THE NEW DARKNESS ALBUM IS ACTUALLY PRETTY GOOD
The Darkness kinda rubbed me the wrong way when they burst onto the scene in 2003, as I suspect was the case for a lot of metalheads.
It wasn’t that their music was that bad, but that The Darkness were seemingly lampooning something we all took very seriously, and that suddenly a whole slew of mainstream bandwagon hoppers jumped on board for the irony/comedy value making the whole thing seem like even more of a parody of itself. In a way it wasn’t really The Darkness that were the problem — although much criticism leveled at them for being a bunch of jackoffs is certainly fair — but their fans, none of whom gave a shit about metal or its roots at all. Not that I ever admire people who dislike a band because of who their fans are, but sometimes it just happens even when you know better.
The thing is, The Darkness were actually a pretty good band. Which I’d forgotten until now. I’m listening to their new album Hot Cakes at Rolling Stone and it’s really solid; the songs are memorable, the performances are crisp and the players tight, and nothing is really all that ridiculous about any of it… it’s just good ’70s/’80s-inspired hard rock. Even perennial punching bag Justin Hawkins keeps his flamboyant side reigned in.
Give it a listen; I think you’ll agree.