|The Darkness - 'Hot Cakes' (Pias Recordings)|
|Written by Rob Watkins|
|Saturday, 18 August 2012 04:30|
'Hot Cakes' is the heavily anticipated third studio album from UK rockers The Darkness - the original line up that featured on their debut smash, 'Permission To Land': Co-produced by Nick Brine and brothers Justin and Dan Hawkins, this is the band's first release since 2005's 'One Way Ticket To Hell And Back' after reforming in 2011.
The album opens with second single 'Every Inch Of You', a tune that heralds back to the debut release in its essence and feel but also covers the pomp of the second 'One Way Ticket...' opus. First single 'Nothing's Gonna Stop Us' follows hot on the heels, yet another infectious little ditty, the production oozes rawness and is handled perfectly by the aformentioned trio so grandly that on a scale of one to ten hits eleven easily. 'With A Woman' riffs it up AC/DC style but with a massive Darkness stamp smack bang across the middle, all wrapped inside that unique Justin Hawkins falsetto vocal delivery. The '70s inspired rifftastic moments swing large on another piece of commercial mastery, 'Keep Me Hangin' On', with a choral arrangement that could sit at home in both the 1970s glam and disco genres, catchy theatrical-esque tunes one and all.
'Living Each Day Blind' is beautiful, intelligently-crafted songwriting with hooks galore, hooks that spray forth from every musical orifice of the record...and I refer to this as a record as this collection comes over like a classic vinyl release, if that makes any sense. 'Everybody Have A Good Time', the third single to be lifted from the album, sees, yet again, grandiose, hook-laden vocal passages and wonderous retro chord progressions, and tunes like 'She's Just a Girl, Eddie' and 'Forbidden Love' offer up the perfect balance between commerciality and rawk 'n' roll with, again, yet more infectious singalong moments and choral hooks to die for. 'Concrete' possesses a killer guitar riff that sounds so huge amidst the vocal prowess of demi-god Justin Hawkins.
The band have (finally) laid down in the studio a cover of 'Street Spirit (Fade Out)', the Radiohead classic which has become a favourite in The Darkness's live set since the early days of the group and performed herein with an incredible live feel. This third studio collection is brought to an end with 'Love Is Not The Answer' - take a listen to that chorus for fuck's sake, pure class.
Different versions of this album contain bonus tracks, the first of these being 'I Can't Believe It's Not Love (Acoustic Demo)' which is absolute bubblegum perfection, and a rendition of album closer 'Love Is Not The Answer (Acoustic Demo)' that could so easily have replaced the original on the album listing. The quaintly titled 'Pat Pong Ladies (Demo Mix)' and 'Cannonball (Long Version)' round things off with the latter track featuring a guest appearance from Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, including a neat trademark Anderson flute solo.
Hot Cakes.....Too Hot to Handle.
To pick up your copy of 'Hot Cakes' - CLICK HERE