The Darkness – Hot Cakes (Pias/Liberator) CD REVIEW

WHATEVER THE CLAIMED merits of the first two Darkness albums, their comeback after messy fall-outs and drug dependency (how stereotypical) is one big fat cliché.
I can understand why the group were considered a breath of fresh air when they hit it big in 2003, because they took the piss and brought a bit of fun and bad manners and tastelessness back into rock’n’roll. But really.
Hot Cakes, right from its cover picture of honey-drenched darlings to its 11 pathetic attempts to mine the catatonic trash of every third-rate good time bunch of hopeless rock losers, reeks of a desperate attempt to connect again with the idea of fun.
The sad fact is that The Darkness don’t even know if they’re a comedy act or not. There’s no wit or genuinely comedic moments, just endless excess. It’s hard to believe that in 2012, a band would be stupid enough to write a song called ‘Everybody Have A Good Time’, or as salaciously dumb as ‘Every Inch Of You’. That song is typical of the album that follows: a guitar sound, a riff structure, and a machismo that echoes down through the decades, a white blues-rock paradigm that’s been boring for 40 years now. And the only defining characteristic is the way Justin Hawkins breaks into his horrible falsetto. I bet he thinks he sounds like Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan, when a strangled parrot would be a more apt description.
When they’re not reveling in seedy LA hair metal squalor, The Darkness are trying to be Queen, but they fail miserably, because they lack the precision, the craft, and the vocal ability to even successfully mimic that group’s clever pomp.
A contrived, humdrum re-versioning of ‘70s rock tropes with a poverty of taste and imagination. Who needs it? GARY STEEL
Sound = 3/5
Music = 0/5

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