Release Date: September 16, 2003
Reviewed by Rob Brode
From the sound of The Darkness’ debut Permission To Land, they have been waiting to descend since the late 70’s but the cushy airliners of Judas Priest, Queen and Kiss were presumably blocking the runway. As if straight out of a time capsule The Darkness comes to us from the U.K. in what may be the NEW New Wave of British Heavy Metal. The album unquestionably harks back to beloved old school metal with the testicle retracting falsetto of “Growing On Me” and the foot stomping, mullet waving ferocity of “Black Shuck” or the Scorpion-esque lead guitar high harmony which ignites the lighter flickering ballad “Love is Only a Feeling”. Their lyrical debauchery in “Get Your Hands Off My Woman” (“I’ve got no right to lay claim to her frame/She’s not my possession/You cunt/Get Your hands off my woman motherfucker”) raises the A.W.K. question. Do these guys just plain rock too hard to be serious?
On the first reading of the aforementioned lyrics the answer would seem to be “no”, they do write viciously. However, the machismo of the written word is sure to bring out a sly smile instead of a switch blade when those lyrics are shrieked in a pitch so high it makes Mariah Carey sound like Isaac Hayes. Besides, the cheese wiz tenderness of the power ballad “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” is just too hammy to be anything but a clever and catchy homage to their förefathers. At last, metal that you don’t have to be a meathead to enjoy (I’m looking your way Pantera), or the product of a wretched home life with a penchant for introspection (cough, cough Staind) or an enemy of melody (bark, bark Hatebreed). Guitar solos, plus cock rock swagger with a British accent equals a jumbo sized cucumber stuffed firmly in spandex worth of fun.