Danko Jones – Below The Belt [European Import] (2010, Bad Taste Records)
1. “I Think Bad Thoughts” … 3:31
2. “Active Volcanoes” … 3:35
3. “Tonight Is Fine” … 4:21
4. “Magic Snake” … 3:19
5. “Had Enough” … 3:42
6. “(I Can’t Handle) Moderation” … 3:04
7. “Full Of Regret” … 3:58
8. “The Sore Loser” … 2:59
9. “Like Dynamite” … 3:14
10. “Apology Accepted” … 3:30
11. “I Wanna Break Up With You” … 4:56
Danko Jones – Vocals, Guitar
John Calabrese – Bass
Dan Cornelius – Drums
Producer: Matt DeMatteo
I’ve been curious about Danko Jones for awhile. I’ve heard good things about them (him?) for years and have checked the MySpace page from time to time but never got around to picking an album. A few weeks back I went to their Myspace page again and really got hooked on a number of their songs and decided to give their latest effort a try.
I really enjoy the lyrics to these songs, there’s not many bands whose lyrics I worry about reading anymore (that seems to have been more of a teenage thing for me) but I have been paying attention to the lyrics on this album just because they’re so humorous and witty. There’s a certain swagger to Danko’s vocal delivery and definitely a sense of humor in himself and the lyrics that remind me of a band like Marvelous 3.
As for what this band sounds like — it’s like classic rock, hard rock, modern rock, rock/pop and punk/pop all rolled into one. Even before noticing they cited these influences themselves, it was readily apparent to me that these guys are huge fans of AC/DC and Thin Lizzy. This isn’t retro rock though, this is an updated take on good time rock ‘n’ roll.
“Full Of Regret” really blew me away, strong Thin Lizzy influence on this one. From the collection of songs I’ve heard from this band, it’s easily one of my favorites they’ve done. It is also because of this song I was led back to their MySpace page because it was offered as a free download a few months ago, I can’t remember whether that was through their own website or not though. I think maybe it was on Amazon. So there ya go, I’m proof positive that giving away something free every now and then to music fans can actually turn out to be quite profitable.
All of these songs are high energy affairs. I supposed All Music guide might tag this album as “rowdy”, “raucous” and “guys night out”! If you’re getting ready for a night out on the town of booze, women and possibly a few fist fights — this is the album for you because this album covers all those topics though most of it seems to deal being in or getting out of a bad relationship. Hm, is someone getting their issues out in their songs?
Below The Belt may not be “metal”, but it’s definitely hard rock and one of my favorite releases of 2010 and I plan on picking up some earlier releases now.
My particular copy is a European import but I don’t think it differs from the North American version. The jewel case is a “Super Jewel Box” which is really cool with rounded corners and the case snaps shut and has a button you have to press to open it. Seems a bit sturdier than the standard jewel case too and the CD sits deep in the CD tray. I wish all jewel cases were like these!
Highlights: “I Think Bad Thoughts”, “Tonight Is Fine”, “Had Enough”, “Full Of Regret”, “The Sore Loser”, “Apology Accepted”