Review: The Darkness “Permission to Land”

The Darkness
“Permission to Land”
(Atlantic)

“Everybody is talking about this fucking band from England like they are the second coming of rock and roll. I love the rock and roll. It don’t matter if it’s new or old, if it smokes, bring it on. The disc kicks off with a slightly amped up Dirty Deeds riff (ala AC/DC) and it ends up honing in on more of a Kiss dynamic for its “Black Shuck” chorus (I can just hear a nation a mullet heads screaming “Black Shark!” in unison). Track No.2 has an Urge Overkill guitar jam that kicks enough ass, but singer Justin Hawkins really shows his “range” as he comes in with this super high falsetto (read: someone just kicked me in the balls REAL hard) screaming “Get your hands off of my woman, motherfucker!” That would be so great, some guy is moving in on your chick, so you stroll over all tough like, and in your best girlie-girl high voice, “Get your hands off of my woman, motherfucker!” and see what kind of response you get. I would guess that confused look straight guys get when they realize they just walked into a gay bar. Which is almost the feeling I was getting the first spin through this. Sure, the guitar is so righteous, it took about 10 seconds to know it rocked on some level. But you GOTTA hear this Hawkins guy. He’s a rock star for sure, but I wasn’t sure if the world was playing one of those musical jokes on me. You know the one, where everyone tells you this band is so fucking cool, so you get the album and you are like, huh? And then you secretly suspect all your friends are sitting around going, “hahahah, he’s probably at home actually listening to it! Here, let’s see if we can convince him that the band Jet didn’t just blatantly rip off that Iggy Pop song.” So the first two tracks here rock, and after a few listens, I can sorta dig the weird charm of what Hawkins is doing. But then the track “Growing On Me”, eh… sounds like the bad-era Cheap Trick. That’s when the music gets too charmingly cheesy and Hawkins feels the need to match that with some vocal acrobatics that sound like Tiny Tim attempting to do a Ted Nugent impression. It’s totally fucking bizarre. Just play “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” in a crowded room sometime and watch the heads turn as people go “What the hell is this?!” Unless, that is, they’ve already been hanging out with my friends, in which case they’ll chime in “Dude, The Darkness… They rock so hard. They are totally cool.” as they watch the faces of everyone else trying to act like they think so to. But I do keep listening to this for some reason. I hit “skip” a lot, but in it keeps going. “Love On The Rocks With No Ice”, that’s fucking clever. You know what, The Darkness totally kicks ass dude. They are the second coming of rock.
(*Looks over shoulder and grins at friends).
*ps – Jack Black… probably has a small shrine in his house to this band. They sound like his rock and roll wet dream).

Bushman