I’m not buying it.

More ass-kicking transpires via the speakers on the chugging “Suicide Woman”.  How much more ass-kicking?  A lot, as “Suicide Woman” follows the general template of smoking from start to finish.  Danko keeps the guitar solo to the basics because let’s face it, we just wanna rock at this point.  Concluding the proceedings is the incredible “Love is Unkind”, quite possibly the most smoking-est track on the record.

Let’s be blunt.  Danko Jones’ schtick can wear thin, but the album isn’t long. You either like this band or you don’t.  I like this band.  And I love Born a Lion.

5/5 stars

Final note — some editions have two bonus tracks.  I intend to find them.

Final final note — my copy came with a Danko Jones sticker that I still have.  I wonder if Aaron and James have theirs?

Monday: QUIET RIOT – Metal Health

Part 158: Shrink Wrap (A Video Tutorial)

RECORD STORE TALES Part 158:  Shrink Wrap