Exploding in a shower of glam glitter and eighties extravagance, homegrown quartet The Darkness were the surprise mainstream darlings of the early noughties, with their chart-bothering debut album ‘Permission To Land’ delivering a masterclass in rock ‘n’ roll fireworks, albeit with its tongue planted firmly in cheek.
As is so often the case though, the familiar pitfalls of substance abuse and inflated egos proved to quickly derail the band’s runaway career. Returning from obscurity with 2012’s rather hit and miss ‘Hot Cakes’, an attempt to mount the top of the British rock tree once again provided mixed results (a European jaunt with pop royalty Lady Gaga notwithstanding). Evidently, ‘Last Of Our Kind’ marks a return of the Norfolk collectives early belly fire, in what is a spectacular return to form.
This is outrageously thrilling stuff from The Darkness, their knack for crafting effortlessly catchy and slightly daft hard rock anthems in full swing as ‘Barbarian’ rockets out of the gate, with Justin Hawkins‘ unmistakable falsetto at the fore of a track bulging with stomping grooves and theatrical sheen.
Elsewhere, the The Cult meets Van Halen polish of ‘Open Fire’ and ‘Mighty Wings’ prog-tinged splendor represent irrepressible high-points, and amid the glorious soloing (‘Sarah ‘O Sarah’) and arena ready escapades (title-track), ‘Last Of Our Kind’ is crowned throughout with the sort of righteous enthusiasm usually reserved for bands half their age. The gleeful absurdity of ‘Mudslide’ is an adapt case in point as to the joyous pomp that The Darkness deliver here.
Topping their BRIT Award winning benchmark may be now beyond the band’s reach, yet the fact remains that this fourth full-length is a creative triumph across the board, the pick of the bunch more than equal to any vintage The Darkness hit that we could name. ‘Last Of Our Kind’ is irresistible stuff, and you would have to be a thoroughly miserable piece of work to escape its charms.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)