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CD Review – The Darkness “Permission To Land”

The Darkness
Permission To Land

The Darkness’ first attempt at international recognition, Permission to Land, hits most as a joke, spoof or parody of ’80s rock. This English quartet, however, denies any association with such absurdity. Whether the members are pulling a fast one or are actually serious, their attempt is well calculated.

Introducing themselves to American audiences with the single “I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” The Darkness shows no signs of apology for its nonconformity and nearly unmarketable style. From the bandannas to the catsuits, The Darkness embraces the ’80s fashions which harmonize with its musical style.

Permission, sprinkled with obscenities and controversial lyrics, starts off with the kicking “Black Shuck.” Instantly sparking Axl Rose vocal déjà vu, Justin Hawkins wails along on the track.

Whether its Hawkins’ surprising pitch or the lyrical content, every track is spotted with humor.

The current single,”I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” is easily the album’s pinnacle includes smirk-able lyrics like, “I want to kiss you every minute, every hour, every day/ You’ve got me in a spin but everything is A.O.K.”

A drunken stupor out on the town is comically described in “Get Your Hands Off My Woman,” and an attempt to allure an old high school friend is the topic of “Friday Night.”

Still rocking but void of lyrical humor, the album cools off for semi-ballad tracks including “Love is Only a Feeling” and “Holding My Own.” Once again, the question arises, does The Darkness intend to be a spoof or a serious rock band?

Falsetto superhero Hawkins plays off of what made cliché ’80s acts so popular. With his chest-baring catsuits, Hawkins daringly pulls outfits out of his closet, matching the band’s passé style.

The Darkness won’t spark a musical revolution. Nor will the industry begin to see more and more artists leaping around on stage in animal print jumpsuits.

But among the generic, overproduced, melodramatic rock that fills radio playlists today, Permission offers a refreshing sound.

While The Darkness may not be praised for compelling artistry, the band serves its societal purpose — music that can guarantee to liven up any car ride.

Just as Andrew W. K. with his energetic monotony found a place in pop culture, the old school rock rhythms of this peculiar English quartet will find their niché as well.

Stealing from the words of Hawkins himself, I think The Darkness is “really growing on me.”