The Danks: Are You Afraid of the Danks?

Danks, Are You Afraid of the DanksThe Danks: Are You Afraid of the Danks?
Are you afraid of the Danks? Well, you shouldn’t be, but the competition definitely should watch their backs. The Canadian Indie rock quartet has set the bar very high with their debut effort. The album is an eclectic mix of styles, ranging from raucous surf rock to new wave style synth punk to riff-driven alternative rock. While some tracks on the album contain a sound that can be overbearing at times, as a whole, the Danks have developed a sound which will find them many new fans.
The album kicks off on a high note with the fast-paced, raucous “What We’re Doing.” The song has a killer groove and sets the tone for the album that follows. The next track, “Who Knows?” is driven by a punk rock style bass line and is carried by new wave style synthesizer hooks. Unfortunately, the vocals are muffled and relegated to little more than background noise, despite the songs powerful composition. The track that is perhaps the best on the entire album is “Die Young” which is reminiscent of Tom Petty in the late 1970’s a la “American Girl.” While the song is no as hard hitting as those which precede it, it is a well-produced track with poignant lyrics and a solid beat. The album truly hits its stride after this track, as the songs that follow collectively form an album that most anyone will enjoy. “Automocar” has a strong summer vibe, with breezy melodies and rocking riffs fitting of a indie rock summer anthem. “What’s the Rush?” is filled with heavy bass, synth hook, and catchy pop-rock beats. When all of these elements come together, they form one of the album’s strongest efforts. Even the album’s lows, such as “Treaty Conqueror” show strong signs of effort, but ultimately fall flat, with consistent but repetitive bass grooves. Another track which showcases the band’s appeal to the summer vibe is the aptly titled “Planet Beach.” The vocals are prominent and combine with solid guitar work to develop a powerful and entertaining track.
While the styles that the Danks apply to this work are not unique, they are utilized brilliantly, creating an indie rock powerhouse which, if given proper promotion and mainstream availability, could become a popular and highly regarded album. It is quite clear that the Danks have been inspired the most by bands that have emerged within the last ten years and made an impact on the music scene, and yet, they manage to create a sound which others will likely emulate in the years to come. Are You Afraid of the Danks? is the standard by which all up and coming bands should strive to achieve, as it shows signs of a band with staying power.
Score: 8.4/10
MP3: The Danks “Die Young”
Buy: iTunes