The average person would consider The Darkness a bit of a novelty and wouldn’t know much of their catalogue beyond the smash hit ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love‘ and that one Christmas song they did. Truthfully, they now have five albums under their belts, including their most recent release, Pinewood Smile. The question is, is it as much of a cheap gag as people would expect it to be?
Prior to the album’s release date, the band unveiled two singles— ‘All The Pretty Girls‘ and ‘Solid Gold‘. The former’s lyrics touch on the idea that lead singer Justin Hawkins and his crew attract more attention thanks to their fame, immediately making use of the humour tactics that they’ve become so well known for. The latter then declares, “we’re never going to stop shitting out solid gold.” No points for sincerity there then…
In between the two aforementioned tracks lies ‘Buccaneers of Hispaniola‘, which is the ultimate showcase of Hawkins’ glass-shattering vocals. Overall though, it actually works out to be nothing more than a feverish, fast-paced mess. This is no doubt exactly what The Darkness are going for, but it takes a strong stomach to endure it nevertheless.
An ode to the infamously terrible transport company, ‘Southern Trains‘, sees that The Darkness are still in touch with their British roots. This is the one that people can relate to above all else, as nothing seems to rile up people more than terrible commuter services. Don’t you worry though, it seems even the most glitz and glam of us all have to suffer.
It’s ‘I Wish I Was In Heaven‘ that will make you double take, as this seems to be the fabled heartfelt offering that The Darkness are actually quite capable of— at least, if this particular cut is anything to go by. The melody is not particularly gentle but the lyrics are, showing a softer side to the band that most people probably wouldn’t even know existed.
For the most part, it seems like The Darkness’ purpose is to pay homage to the pioneers of glam rock. They’re not doing anything new, they’re just recycling the processes that were defined by the bands who ruled the 70’s and 80’s. With that in mind, the only way they can truly be unique is lyrically— something they’ve prided themselves on over the years as they’ve dared to push the limits.