FEBRUARY 26th 2017

Review by Lana Muirhead

Danko Jones’ forthcoming 8th studio album, Wild Cat, is a collection of everything we’ve come to know and expect from the hard working, harder rocking, Canadian trio.  Danko Jones (lead vocals, guitar), John Calabrese (bass), and Rich Knox (drums) deliver a strong album, which will surely yield multiple, repeatedly played singles. The album was well bookended with opening track “I Gotta Rock”, and closer “Revolution (But Then We Make Love)”. Though both were not their strongest tracks, they open the release with a typical pop-rock tune surely to reel the listener in, while close it with the crooning call to “make love” delivered in that Jones-y kind of way.

Most tracks were typically formulated with the faster-paced, high energy, full band member participation ear-assault, which has you debating whether to dance or just air guitar and headbang. Songs “You Are My Woman”, “Do This Every Night”, and “Let’s Start Dancing” are notable ones, consistently uplifting pop-garage rock, and undeniably guaranteed to boot-stomp a smile to your face.  Runner up was “Wild Cat”, the title track, with its high-tempo, groovy kind of sound and a real sexy edge.  Jones stood out as a guitarist on this one, while simultaneously using his voice in its most born-for fashion. Top picks for me were “Success In Bed” (not just because it’s every woman’s dream) and “Diamond Lady”. The former bled a really raunchy rhythm, seethed a sexy grind, and was top notch both lyrically and sonically. The latter played in the same theme but was more catchy in a hook/line/sinker sense and really demonstrated the band’s ability to recognize their strengths and exploit the fuck out of them.

Overall the album had a very low production, first cut kind of feel. Whether purposeful or not, it really showcased the raw talent that the band has as a whole to pump out the stuff that makes Taylor Swift sweat her place on her podium.  As with any Danko Jones release I’ve heard, it is diet hard-pop rock, easily digestable and easily sold to the masses. Lyrically the album is a bit shallow, but it is easily forgotten when being weighed down by the sheer cohesion of the musicianship. The running theme was definitely love, but whether that could be pegged to a woman, music, an industry, or a drug, was irrelevant.  It was easily adaptable, applicable, and interchangeable to suit whatever love the listener was feeling at the time.

The name Danko Jones has always been overshadowed by the seemingly package deal they became with Sam Roberts, but I have always felt that Danko outshone Sam by leaps and bounds and this album simply engrains that for me. They have delivered a solid set of tracks to reach a wide audience, and it will be easily delivered in a live performance. The drop date is March 3, 2017, and if you’ve found yourself to be an overall fan of the band over their 21 years on the scene, this will not turn you off.  In fact, you’ll find it to be a success…in bed.