By The Darkness
You must understand, The Darkness are not a joke band. This is not the Electric Six playing it for laughs. The outfits, the 80's guitar riffs, the wailing solos and howling vocals. These boys mean every last note. The proof is all here on this disc.
Entering your life with the chugging guitar riff of "Black Shuck" these Anglian inhabitants come over all AC/DC with the story telling panache of Warren Zevon. Unafraid to embrace the music these boys so obviously love we're treated to some exuberant guitar solos and big, heavy, dirty riffage transported directly from 1985 to the present day. With Justin Hawkins ability to hit some incredibly high notes and his propensity for swearing The Darkness are virtually a rock cliché, but only in the very best way. Clearly with only having the intention to play good old fashioned rock and roll and to entertain whilst doing it we have ten of the finest rock tunes to come from these shores in a very long time. And a handful of the best to come from anywhere.
The band's strong point is the fact that they write great bridges. In the 80's it seemed the bridge was often the most important part of the song ("Livin On A Prayer's" 'we've got to hold on...etc being a prime example) but lately they seem to have all but disappeared from bands' vocabulary. "Growing On Me" and "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" are blessed with two absolute gems that rival the choruses themselves. The former is probably Justin Hawkins' most accomplished vocal performance on the album. He keeps the wailing to a minimum, therefore giving it greater emphasis when it is utilised and letting us hear just what a fine rock voice he possesses. It's a damn fine tune and one that will be on pub jukeboxes for many years to come I'm sure. "I Believe..."is a good old-fashioned rock love song (My heart's in overdrive and you're behind the steering wheel) and is followed by the sublime "Love Is Only A Feeling". Complete with mandolins this is almost Boston esque, a pure classic rock track.
The bands' Britishness shines through on the Quo riffing "Givin Up" and through the lyrics of "Friday Night"; 'Monday cycling, Tuesday Gymnastics, Dancing on a Friday Night' as Hawkins reminisces about being in love with his fellow geek school chum.
This is a disc full of feel good rock tunes that begs for you to turn it up loud and wind the window down. It's steeped in 80's rock heritage (how can you not love a song called "Love On The Rocks With No Ice"??) but doesn't sound dated by any means, it is full of great tunes, hooks, melodies and a big, fat, double hard bastard, hairy roadie rock performance that makes The Darkness stand head and shoulders above every British rock band of my generation. It's music that does what music should; entertains, excites and makes you feel glad to be alive. If they can keep up this standard then The Darkness will have be the shining light of British rock music for many years to come.