Cooking Vinyl [Release date 04.10.19]
Album number six from the Darkness, with an album cover that will certainly cause some comment, although the band have always liked to push the boundaries. It also marks one of their heaviest albums overall, plenty of riffage to be had and enjoyed. None more so than on opener and single ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Must Die’. It starts off with a folk air (they are signed to Cooking Vinyl after all, home of many a folk album) before the guitars crash in. A classic Darkness tune with a catchy chorus and those high octane vocals of Justin Hawkins.
‘Heart Explodes’ is one of their best ballads to date, again they have come up with a memorable chorus and Rufus Tiger Taylor lays down some tasty drums on this one. Love or hate the Darkness you can’t deny in this age of cut ‘n’ paste bands they have honed their own distinctive sound, albeit one that naturally draws on their musical influences.
A little bit of Queen/Freddie like whimsy on ‘Deck Chair’, which doesn’t quite seem to hit the mark.
‘Heavy Metal Lover’ shows the band’s humour of to a tee with great lines like “you’re so metal I’m afraid you’ll rust” and my personal favourite “even your pyjamas are black”. A crazy rollercoaster song as one minute you have melodic harmony vocals, then a quick switch to thrash metal riffing.
‘We Are The Guitar Men’ as the title suggests features plenty of guitar soloing, including a little Van Halen in the outro solo. A real Queen treat on this one, from the massed harmonies through to the grandiose arrangements.
Rock ‘n’ roll needs the Darkness and the Darkness need rock ‘n’ roll. Quite possibly the band’s best since that debut which came out sixteen years ago now! ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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