Danko Jones - We Sweat Blood



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Review Text All of the warning signs are right there on the cover: the band name in a jagged and stylized font, a close-up on someone playing an electric guitar, and dripping blood. Yeah, that's right, this is a metal album. It was pretty clear on Born a Lion that Danko Jones was already heading in this direction, with loud boogie-soaked riffs that owed more to AC/DC than the revved-up funk that served as the bedrock of the group's two early EPs. Not that you'd confuse We Sweat Blood for commercial-grade metal: there's very little bombast and absolutely zero hand-wringing earnestness here. The production is incredibly crisp -- instead of soaking everything in sight with reverb, most of the vocals are clean and the drums snap like whip cracks -- and the performance is very clean, with no pointless wailing from either the vocals or guitars. Everything has been stripped back to the basics: sex, Satan, and super-high volume. Sure, the lyrics are so over the top in places that it's almost like the band has become a cartoon: in the album opener, "Forget My Name," "She makes me forget my name" is followed up by "I wanna, I wanna, I wanna burn in Hell with you." Elsewhere, "Baby I want to put some mileage on your lovebike/I want you out on the road with my testosterone make you feel alright" is delivered with a straight face. There's even a tribute to one of fellow Canadian Neil Young's sillier lyrics. Deathless prose for the ages this ain't, but it doesn't really matter, because the groove is deep, the rock is hard, and those who aren't shaking their hips will probably be resisting the urge to follow along on the ol' air guitar. Yow. ~ Sean Carruthers

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