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A Collection Of Lost Songs From 1996 - 1998 by Danko Jones
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8/10 Mike 15 April 2014

Toronto's Danko Jones are probably best known for their slick and sleazy high energy hard rock antics of latter years, but this fascinating LP collects together various demos recorded in the two years between the band's formation and their first EP. Far from the radio-friendly theatrics of their latter releases, these recordings are chock full of filthy garage rock which owes obvious debts to the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.

To be honest I think I prefer this side of the band to their more lucrative stadium Backyard Babiesisms. Although the recordings are pretty basic (the bulk of this material was self-recorded to four-track) the emphasis on simple galloping rock'n'roll riffs and clattering primal boogie rhythms works well, with the lack of production values fitting in just fine with the wider garage aesthetic. Jones himself is on fine form throughout too, cussin' and sleazin' with the natural charisma that has since earned him legions of fans.

While JSBX are definitely the most obvious reference point here, I'm getting touches of The Make-Up in the brutally minimal arrangements (particularly when they take things down a notch for garage-soul crooner 'Move On' at the end) and sometimes a rattling momentum that seems to have echoes of Motorhead or Turbonegro, but rendered in tinny lo-fi. Even if you're not a fan of their later stuff this is actually really great '90s garage rock that'll fit in fine alongside your Dirtbombs and Blues Explosion albums.




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