16. Danko Jones, Wild Cat (eOne)
It often feels as though rock music is dying, but that’s only because cooler-than-thou music publications, radio stations, “influencers”, “tastemakers”, et al couldn’t be bothered to give good new rock music any attention. It’s gotten to the point where unlistenable “indie” rock like Imagine Dragons and The War on Drugs are among the biggest rock acts of 2017, while in Canada the frauds in Glorious Sons are quickly being made to be the next Tragically Hip when all they are is a phony working-class Wilco rip-off. It’s sad, because there’s still a lot of great music out there. Danko Jones has been consistently making fun, exuberant rock music for ages now, but he’s really been stepping it up quality-wise lately. Wild Cat, his eighth album, doesn’t let up for 38 minutes, a blast of heavy rock ‘n’ roll that never forgets just how joyous this music can be. The AC/DC and Motörhead signposts are ever-present, but this time around there’s a strong Thin Lizzy vibe throughout the whole record, and nowhere is it more noticeable (and memorable) as the brilliant “You Are My Woman”, which is so imbued with late-‘70s Thin Lizzy heaviness and soul that you know that if Phil Lynott was able to hear it, he’d approve. Wild Cat doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but why should you, especially if you can execute the formula as masterfully as Danko does here? Do yourself a favour: put the hipster music away, and play this album loud. You won’t regret it.