- Permission To Land
by Rachael Reardon
Five Star: A look at albums
that are so good that they impress even the most cynical of critics. Very
few albums are superior enough to obtain a five star rating but occasionally
a band slips through the river of mediocrity that is the modern music industry
and they produce an album that restores our faith in the future of rock!
This series is a look at such albums.
Its not too often you come across a band
like The Darkness.
I remember the first time their front man
waggled his crotch in my face like it was yesterday, whilst watching some
oblique T.V. show at god knows what time in the morning. ‘Have you heard
of The Darkness?’ I ask my mate the next day, ‘No, why?’. ‘Cuz they are
bloody brilliant that’s why’.
After hearing his bro, Justin, wail out
‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ in karaoke, Dan Hawkins (guitar) reckoned this messiah
like voice would suffice (!) for the front man of his band. With Frankie
Poullain (a bassist with quite possibly the longest arms and legs in the
world) and drummer/school chum Ed Graham, The Darkness was born, and about
These boys reckoned it was all too late
in coming, seeing as no one had the guts to sign them straight away and
so clinched their record deal in style – dressed up as 18th century noble
men and signing the cheque made out for ‘three pints of lager and a vodka
lime and soda’ with quills. Rock n f***ing Roll man!!
Now, it’s at this point that The Darkness
merge into that World War II poster, only instead of proclaiming ‘We Want
You’, they grab you by the collar, shake you up a bit and wail ‘You NEED
Why do we need them you ask? For a kick
off, front man Justin Hawkins is the text book rock god we have all been
unconsciously wishing for. Pinned the ‘straight Freddie Mercury’, he sure
as hell has big shoes to fill. But as the press go mad with either bumming
this band like its goin outta fashion (what else is new?), or shaking their
heads at the ‘unoriginality’, everyone knows they fit perfectly into the
AC/DC, Queen and Led Zepplin generations as far as their sound. And what’s
so unoriginal about that?
‘Get Your Hands Off My Woman’ is all good,
old-skool rock n roll. ‘You cunnnt! Get your hands off my woman motherf***er,
Ow!’ – renowned for its high calibre swearing (ooh heck!), is enough to
make a manically depressed, impotent 60 year old man rock his thermal socks
‘Love On The Rocks (With No Ice)’ slams
in a cowboy-western twinged intro, truly wonderful old-skool riffage and
solo’s that put ‘Appetite for Destruction’ to shame.
‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’s swaggering
grooves and catchy metal licks manages to bring back from the dead, that
precious rock n roll beat that even the shyest prune of a rocker would
adore to sing in karaoke; as they delve into the world of air guitar, plucking
the strings and thrusting their crotch in tandem.
Ballad ‘Holding My Own’ mourns out soft
whining beats, while ‘Growing On Me’ reaches the peak of rock riffage and
falsetto vocals to make the hardest metaller try to reach the high notes
in idolisation mode.
‘Kiss my arse, kiss my arse goodbye’ sounds
off Justin on ‘Stuck In A Rut’ – something which The Darkness are not by
a long shot.
- Permission To Land
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