The Darkness
Permission To Land
Atlantic Records
· Produced By: Pedro Ferreira

· Running Time: 38.43

· Release Date: Out Now

· Released: WORLD

· Musical Style: Hard Rock

· Links: The Darkness
Songs: 90%
Sound: 80%
Vocals: 20%
Where does one start with this then?! The Darkness is a band surrounded by double standards and contradictions.
The music isn't overly original – but it kicks ass. The melodies and hooks are first rate – but the vocalist delivering them is frightful. The production is certainly not a big budget one – yet the promotional push behind the band is huge. Welcome to the world of The Darkness.
This UK band released 2 indie singles before being picked up by Atlantic worldwide for the release of this, their debut album.
They have caused a stir everywhere they go, as like 90's pop counterparts Oasis, they know what buttons to push.
Folks either love them or hate them, but to their credit, one listen and you'll never forget them. Now that is the single most important ingredient to their success so far. They have an image and an angle to play off and it's working a treat. My main argument with this band is this – if they didn't have a kooky singer, would they be getting all the attention they are getting? Of course not – but out of their success, some good might come for others….maybe…
If they had a different singer, or had vocalist Justin Hawkins refrain from those way over the top falsetto notes, they would be a better band in the eyes of the many I'm sure. But probably one without a record deal! That's the sad reality of music these days – labels, management and media love and angle, and Justin's kooky vocals are a very definite angle to exploit.
I suspect the band are quite aware of the way they would be perceived and were well aware of the best way to attract attention and are taking that all the way to the bank.
What started off as a piss-take has blossomed into a genuine hit and there's no turning back for them now. And why would they want to? The guys will continue playing it up to the maximum, taking the piss and having a blast, while making a ton of cash along the way.
So just what is the fuss about? Why is The Darkness being talked about with such passion? Take a listen…one piece of advice, sample the tunes before you invest in the album.
The music of the Darkness is something mainstream media have somewhat ignored and is certainly something not accustomed to being at the top of the charts.
The band really know their stuff and have delivered 10 tracks of high energy, feel good 70's / 80's inspired hard rock, touching on influences ranging from AC/DC to the Rolling Stones and Queen.
And when he's not going completely over the top, Justin's vocals and the pop edge of the music compare with 80's Brit-pop chart toppers The Cure.
What makes the band "special" is singer Hawkins. His vocals appear normal for only a short while before disappearing into a range not tempted by many males, not to mention those falsetto acrobatics that even make Freddy Mercury look straight.
Like a metalized version of The Cure's Robert Smith, the vocals are delivered with little regard for the path the musical base is taking. These vocals are all over the place and are the one reason the band is causing the fuss they are.
Take them or leave them – they are what drive this record. If you can adjust your ear drums, the benefits of some fine songs can be appreciated.
The AC/DC styled opener doesn't do a lot for me, but the hooks of Get Your Hands Off My Woman are more attention grabbing. But it's also the most over the top vocal on the album – no wonder it is the lead single. It's here that Justin's vocals are the hardest to take, which is a shame, as the song has a lot to offer.
Following on though, Growing On Me is an absolute gem. Hawkins even manages to keep the vocal straight for the most part. It's the most accessible song of the album and one of the best pure rock anthems of the year. Seriously!
I Believe in a Thing Called Love, Love Is Only A Feeling and Givin' Up are all equally infectious. Like a tumor, this album just keeps infesting itself in your head and won't let go.
Great tunes really, but it's all about whether you "get" the vocals. Yes, he's a shocker, no doubt…and taking the piss….but if you like the vocals, the album as a package will be impossible to resist.
I love the fact some great, straight ahead rock n roll is getting played on radio and in clubs and I love the fact some Eddie Van Halen inspired guitar solos are included. When was the last time you heard a guitar solo on the radio?
What I don't love is the fact there are better bands out there that will remain ignored and more than deserve the money and attention Atlantic is showing these guys. And I have a small hesitation in supporting a band that really is just laughing at us. But good luck to them I guess…
Let's be honest. If this had been released on one of the melodic indie labels, the band and the label would have been laughed out of town by now. But somehow, being on Atlantic Records gives the band instant credibility.
The production is pretty raw, but the energy and attitude coming through the speakers is really quite addictive. But those vocals! Oh boy….
The Bottom Line
This is a great party record. It's a lot of fun. But not many bands with more novelty value than musical credibility have survived long term.
Will The Darkness prove everyone wrong? Will the general public tire of their style as quickly as they tire of mainstream pop acts? Will the band prove their musical credibility with a monster second album? Only time will tell. But right now, expect the band to be everywhere, expect the debate to continue long into the future and don't expect either side of the love them/hate them clubs to give an inch!
They certainly are not the saviours of rock n roll - that is just absurd, but they do have people talking and they might just open a door or two for others – and that is something I can appreciate.
BTW - My score - 90% for the Music, 10% for the vocals!
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· I Believe In A Thing Called Love EP
· Permission To Land

