The Darkness has released their fourth studio album ‘Last of Our Kind’ (available now). This marks the second effort that they’ve unleashed since reuniting a few years ago and if you didn’t even know that – it’s OK. You are forgiven – just this once.
Inspired lyrically by a Viking invasion of East Anglia, ‘Last of Our Kind’ is without a doubt a much more streamlined affair than The Darkness’ prior album Hot Cakes (2012). Singer Justin Hawkins proclaimed that the music here “would make grown men shit their pants” and although I didn’t have that problem, I will admit that the record’s greatest track ‘Barbarian’ certainly tried it’s damndest to make me. That wasn’t a stressful drive to work at all…
What really makes The Darkness, and forgive me when I say this – what makes them shine, is when Hawkins really unleashes those high frequency vocals over the track. When the songs sort of keep that aspect downplayed they don’t come off as being all that memorable. That’s why ‘Barbarian’ works so well – because it’s the craziest song of the bunch and Hawkins loses his freaking mind on it.
When the songs slow down, so does the fun and The Darkness doesn’t work for me when the pace comes to a crawl. Although ‘Last of Our Kind’ is far superior to ‘Hot Cakes’ it looks like the guys will never be able to retain the heights of those first two iconic albums. That’s probably my own fault for loving them so much and being one of those snobs. What ultimately matters is that The Darkness is back, they’ve been back for a while now so get up off your ass and join their Viking crusade!