Danko Jones – Electric Sounds

Danko Jones – Electric Sounds
AFM Records
Release Date: 15/09/23 
Review by Paul Hutchings

If you can get past the opening duo on this album, then you’ll probably be sniggering at the base lyrical quality that the Canadian Trio have presented on their latest album, “Electric Sounds”. While the music is average, the words that populate ‘Guess Who’s Back’ and ‘Good Time’ is something that you’d have expected Danko Jones and bandmates John Calabrese and Rich Knox to have written in their garages way back before the band formed in 1996. 

Whilst the blurb states that “Electric Sounds” is a deceptively diverse affair, one must seriously consider the validity of that statement especially after the title track that comes next. It’s high energy, muscular, but throws very little in the mix to excite. I’d struggle with the diverse term as well, for the songs all echo each other in style and delivery. 

I’ve always found the excitement around Danko Jones a little bewildering. Live, they certainly deliver a solid enough show without ever really setting the world on fire, despite their famed intensity. On their 13th album, there is nothing that is even remotely exciting, with predictable lyrics – “Do you wanna get high, higher than the big blue sky” [‘Get High’] is about as thrilling as a trip to Lidl, despite the subject matter about the legalisation of marijuana. Some of the songs are so routine that you wonder if they were written in about four minutes while having the morning constitutional. There’s an overall impression of throwaway laziness in the writing.

Things don’t get any better as the album progresses. ‘Stiff Competition’ is dire, a dirge with dreadful rhyming, “You’re the definition, of stiff competition” wins one of the worst attempts for many a year. There’s a machismo to the content which is about 30 years out of place, and it’s cringeworthy. ‘She’s My Baby’ continues the abject lyrical delivery, a definite fast forward despite the driving punk vibe. 

Apparently, there are some guest appearances from Canadian musicians Tyler Stewart (Barenaked Ladies), Damian Abraham (Fucked Up) [on ‘Get High]’and guitarist Daniel Dekay (from Canadian thrash legends Exciter). I assume that Dekay provides the shred on ‘What Goes Around’, for the solo is much better than most of the limp ones on the album. 

“You’re good looking, and looking good”, “Let’s you and me make out, all night long” [Let’s Make Out] – it’s insipid, juvenile, and repeats over and over again. If you can make it to the final song ‘Shake Your City’ then you earn my respect. Listening to “Electric Sounds” was a journey that I made twice, albeit the second time I admit I skipped through most of the songs. I suppose if you have no brain, and want lyrical content from 1985, this may interest you. I have no idea who would buy it. But why not try it and see for yourself. This is only my opinion after all. I wish you luck. 

‘Get High’ Official Music Video

01. Guess Who’s Back
02. Good Time
03. Electric Sounds
04. Get High
05. Stiff Competition
06. She’s My Baby
07. Eye for an Eye
08. I Like It
09. Let’s Make Out
10. What Goes Around
11. Shake Your City 

Danko Jones – Vocals / Guitar
John Calabrese – Bass
Rich Knox – Drums


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