The Darkness – Permission to Land

The Darkness have become a phenomena, helping to sell out festivals across the UK. When this album was released in the UK, it shot straight up the charts and debuted at number one. For many punters it was a breath of fresh air. It brought rock music back to the place where it should be: front and centre crammed against the barrier.

As soon as you press play on this disc you know exactly what you’re going to get, ROCK, and lots of it. This really is an album that sticks it to the MAN. (Alright I’ll stop the bad rock puns now.)

The Darkness unashamedly borrow heavily from 70s and 80s rock. The opener Black Shuck begins with riffage that AC/DC would be proud to call their own. It pounds away at a breakneck speed. Justin Hawkins’ falsetto is reminiscent of the late Freddy Mercury, and is probably the reason why he’s been asked to take on vocal duties for a Queen charity gig later this year.

From Black Shuck the album moves on to the very cheeky Get Your Hands Off My Woman. Which firmly cement The Darkness in the vein of seventies rock icons such as Kiss, Aerosmith and David Lee Roth.

Now any kid who has been a fan of heavy/hair metal knows that all good albums need a power ballad, and The Darkness don’t disappoint. Love is Only a Feeling is a power ballad par excellence. Its rocky and fun, but it doesn’t fall into the same traps as the hair metal bands of the 80s did. Who could ever forget the immortal Poison lyrics on Every Rose Has its Thorn? “Every rose has its thorn; Just like every night has it’s dawn;Just like every cowboy sings a sad, sad song; Every rose has its thorn.” And we wonder why hair metal died in the nineties.

From here The Darkness take it up a notch with Givin’ Up, a song about giving up heroin. The album continues along until you hit Friday Night. To me its reminiscent of The Cure’s Friday I’m in Love and in some ways a little out of place on an album that pays homage to the excess of rock music in the 70s and 80s.The album closes in typical hard rock fashion, with another ballad, Holding My Own.

This album really is a breath of fresh air. It doesn’t take itself to seriously, in some ways it’s kind of like a movie starring The Rock. Its good fun; doesn’t require too much thinking to enjoy and it just fucking rocks.