Wednesday 10 June 2015

The Darkness - 'The Last of Our Kind' (Album Review)

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 27/5/2015
Label: Canarf Dwarf

‘The Last of Our Kind CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. "Barbarian"
2. "Open Fire"
3. "Last of Our Kind"
4."Roaring Waters"
5. "Wheels of the Machine"
6. "Mighty Wings"
7. "Mudslide"
8. "Sarah O'Sarah"
9. "Hammer & Tongs"
10. "Conquerors"

The Darkness is:

Justin Hawkins | vocals, guitar
Dan Hawkins | guitar
Frankie Poullain | bass, vocals ("Conquerors")
Emily Dolan Davies – drums (on the record)


Know what I miss about music? Big Hair, High Notes, leather pants, and all the shredding you get outside of a block of parmesan cheese! And speaking of cheese, The Darkness have released a new wheel for us to chew on! Entitled ‘The Last of Our Kind’, it's all that was held near and dear from the music world's greatest, glitziest, most loved decade! I was born in the last couple years of it, but so what?! THE 80S ROCKED! Nay-sayers can suck it! (you know who you are!)

FIrst things first, this follows in The Darkness' prior footsteps perfectly, with less of a joke for either the band or the presentation. It's still an ostentatious sound, but legitimately solid. And while there is nothing new from their think-tank, partially to be blamed for the shortage of spandex in the world, they refined that signature of theirs to a needle point. They then took that needle and used it to sew those leather pants back together, because they are on fire! This is the album we were all wanting but afraid to ask for, giving us ballads, soaring vocals, leads that will sizzle your mom's eggs, and music that will put a smile on your face no matter what! 

Like I said, this is throwback, but it's not like what Steel Panther, Wolfmother, or any true retro band has put out. They have their roots firmly in the style of the old Glam bands, but they have a swagger that only they put on. In fact, taking a note out of a couple 70's bands, they like to have the catchy chorus, repetitious and simple, that even the drunkest can remember, and then dress it up with some searing guitar work (Barbarian, Last of our Kind). And they really amp up the sound work by emulating U2 on Open Fire, making it a rock opus to make the most jaded of us rock along!  At no point in this album have I wondered why they chose to do this, gotten bored, found myself looking at something else to play. The Darkness have outdone themselves on ‘The Last of Our Kind’, and I dare say gotten much better! The lead breaks (yes, they have them!) on ‘Last of Our Kind’, ‘Barbarian’ (Zeppelin-esque vocals), the intro to ‘Sarah O Sarah’, all are right out of the golden age of the Sunset Strip. ‘Mudlside’ is one of the most blisteringly bluesy songs outside of Winger and Thoroughgood, cementing these guys as one of the most talented bands working right now. And I am going to say it: welcome back ballads! They don't meander, they aren't weepy sad sack anthems, they put some balls back into feeling, and burn with that old rock spirit! They even have slide guitar... And the closer, ‘Conquerors’, would fit on any Poison, Cinderella, Winger, Dangerous Toys, or Firehouse album. I don't have enough hair for this album...

To top it all off with excellent artwork that depicts what looks like a punk baby piloting a modern war bird, something that wouldn't look out of place on a Toxic Holocaust cover, and it's just the total package! With a number rating, I am giving a 4.8/5. I need a music video with lace, hot chicks, cool cars, and very soft vaseline filters before it gets that full.2 back!

Slick, over the top production, clear vision of their sound and purpose, the crunchiest tone possible, and talent enough to fill up an IROC-Z make this a front runner for my pick of the year! (may get banned for that...). Check out The Last of Our Kind by The Darkness as soon as you get that cassette player working!

*insert huge pyrotechnics here*"

Words by: Hunter Young

‘The Last of Our Kind’ is available now

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