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Hot Cakes by The Darkness

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Reviewed on 1st November 2012.


Hot Cakes

By The Darkness

There hadn't been a falsetto screech like it since Freddie Mercury owned the stage, but for a time back in the early 2000s, everybody was mimicking that unmistakable line: "I Believe In A Thing Called Love".

Camper than George Michael and more glam than Kiss, The Darkness were a laughing stock to some and were a refreshing (and remarkably successful) change to others. Now as the mist finally clears on a drug-fuelled haze of arguments, acrimony and self-imposed exile, they are back. And ready to be taken seriously, freely admitting that first time round they simply "had too much fun".

Whilst they are unlikely to hit again the heights that debut ascended them to, this is the closest they have been since.

Serious they may now be, but this hasn't dulled the joyous sense of theatre that accompanies their guitar-laden efforts. Outlandish and full of bombast, The Darkness' music is a throwback to a different era - a homage to the glorified 80s Rock portrayed by the likes of Def Leppard and Thunder.

Opener 'Every Inch Of You' is a promising start but by the end has lost its way, descending into seemingly interminable repetitions of the chorus.

Despite relying on the basic rock music formula of vocals, guitars and drums, the album manages to sound overblown in places. When the production is toned down and the drums stop being an over-riding presence Hawkins' vocals come to the fore as on 'Concrete'.

For those people who considered that Hawkins' head was a long way up a certain part of his anatomy, the reflective lyrics of this album may come as something of a surprise "Leave your ego at the door, we don't need it anymore" / "It's time to make a brand new start".

Love, Forgiveness, Understanding, New Beginnings - not traditional rock band fare. But then much like the band themselves this is an album of contrasts; rock-infused musical pomposity providing the soundtrack to what is lyrically a quite emotional album.

For all that this is a good album it's unlikely to win many new converts, but if you were an admirer before you're unlikely to find anything disagreeable.



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