Danko Jones
Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue

1. Terrified
2. Get Up
3. Legs
4. Just A Beautiful Day
5. I Don't Care
6. You Wear Me Down
7. Type Of Girl
8. Always Away
9. Conceited
10. Don't Do This
11. The Masochist
12. I Believed In God
13. I Believed In God (Reprise)

Danko Jones - Vocals/Guitar
John Calabrese - Bass
Atom Willard - Drums

Born a Lion (2002)
We Sweat Blood (2003)
Sleep Is the Enemy (2006)
Never Too Loud (2008)
Below the Belt (2010)
Bring On The Mountain (DVD 2012)


Recorded at Noble Street Studios in Toronto
Produced by Matt DeMatteo and Danko Jones
Mixed by Mike Fraser at The Warehouse in Vancouver
Mastered by Brian Gardner at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Hollywood, California

Released 21/9-2012
Reviewed 4/9-2012

bad taste records

Recently Daniel took the time to sit through the first ever live DVD by Canadian Danko Jones, but his point was that the music was secondary to the documentary material. Me and my brother often have different opinions but not about Danko Jones, neither of us likes them. However, they are highly regarded among music lovers, especially as a live act, and I think what they need is to convey that energy onto an album if they want to make an album that really sounds good… so have they succeeded with their sixth full length album?

'Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue' begins with three really energetic songs and I think they all gives this album a really good start. Sure, Dankos voice isn't the nicest in music and hence the band can't play the most beautiful music in the world but that's what makes this three songs feel so right on this particular album. They work with the tone of the band. If you've heard any song of this album I'm guessing it's the fourth track, called Just A Beautiful Day, since it's the first single of the album. It hasn't got that same kind of raw energy as the first three but sounds more sanitized and nice. A pretty uncharacteristic song for the album, but I see why they've chosen it as single since it's probably the song with the biggest possibility to get airplay on the radio. I like the song and I think it has hit potential too!

However, following Just A Beautiful Day I think the album starts to drop a little in quality. I Don't Care is pretty fast but mostly just repeats the same words over and over in the first half of the song. It gets a bit better towards the end and still feels pretty decent overall, but it lacks that energy the first three songs had. You Wear Me Down comes as number six and it's a song much slower than the first five, but it has more of that energy from the first three songs than the last two before it. The problem is that it doesn't work as well with the lower tempo. Type Of Girl is a marginal improvement but still not in class of the first four songs and it's first by Always Away as the album regain some of that energy that the album started with. Then there's Conceited, which is another good song and a little bit in the vein of Just A Beautiful Day, and Don't Do This - which probably would be my real favorite on this album if they hadn't put that shouty part at 2.50. The album then concludes with the probably two worst songs on this album and a 50 second long outro, which isn't much to cheer for either, if you cheer for good songs. So, if you know how to count and has been paying attention so far you would know that I've found seven good songs on this 13 track long album, which means more than half of the songs, if you couldn't do the maths yourself.

I think the best with 'Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue' is the powerful production and crystal clear sound that gives the album a strong and grand feeling. The sound exits the speakers with such a severity you're almost thrown to the ground and that's the kind of production I like because you just get a scent of professionalism from it. That it's done properly and feels both bigger and better than it probably is, almost like the big Hollywood productions gives a grander and epic touch to the movies despite the movies would be pretty beige had you not had those magnificent camera angles and footage, the string enforced soundtrack as well as those jaw-dropping special effects. But this Danko Jones album actually feels as if it live up to that great production most of the time. Not throughout the entire album, but most of the time.

Personally I have some difficulties sitting through these 40 minutes all positive as Danko Jones do what they always do and chops their melodies in to pieces all over the album. There's not many songs on the album that feels coherent from beginning to the end as there's always some kind of interruption in the music. Disruptions here and there, tempo changes, change of melodies or some other kind of shift in the music that disrupts the flow. Still, I think they've toned it down a bit for 'Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue' and in the best songs on the album I think they turns that element in to their advantage and makes something good out of it.

'Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue' feels like an album that maintains those core elements that characterize Danko Jones and they also succeeds with transferring that pure, raw energy they've made themselves popular with on the stage. And, most importantly, they've also managed to make some songs that I, who hasn't been much of a fan previously, actually like! I think it's a good album and I think you should check it out!



Label: Bad Taste Records/Triada
Three similar bands: Kiss/ AC/DC /The Rolling Stones
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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