Moved to review
Glen Bourgeois | Cheticamp, Nova Scotia Canada | 06/18/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've recently pulled out my copy of "One Way Ticket to Hell...And Back" to verify a few parts of the title track (which I have been singing (apparently successfully) at karaoke (GASP!)). Though I've always enjoyed this album, I was surprised to find out how much better the album is than I remembered. "Dinner Lady Arms", with its "sensitive" verses full of chiming guitars and '80s-on-the-Sunset-Strip chords (not to mention its Boston-styled acoustic-guitar-chugging-next-to-stacks-of-Marshalls and über-harmonies) should be a summer single, and has been treated as such in my car stereo. "Knockers" is a fun number (that does *not* refer to, um, blinkers) that seems to best recall the first album. "Is It Just Me?" and the title track are fist-raising numbers that must absolutely kick solid a** live (because they do a fine job of it on album), and "English Country Garden" is just manic. Anyone wanting catchy choruses, walls of guitars and well-prepared basslines (not to mention excellently-recorded drums) come right here.
But what REALLY prompted me to write a review were other reviewers' comments that The Darkness does not surpass their influences. I want to put a stop to this before another GREAT band is basically ruined in an attempt to become truly "original". Safely put, "original" flew out the window when everybody and their dog saw their back catalogue released on CD. Lindsey Buckingham was taking inspiration from the Everly Brothers on the verses to "Go Your Own Way", Boston's Tom Scholz has admitted to being inspired by the James Gang's "Tend My Garden" for his classic "More Than a Feeling", Marvin Gaye's smash single "What's Goin' On" was stalled by the brass at Motown because they thought it was too "old hat" for their scene ("Nobody does scat anymore!"), and no one will ever convince me that '80s hair metal bands such as Poison and Motley Crüe didn't take a page from '70s glam (and not only in fashion). The reason why these bands/artists were considered original (as compared to maybe the Darkness) is that their influences were kept relatively obscure (I mean, come on, how many youth today know of "Tend My Garden"?). Today's discerning listener knows of Slade, Boston and Queen beforehand (not to mention many a band who've unsuccessfully tried to match this powerful trio). But please LAY OFF The Darkness for being "unoriginal"! I will fully proclaim my Revisionist's Cry of "Recognize the good, eschew the bad, and make it better this time around!" And that is a challenge to which I feel The Darkness answer in spades. And to add to that the fact that they are often tongue-in-cheek, it makes their harmonized operatic falsetto vocal parts and bent-note guitarmonies (check out that "WHOOMWHOOMwhoomwhoom" effect little over a quarter into the solo of "Dinner Lady Arms" after the orgasmic squeal of three guitars in one... sheer genius, whoever recognized that one) even MORE appealing. This is an album that took time and effort to create, and just like the first Boston album, all that sweat paid off. The reason why I am not giving it five stars is because half the album has yet to plant itself into my memory (I'm too busy listening to the other half), but this is already two to four great songs more than a lot of '80s hair band albums... and would you give Boston's "Don't Look Back" anything less than four stars, even if Side 2 is undercooked? Didn't think so. RAWK ON!"
Think outside the box!
Tyler M. Rutland | Parris Island | 09/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These guys don't go by the "norm". That's what's so great about them. Its such a shame that these guys broke up. Justin Hawkins is in a new band named "Hot Leg". They're still working on their first album. Anyway, there isn't anything wrong with going in a different direction than the other bands out there. Do we really need another raspy voice singing about how bad his life is? No. We need these guys who sing diffent sounding songs (diffent from other bands as well as diffent from their other tracks) about drugs, relationships, and don't mind a little profanity. Buy this album and their last one. They're awesome"
A Throwback to Rock Glory
Mark Henson | Quaker Hill, CT United States | 05/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With the driving guitar riffs and screeching vocals, The Darkness represents a throwback to the glory days of bands such as AC-DC and Van Halen. This is excellent music to drive fast to, or to work out to. I discovered after being pulled in by their one big recent hit "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" from their album "Permission to Land". After hearing the tracks on this album, I realized I had stumbled on a hidden gem of a band."