We Sweat Blood (Razor and Tie)
by Brian Varney
Danko Jones is a band I’m now kicking myself for not loving earlier. In my own defense, I saw ’em in the late ’90s and they reminded me of a lesser Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, which is an insult if I’ve ever heard one. I kinda ignored ’em after that until a copy of Born a Lion changed my mind.
I realize now that this is a band born possessed not of a post-modern sensibility and approach to making soul music (as I’d originally thought), but instead of a passionate dedication to classic meathead arena rock along the lines of Roth-era Van Halen, the first coupla solo Ted Nugent LPs, and the first six or so Kiss records. And, like all of these artists, Danko Jones is pretty upfront about his interest in fucking. Much like Mick Shrimpton from Spinal Tap, these guys don’t necessarily need all three elements from the holy trinity of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll, but instead of keeping the drugs around, they’d definitely keep the sex.
There are only three band members, and if any three-person band is deserving of the title “power trio,” it’s Danko Jones. There’s nothing fancy or complicated, just simple grooves and riffs attacked like hunks of meat waved in front of feral animals and forced roughly into songs that are so basic yet so perfect that you can’t believe they hadn’t been written before. Vocalist Danko is more shouter than singer, and his lyrics aren’t liable to win any literary awards, but if you’re concerned with such shit, you’re in the wrong place anyway. The goal is to get the crowd hoppin’ and the hot girls moist, an unconscious twitch in the hips of all but the most rhythmically impaired. They succeed admirably.