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A Rock Supreme - DANKO JONES

He has made his mark musically with the band bearing his name, yet it seems that Danko Jones is more known for his podcast these days. But, over the years, his activities fronting the musical trio have been quite impressive.

While the name, reputation and familiarity is more ubiquitous in Canada, the Toronto-based act has made waves across the globe with its passionate, catchy rock 'n' roll. The charming frontman and his cohorts have returned with their ninth album, "A Rock Supreme", an expression that proves to be true to its name.

There is a clear focus upon minimalism. DANKO JONES is driven by a stripped-down, gritty-yet-polished rock 'n' roll attack that never lets up. DANKO JONES certainly offers appeal to active rock audiences, yet their music is more muscular. The Canadians exhibit a considerably greater amount of fortitude that will connect with fans of different forms of classic and timeless hard rock.

DANKO JONES doesn't beat around the bush, and they don't waste any time, launching off the starting blocks with the self-explanatory track "I'm in A Band". In the era of endless irony, one would be forgiven for assuming such a title is geared toward mockery in the vein of SPINAL TAP. But while there's surely a certain extent of tongue-in-cheek sentiment at hand, the band's passion for rock 'n' roll is almost tangible. With a clear sense of conviction and a raucous delivery of nearly danceable rock 'n' roll, the Canadians are shamelessly champions of the school of AC/DC.

The aforementioned in-your-face and to-the-point approach of the opening number is indicative of all that follows throughout "A Rock Supreme". The unyielding tracks "I Love Love" and "We're Crazy" keep building momentum toward the infectious single "Dance Dance Dance" that's overflowing with a seventies-esque swagger that's sewn together by foot-stomping guitar work and a massive, memorable chorus. At the end of the day, there's nothing particularly inventive at any point of "A Rock Supreme", but the album has staying power because of the confident and thoughtful tailoring of familiar, tried-and-true sounds delivered with conviction and a sense of purpose.

"A Rock Supreme" is clearly consistent. Viewing the cup as half empty, also means it doesn't offer much by way of variety. The material could have been more appropriately divided into two EPs, perhaps. Regardless, at the end of the day, DANKO JONES is supposed to be big, dumb rock, and it is incomparably more satisfying than pretentious contemporary rock or indie rock that is ambitious but pointless.