I have no one but Deke over at Thunderbay Arena Rock to blame for this discovery. Not only did he include Danko Jones’ Power Trio in his top ten of 2021, he also showed an image of that wonderful AC/DC-like lightning bolt on the album sleeve. Welp, that is a must-stream and it blew me away on my very first listen. Very few records can do that to me these days. I immediately ordered Power Trio making it my first Danko Jones album.
This band has the intensity of AC/DC mixed with the chemistry of a “power trio” like ZZ Top or Motörhead. They are not a complete throwback as they do have a modern edge to their sound. I’d say they are a less retro Airbourne mixed with a far less obnoxious Buckcherry. It is a good sound.
Like most hard rock outfits, a heavy percentage of their songs are about women and rocking. Good Lookin’ Woman, Blue Jean Jumpsuit, and Dangerous Kiss are about the fairer sex while Saturday and Start The Show carry instructions to party hard. But, the tunes I like best are the “not putting up with BS” ones.
I Want Out, Ship Of Lies, Raise Some Hell, and Get To You. Damn, son. The lyrics and energy here haven’t been this spot on since Twisted Sister shouted We’re Not Gonna Take It. Songs like these can easily sound douchey. I never liked how Phil Anselmo demanded “respect” in Pantera’s Walk because someone talked behind his back. Wah. I can get behind Danko Jones’ frustration in Ship of Lies:
Nobody tells me nothing
In the shadows counting stacks
Put me in the spotlight
‘Cause I’m ready to attack
It’s getting old
Let’s sink this ship of lies
Getting tired of repeatedly being kept “in the shadows”. That is a kind of anger I can respect. Punch those lyrics up with a solid riff, and we have the makings of something great:
Speaking of power trios, Motörhead’s long-time guitarist Phil Campbell makes an appearance. It is just for a short guitar solo in Start the Show with his signature Boss distortion and wah-wah pedal mix. I have heard it hundreds of times on dozens of Motörhead records and it is still very cool to hear it here. It is as if this album got a nod from a knight or something.
I do have a bone to pick with Deke. I couldn’t understand how I missed Power Trio last year. I went back in his blog to see if he had done a write-up for it when it came out and he did a half-arse one. Had he done a proper one, I would have listened to it sooner. I figure he owes me at least 6 months of Power Trio.
Well, consider my top list from 2021 in need of an amendment as this would have easily made it. It is short at just around 40 mins (perfect for rock ‘n roll, IMHO) and there isn’t a dog track on it. Highly recommended to all of my hard rock lovin’ friends.