The Danks GANK

The Danks GANK
9
For a while, it seemed like P.E.I. power pop four-piece the Danks would fade into obscurity. Forming in the mid-'00s, the Charlottetown garage rockers emerged from the fumes of fellow Atlantic Canadian outfit Two Hours Traffic, borrowing not only the band's shrewd pop sensibilities, but members as well. Fronted by gravel-throated singer Brohan Moore and THT's lead guitarist, Alec O'Hanley, they quickly developed a Strokes-meets-Big Star sound on a pair of debut EPs, followed by a set of immaculate sunshine-pop on their first LP, 2009's Are You Afraid of the Danks?, a not-so-coy reference to Canadian kids horror program Are You Afraid of the Dark?. The quartet expanded upon their throwback sound by injecting angular guitars and rampant rhythms into their already punishing indie-rock, but after a number of short tours and minimal media coverage, the group vanished, becoming all but a distant memory. Therefore, it's surprising that four years after their brilliant debut full-length, Moore and O'Hanley have reunited to deliver 30 minutes of infectious guitar rock. Starting off with the stop-start guitar lines of "Not News," the band quickly race through 11 tracks of serene rock'n'roll, evoking Joey Santiago's drawn-out riffs on "Who Is You?," Black Francis's ear for esoteric FM rock on "Summer Lovin'" and Brit-pop, bar-ready choruses on lead-off single "Experimental Fiction." If there's a drawback to GANK's sophomoric rock it's that, at times, the Danks half-heartedly throw a few thrift store keyboards and unoriginal micro-Korg presets into the mix, detracting from the duo's otherwise pristine guitar work. But it's those slight nuances that enhance GANK, creating a nostalgic atmosphere of bygone summers after only a few short listens. (Hidden Pony)