Line Up
· Justin Hawkins: Vocals/Guitar/Synthesizer
· Dan Hawkins: Guitar
· Ed Graham: Drums
· Frankie Poullain: Bass

Essential for fans of:
· 70's/80's Party Rock
Track Listing
· Black Shuck
· Get Your Hands Off My Woman
· Growing On Me*
· I Believe In A Thing Called Love*
· Love Is Only A Feeling
· Givin' Up*
· Stuck In A Rut
· Friday Night
· Love On The Rocks With No Ice
· Holding My Own
--*Best Tracks

02/07/06: aspen young -
Rating: 100

15/10/05: sanjay -
Rating: 100
because it have got the story ona its cover and the songs are cool too and blows your brain out of your mind

07/10/05: daz perry -
Rating: 0
im trying to decide which song would fit best on a early ac dc album hey justin leave the panache to dave lee roth mate

18/02/05: Fred McMonkdawg -
Rating: 100

19/11/04: tony h&h -
Rating: 20
Who this ( gay? ) vocalist think he is? go home and give our poor ears a break.

31/10/04: Reilly -
Rating: 100
This is THE best album in all rock n' roll history! I cant stand not listening to it at least once a day. And those of you who say they are a joke band, shut the f**k up you bastards.

31/07/04: CUTTER -
Rating: 100
Hell yeah this is ROCK AND ROLL people pure and simple the way its meant to be, already people are dissing them as a record company gimmick thats trying to gain sells from the retro rock market and thats total bulls**t. These guys have the great rock songs, the look, and most importantly the attitude to bring "real" rocknroll back into the spotlight. Sure they're tounge in cheek but "aint" ALL great rocknroll supposed to be. The only way you could not like these songs on this LP. would be if you were a writer for Rolling Stone magazine and we ALL know they hate real rocknroll.Everytime i hear the radio or the tv play "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" i have to jump up and crank it up, COME ON its a great song , for gods sake lighten up people!! Have'nt we heard enough whining from Staind and all these nu-metal/Rock bands crying how they're life is messed up because their dads left them. Lifes a bitch, we all know that but does rocknroll have to be, it should give us somthing to escape to and revel in, so forget all your problems and don't worry about whats cool and whats not, let your hair down and embrace THE DARKNESS!!

02/07/04: brite4ever2002 -
Rating: 95
GREAT album! I don't play it less than 5 times a week! To those who hate the album...well SHUT UP! This is what ROCK ought to be ever since - FUN! It's different, DEFINITELY. But what the heck, they SOUND GOOD! Justin's voice brings the attitude to the songs. GOOD LUCK to this guys and can't wait for the second album.

17/06/04: Kris -
Rating: 100
If I could rate this cd any higher I would. I loved it from the day I listened to it the first time over a year and a half ago. They are the first band in ages not afraid to play the guitar.. Riffs are back!!! I have waited so long to hear a band that can actually rock and not wuss out and have a Pearl Jam or Korn like song on their cd. If you like feel good party rock this is the cd for you. Granted Justins falsetto can be a bit much at time but the music more than makes up for that.(although I acctually like his voice)

17/05/04: wyldbil -
Rating: 100
It cracks me up to see exactly how much the "cookie monster" vocal sound and rap-rock have really permeated the minds of some of you people. Finally a hard rock band comes along with a vocalist who can actually SING, and he is being bashed. Justin carries on admirably in the vein of Freddy Mercury and Sparks' Russell Mael. Actually, at many points he's a dead ringer for Russell, but no one seems to pickup on that. And then the fact that they write infectious songs and can PLAY their instruments. I am really enjoying their 70s "big rock" sound that does have a slightly modernized flair. My gut says these guys are going to be around for awhile, and this is EASILY my favorite album of the last several years. ROCK ON DARKNESS! See you guys in Nashville in June!

