Phil Campbell

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”!

#374: The Winter of Our Discontent

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RECORD STORE TALES MkII: Getting More Tale
#374: The Winter of Our Discontent

I don’t think there is any question that driving around here has been especially tough this winter.  There were a couple days when it was colder here in Ontario than it was in Alaska!  The snowfall has been relentless, and the roads chaotic.  Although we in Canada get to work on our winter driving skills every single year, it rarely seems to help the majority.  This winter has most definitely been the winter of our discontent for driving.

The snow banks are piled high, making it hard to see cars about to turn onto the street.  Some streets are packed hard with slick ice.  Road salt is not effective below -10 degrees, and the city has been cutting down on salt usage for environmental concerns.  Meanwhile because of the plowing and piling of snow, lanes have been rendered too narrow by the massive banks on either side.  Not to mention the visibility issues of snow blowing in front of you as the sun sets in your eyeline.

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As usual, my commuting has been done to the tune of several 8 gig flash drives in my car.  Albums spun in the last several weeks included:

  • Marillion – The Thieving Magpie (La Gazza Ladra)
  • Marillion – Live in Caracas
  • Ozzy Osbourne – Diary of a Madman (2 CD set)
  • David Lee Roth – A Little Ain’t Enough
  • Rush – Roll the Bones
  • Rush – Feedback (EP)
  • Savatage – Power of the Night
  • Van Halen – Best of Volume I
  • Van Halen – A Different Kind of Truth
  • Whitesnake – Come An’ Get It (w/ bonus tracks)
  • Whitesnake – Saints An’ Sinners (w/ bonus tracks)
  • ZZ Top – ZZ Top’s First Album
  • ZZ Top – Rio Grande Mud
  • ZZ Top – Tres Hombres

That’s when I wasn’t listening to the radio.  Local radio is always helpful when one needs to find and navigate the least messy route home.  If I hear that there is an accident on King St., that means I’m taking Highway 8 home.  Most days the roads have been plugged with accidents all over the place.  My radio is good for helpful navigation, and also entertainment.  I enjoyed when, on the Friday February 27 commute home, Craig Fee played a wonderful tribute to Leonard Nimoy on the Overdrive at 5:00.  The station assembled some of the best, all time classic Spock quotes and backed them with the theatrical Trek theme.  Craig followed that with “Intergalactic” by the Beastie Boys, which of course features the line, “like a pinch on the neck from Mr. Spock.”  I think Leonard would have enjoyed his musical tribute.  It was certainly an emotional ride in the car that day for me.

Sadly, killer tunes on a flash drive or the radio can only do so much to ease the nerves when a transport truck is passing cars on the shoulder of the 401 in the middle of a snow storm.  There is, unfortunately, nothing that music can do to protect us from the idiots out there who somehow managed to wield a driver’s license and get behind the wheel in a blizzard.

I think in Canada, drivers should have to take an additional test.  Not only should they have to take their road test, but a winter road test too.  Only then can we know if they are up for the challenges of driving in a Canadian winter!

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