Darkness – Hotcakes
I remember thinking probably the same thing everyone else thought when they first heard the Darkness in 2003, “finally, a band that can do what Queen did.” That was an unfair comparison to put on the band and it set them back from finding their own sound.
The potential is still evident in the Darkness. The fuzzed out riffs and Justin Hawkins’ voice are terrific ingredients for stellar glam rock but the recipe on Hot Cakes isn’t quite right. Hot Cakes is a step up from their bloated sophomore album but the song writing has taken a step back and the lyrics show no growth from their terrific debut, Permission to Land. The band cites heavier, metal inspired guitars as an evolution in the band’s sound but it’s really just window dressing.
Opening track “Every Inch of You” is a jumble of ideas and begins an album-long trend of Justin Hawkins overusing his falsetto. Ditto for “Everybody Have a Good Time,” which demonstrates how intentionally making dumb rock doesn’t make it any less dumb. “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us” is the highlight but it suffers from the bands lacklustre backing vocals.
This isn’t a terrible album, but it’s no comparison to their first.