The album opens up with “All The Pretty Girls” and after a slow-building, droning guitar intro we’re met with Hawkins unmistakable shriek…his falsetto vocals giving the band enough of a unique edge to earn them their popularity early on but over time it’s become sort of a gimmick and detracts from the song to a degree…musically it’s solid rock with a fairly decent solo to boot, one thing that can be said is that instrumentally they’ve always delivered…a shaky start. Follow up “Buccaneers Of Hispaniola” is an immediate remedy however…an early album highlight, it’s got a brilliant rhythm, it’s incredibly slick and some wonderful indie-rock hooks, couple with some enjoyable riffs, this is a quality song and is much better overall, this is The Darkness on form.
As I mentioned, musically, The Darkness have never disappointed…”Solid Gold” capitalises on the classic rock influence, the AC/DC and DEF LEPPARD inspired riffs, but the song has a very tongue-in-cheek feel, attacking the industry and their critics with their trademark blend of humour…speaking of which, “Southern Trains” is a brash and punk-inspired piece…but being so very British, we have a song about delayed services and rail commutes…while “Japanese Prisoner Of Love”…about the uh, intimacies of prison relationships shall we say…dropping the soap and such…is a generally quirky track, albeit random. “I Wish I Was In Heaven” has another strong indie-rock vibe with pop elements, but again those vocals seem like their being milked, we get it, Justin can hit some impressive notes but, here they spoil a generally decent song, before we finish up on “Stampede Of Love”…while yes, it does have Western qualities, a stampede conjures up images of chaos, frantic animals, galloping across the plains…this has all the urgency of a galloping sloth. The deluxe edition has four extra songs…”Rack Of Glam”, Justin’s tribute to tits I guess, while there’s a sweet but peculiar acoustic track about losing his virginity, although nothing entirely memorable. While it’s fair to say, I honestly don’t think The Darkness will ever match the glory of their debut, and to be honest I think they know that too, so really it’s unfair to compare everything they do to that first album…look what happened to LINKIN PARK with “Hybrid Theory”…for what it’s worth it’s a decent record with some enjoyable moments and some good, solid rock ‘n’ roll…but it’s not a world beater…solid bronze if anything…