When he’s not alphabeticzing his record collection, cleaning blood off his guitars, or fending off anti-masker dipshits on Twitter, Danko Jones fronts the rock band Danko Jones. It’s a job that he’s held down for 25 years now. That’s right: a quarter of a century. When Danko Jones started out in 1996, there were only, like, four websites to look at; you could still score a used copy of Live and Dangerous on vinyl for under $10; and if you wanted to watch porn, you had to sheepishly pay a visit to the back section of your local videostore and hope nobody else heard you pass through the creaky saloon-door barrier. Coincidentally, 1996 was also the year when the music press started to get consumed by the question of “Is rock dead?”, as kids traded in their wool toques for backward baseball caps and their flannels for raver pants. Danko Jones, with their blues-battered, garage-greased mojo, seemed to answer the question with a resounding “fuck no.” And over the next two and a half decades—with nine albums, countless international tours, and shared bills with legends like Motörhead, Guns N Roses, and The Rolling Stones under their sweat-rusted belts—Danko Jones have made the case again and again that there’s still plenty of life in rock ‘n’ roll’s rotting corpse.
But here’s the thing: Danko has never made it his life’s mission to save rock ‘n’ roll. He’d actually prefer you forget about it and leave it for dead—that way, he can do whatever the fuck that he wants without having to please the poseurs, trendspotters, and (lord help us) Instagram influencers. He can sing about the things he wants to sing about—namely, making love on a Saturday night and raising hell every other day of the week—without worrying about whether he’s contributing to the pop-cultural conversation, staying relevant in the eyes of the music media, or broadening his demographic reach. While the world has changed dramatically over the past 25 years, Danko Jones, bless him, most definitely has not—and the proof is right here in his 10th album of no-bullshit rockers and white-hot ragers, Power Trio.
Power Trio—it’s such a simple, self-evident title, but one loaded with significance, as it speaks to the special triangular alchemy Danko shares with his trusty bass-slinging accomplice JC and drummer Rich Knox, while also staking out the band’s place on a storied lineage of three-piece titans that includes the Jimi Hendrix Experience, ZZ Top, Rush, Motörhead, Venom, Dinosaur Jr., and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, to name a few. When you choose to start a power trio, you’re not simply forming a band, you’re entering a blood pact—a tacit acknowledgement that all three members need to carry their equal share of the weight lest the whole enterprise collapse. There’s nowhere to hide in a power trio—no second guitarist to cover your mistakes, no keyboard player to smooth things over, no horn section to distract the crowd. If you fuck up, the whole band fucks up. Everybody needs to be on their A-game at all times, and on Power Trio, Danko Jones are in peak physical condition, delivering each engine-revving riff, soul-shaking stomp, and shout-it-loud hook with a sniper’s precision.