Danko Jones - Below the Belt (Cover Artwork)

Danko Jones

Below the Belt (2010)

Bad Taste

Well, fans of Danko Jones will be familiar with his brand of rock/metal/punk. This record leans more toward ripping off KISS riffs and not focusing on really good songwriting. Now, as with most of his records there are three to four really, really good songs packed in with some OK songs that you won't race past when they come up in your car or i(insert music delivery system here). But you definitely won't play those songs over and over.

The standout on this record is the punk-metal killer "Had Enough," with a great opening riff, good hook in the middle (which is one of his strengths) and a killer chorus. The lead is a bit lame and lazy--he could have done a lot with that lead. I think I listened to that song about five times in a row when I first heard it. The other standout is the blues-driven "Full of Regret." Danko is good at delivering good, fast, punchy vocals and this song is a gem for that; the chorus is a good ol' fashioned hook via 1986. It's a a little slow in my opinion, but overall a good, tough song (reminds me of something off of Lick It Up).

The rest of the songs I could do without. He should have stayed in the studio and weeded out the turds like "Tonight Is FIne," "Guest List Blues" and "The Sore Loser." These songs are lazy songs that sound like they were thrown in at the last minute to get a full-length LP. Now again after 10-20 listens you will start to find little nuggets of hooky riffs and KISS choruses and end up liking them. I bought the record but would have rather it been an EP with five of the filler songs left off.

Old-school fans will appreciate the songs and familiarity of them but this is nothing new and it should have been left to grow in the studio or on the road. I still got plenty of love for Danko, but this record gets a 5/10 only because of the the two gems: "Had Enough" and "Full of Regret."