“If that isn’t love, it will have to do, untill the real thing comes along”
Danko Jones has been a “love it or hate it” phenomena ever since their (Dutch-)success story kicked off at the Lowlands festival in 2002. I was there, drunk as a lychee in the front row. It was not the best edition of the festival, disastrous weather, crappy line-up and too many paying visitors too small a field. And then, out of the blue, as the very last live band of the weekend in the smallest tent, there was this black Canadian who came equip with nothing but a bass player, a drummer and a unique attitude. With his bizarre combination of stage presence (think Chuck D versus Solomon Burke with a serious rock attitude), fanatical live remarks and tongue-in-cheek jokes he won over a crowd like no-one I’d seen in years.
In the years that followed up to today, Danko and his band’s success kept on growing, with main stage slots on Lowlands and Rock Werchter festivals as current highlights. That tour supported an album called “We Sweat Blood”, an album that I was very very enthusiastic about at the time. But as it happens with being a fan, one can be overenthusiastic. Don’t get me wrong, I still find it a great album, but I have to admit, a 90 point score is a bit too high. Especially in the song writing department Danko didn’t show all he had. So with this, Danko Jones’ new album ‘Sleep Is The Enemy’, I’m going to be a bit more careful.
And that’s hard, I tell you! Cause it honestly is a fantastic album. Besides great We Sweat Blood’ish songs like ‘Sleep Is The Enemy’ and ‘The Finger’ there are true ‘Born A Lion’ (Danko’s firsts official album) songs like ‘First Date’ and ‘She’s Drugs’. So for the Danko fanatic, there’s a lot to reminisce and bang along with.
But hey, what’s this? When the first half of the album’s over, Danko adds another ingredient to the mix. Invisible is a song that has a new distinctive feel, and not only it features Kyuss legendary raw voice of John Garcia. There’s the feel of a new Danko, an upgraded Danko If you will. As we continue, we find a song called ‘When Will I See You Again’, a track that reminds me of the better semi-ballads of the Foo Fighters. As one plays ‘Sleep Is The Enemy’ about three or four times, one will find it to be the absolute smash hit of the album.
Let me conclude that it’s impossible for me to write an objective review. Especially when it’s about a band that makes me feel good every damn time I hear one of their albums. But this time, you’ll just have to believe me. This is an album you’ll listen to, over and over and over and over again. It’s catchy, it’s got hit-potential and it’s truly the best rock n roll production in about a year or maybe even two years. Love it or hate it, I know it’s a fact. But if you haven’t loved it up to now, it’ll have to do until the real thing comes along. An epic album!