Incorporating The Music Fix
20th August 2012 06:10:00
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The Darkness - Hot Cakes

When 'I Believe In A Thing Called Love' dropped in 2003, The Darkness were a breath of fresh air and their debut Permission To Land packed fun into every riff with its unashamedly OTT glam rock stance. The follow-up, One Way Ticket To Hell...And Back, showed early signs that the formula was already going stale and the swift end of the band seemed to confirm that The Darkness were, if not one trick ponies, then they were certainly a band that had run their course. Six years later, however, seemingly reinvigorated and a tour with Lady Gaga upcoming, Justin Hawkins and co are back - it's just unfortunate to report that absolutely nothing has changed.

In some ways, it's almost applaudable that the band have showed such defiance in the face of progression, packing Hot Cakes with everything that originally made them popular: 'Nothing's Gonna Stop Us' is a blast of fast riffs, sure to go down a storm live; 'Forbidden Love' is as gloriously extravagant a power ballad as 'Street Spirit' is a sublimely ridiculous cover. While almost every track is stuffed with Justin's falsetto and sexual innuendoes aplenty, some are about as subtle as a whip to the face even by The Darkness' standards. The problem for them though is that other bands have come along who do this shtick in a fresher and, crucially, more entertaining way - Foxy Shazam being one such example.

It all means that by the end of Hot Cakes' eleven tracks, you're ground down by it all, rather than energised. Where Permission To Land saw them homage, and gently rib, their heroes and the conventions of the genre, Hot Cakes sees them become a tribute band to themselves, delivering everything they expect their fans want. There's no denying that even after six years, their hardcore base of fans will lap this up, yet surely The Darkness' aspirations would - and arguably should - have been more expansive than that?
Track List
1. Every Inch Of You
2. Nothing's Gonna Stop Us
3. With A Woman
4. Keep Me Hangin' On
5. Livin' Each Day Blind
6. Everybody Have A Good Time
7. She Just A Girl Eddie
8. Forbidden Love
9. Concrete
10. Street Spirit
11. Love Is Not The Answer
-- more --
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About Ian Sandwell
It's taken three years but I've finally gained power round these parts. Tremble in front of the might of the Assistant Editor. Generally focussed more on the indie side of affairs but for any of you PRs out there, note that I'm likely to go critically easier on quirky female singer-songwriters. But hey, we all have our weaknesses.