Now many of you probably realise that one of the big perks of writing these reviews is that we get sent music to review, and what a very lovely perk that is. Sometimes we get amazing surprises from bands we’ve not come across (such as the recent reviews of Million $ Reload and Wigelius) and sometimes we get the real fan’s joy of receiving a new record by one of your favourite acts before it is released. I’ve loved The Darkness for years and you can imagine how excited I was when the release of “Hot Cakes” was announced….numerous emails sent to PR companies begging for a review copy and then? Come release day, the suspense and excitement got the better of me and….I BOUGHT A COPY!
So, given that I bought it (the Deluxe, 15 track edition too) I reckon that means it’s time for total honesty? In a nutshell the record is fantastic – full of the riffs, hooks, melodies, humour and (of course) falsetto with which Justin, Dan, Ed and Frankie made their name all those years ago. Early hints of what to expect had come from the videos released via the band’s website, Facebook page and Youtube channels – “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us”, “Every Inch of You” and “Everybody Have a Good Time” certainly set the scene and are amongst the best songs the band have released.
At the time of writing, the first week’s sales have resulted in the album reaching the giddy heights of number 4 in the UK album chart (selling like “Hot Cakes” anyone?) and boy does it justify it. Track after track reflects the good humour, pathos and silliness that in created the polar opposite reaction to the band 9 years ago – those who didn’t “get it” then still won’t and will probably bang on about parody and the like. The Darkness were always about fun and that hasn’t changed (although they might be a little less in your face about their presence now).
“Living Each Day Blind” is a perfect slice of harmony and reflects Justin and Co’s more serious side – but not to the point where you question where they’re going. Other tracks abound with Justin’s trademark double/single entendres and makes for what some listeners have called “their best album yet”. I have to say that I would put it firmly in their top 3 (given that I loved “One Way Ticket…”, which put me in a bit of a minority!) – but the more I listen to it the better it gets. Each extra listen brings out more nuances and creates a bigger smile on my face – and is causing a problem as I need to listen to other CDs and….. well I just need to listen to it again…..NOW……and so do you!
For more information: www.theactualdarkness.com
Review by David Wilson