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Reviews 19/09/2003

Album Of The Week

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Gillingham, Kent, UK (By Mikey) - Each week I preview an album which I think deserves a listen to and if it's worth to buy, I will cater for all tastes of music from R'n'B to Rock, Hip hop and Pop. At the end of the page, you will find all future album releases.

The Darkness - Permission To Land
Release Date: 7 July, 2003

Give me a 'D', Give me an 'Arkness', what do you get? DARKNESS.

The Darkness new single 'I Believe In A Thing Called Love' is released this coming Monday, so let's take a look at the most talked about album of the year, as quoted by Music Week and NME. Also this highly acclaimed album has been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize this year, unfortunately they lost out to Dizzee Rascal.

Fresh from a trailblazing headline tour and blowing a sold out Astoria to pieces, Four Man Rock Machine, The Darkness - Justin Hawkins - vocals / guitar / synth; Dan Hawkins - guitar; Frankie Poullain - bass; Ed Graham - drums - unleash their long awaited, very much anticipated debut. Says frontman Justin of the album; "Permission To Land is less of a request to moor the good ship Darkness, rather a demand to shift the rest of the sh*te cluttering up Rock's runway. For many moons, we have been bracing ourselves for a shift in the public's perception of The Darkness from underdogs to world-beaters. Our debut album will undoubtedly be a catalyst for this transition. About f**king time, too!"

Rock music's heyday is rooted in the 1970s and 1980s. The Darkness are a part of that tradition more than anyone else around. Shades of Deep Purple, a touch of Van Halen, cataclysmic chords from Kiss all topped off with Justin Hawkin's unique vocals. Combined it makes them one of the best rock bands around.

Let us gather together friends and think back to times past. A time when the loon pant was the fashion of choice for every aspiring rock god. An age where the guitar solo was revered not reviled, feet stamped righteously on monitors. An era when no drummer would leave home without a gong. But what is this approaching on the horizon? Could it be that a group of men from the pits of Suffolk are about to bestride the globe like the heroes of a glorious bygone era?

The signs are indeed promising. Opening blast 'Black Shuck' features vocalist Justin Hawkins sounding like Percy Plant being tortured on the rack while his baby brother Dan plays the grinding riff from 'Enter Sandman'. And then it happens - utterly ludicrous falsetto vocals recounting a tale of swords and sorcery. And it is utterly magical.

Listen closer, for it just gets better. On the second song, Sir Justin squeals "Get your hands offa my woman motherf*cker" while his cohorts play merry hell. 'Growing On Me' is almost (whisper it now) 'a pop song' but is rescued by some resounding rock harmonies. 'I Believe In A Thing Called Love' brings more joyous bounty in the shape of another wondrous guitar solo and more throat contortionism. But what's this? It's 'Love Is Only A Feeling', a song in a style that used to be termed a "power ballad" and was practised by ancient men with large hair like Rainbow and Whitesnake.

'Givin' Up' is perhaps the most hilarious song about heroin ever, set to a stompin' glam beat while the lyrics of 'Friday Night' are like 'Grease' set in Lowestoft: "I've got ping pong on Wednesday/Needlework on Thursday/Dancing on a Friday night". And calling a song 'Love On The Rocks With No Ice' is a stroke of genius even if the track itself, a fairly tame (by Darkness standards) mid-paced rocker, doesn't live up to the title. Finally, closer 'Holding My Own' masquerades itself as a classic stadium lighters-in-the-air ballad but is actually one of the greatest odes to animism.

And that's your lot. Ten tracks that roll back the years and bring on the tears of laughter. Vocals trill, guitars squeal, drums are hit very hard. This is rock with a big fat drunken grin scrawled over its face in lurid red lipstick. Give me a D, give me an Arkness. Either get the joke or get out of the way.

Here are some quotes taken from leading music articles and music publications:

'...absolute f**king genius. No, scrub that. Beyond genius and out the other side' - Dave Everley, Kerrang!

'The most overblown, vain glorious, vital band to ever have placed foot upon monitor...true stars' - Matt Everitt, The Fly

'...every track on Permission To Land is a killer....Grant The Darkness permission to land in your life: they are the first truly great party band of the 21st century' - ***** Bang

'Glory will be theirs' - Independent On Sunday

'They are The Darkness, and they are here to rock your world' - The Guardian

Just to summarise the album go and buy it, if you like rock music you will not be disappointed, a must have in your record collection, the best rock music to be heard, for good effect, play it LOUD!!!

1 Black Shuck
2 Get Your Hands Of My Woman
3 Growing On Me
4 I Believe In A Thing Called Love
5 Love Is Only A Feeling
6 Givin' Up
7 Stuck In A Rut
8 Friday Night
9 Love On The Rocks With No Ice
10 Holding My Own

NEXT REVIEW: Human League - The Very Best of…

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