Having seen this Canadian power trio live several times, I can say that Sleep Is the Enemy, Danko Jones’s fifth release, is the first to adequately capture the band’s visceral rock ‘n’ roll majesty. Previous efforts have all but stripped the charisma from the group’s powerful singing and proficient riffing. Here, for the first time, Danko Jones is on full display.
Anthemic opener “Sticky Situation” is the perfect introduction to the band’s impressive elocution and soulful delivery, as well as its awe-inspiring tightness. “Baby Hates Me” adeptly borrows AC/DC’s plucked/strummed juxtaposition and KISS’s squeaky-clean stadium-rock choruses, and the bouncy rhythms and handclaps of “Don’t Fall in Love” is an obvious salutation to Cheap Trick. And the lyrics of “The Finger” may be a bit trite, but its Dead Boys-esque arrangement breaks up the 4/4 rhythms that dominate the album.
Quite simply, Danko Jones could teach Rye Coalition a thing or two about how a band steeped in classic rock can create an album without sounding like plagiarists.
Label: http://www.razorandtie.com/Audio clips: http://www.dankojones.com/index.php/downloads/