07/05/04: Geoff Gillespie -
Rating: 85
C'mon, guys, enough with the holier than thou shit. If it ain't Creed, Incubus, Linkin Park etc...then let's welcome it with open arms! OK, Justin Hawkin's vocals are an acquired taste - surely some of us are old enough to remember exactly the same argument back in the mid seventies over Geddy Lee! - but this band kick arse. Let me say it again...THIS BAND KICKS ARSE!! I was one of the sceptics at the beginning, but you know what? It really doesn't matter what we think. It's gonna be a long ride. So get on the bus and stop sitting in the corner's too damn short!

26/04/04: sig655 -
Rating: 100
I don't know whether this band will be around for a long time or not, but I do know that this album ROCKS! C'mon people..Am I the only one that thinks it's about time that the music industry finally recognizes true talent? I mean how much more of this RAP-Rock hybrid can a motherfucker take? And the pop world is just a soft version of hip-hop and R and B. Finally a band that rocks, whether you like them or not, give them the credit of looking and sounding real yet familiar to the point where it's more a breath of fresh air. may not agree with my review, but when was the last time you heard not 1 but 2 guitar solos in a song? Plus these guys are funny and the lead singer makes Freddy Mercury sound straight. There really isn't any other way these songs could've been sung. His voice fits them perfectly. Listen...these guys rock and man, isn't that what we need?

16/04/04: Bromm -
Rating: 92
This is a great album for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, great songs. Just like the review states, the hooks, solos, melodies, tempo changes, it's all there. Second, even though there isn't a hint of originality, the songs sound fresh and different. Probably because this style has been missing from the American music scene for a long, long time. Hawkins voice doesn't sound like anyone else going today and that helps them stand 'em or hate 'em.

As far as the argument that there are more talented and deserving artists out there, that's a load. Since when was the BUSINESS ever about talent? I know some of my favorite albums have never been heard by anyone, and that's a shame. Bottom line timing, promotion, and luck (good songs never hurt) are the things that matter.

For those waving the melodic rock flag, the darkness is cool because the sing about sex, drugs, and RnR. It's not the same old boring crap that all genres continue to crank out. Nobody wants repackaged Richard Marx. That guy had a great voice, but believe me, he was never cool.

06/04/04: Jon -
Rating: 70
This is a cool album. Although not absolutely amazing by any means, it's a good-time, party album that you listen to while tossing a baseball and checking out girls at the park...after you get used to the femme vocals, that is.

18/01/04: jamie bumgarner -
Rating: 10
This cd sucks big time! Yeah The music jams but the singer sucks worse than any other singer Ive heard. Im gonna have to unload this at the used cd store quick before everyone else does. If you like Poison, Firehouse, Danger Danger, Ratt, Motley Crue, Britny Fox, Buckcherry, Beautiful Creatures or all the newer bands that sound like Creed, youll hate this! Dont waste your money.

16/01/04: Lynchomaniac -
Rating: 0
God fu**in'awful piece of crap!

Nuff said!

08/01/04: BillyG -
Rating: 70
Though "Permission to Land" isnt the Greatest CD in the world and these guys are NOT the "Saviours of Rock" like some have said. I really hope this CD becomes a monster hit in the USA. I hated Justin's voice when I first saw the video of "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" but after buying the CD it has grown on me. For this kind of retro/parody rock its perfect. The band has a Oasis-like knack for borrowing (or outright STEALING) things from 70's and 80's Classic Rock and Metal and casting them into super-catchy songs for modern audiances. I dont think these guys are record company puppets, they have been together for over 2 years and gigged endlessly on the club circuit in the UK before Atlantic ever knew about them. I checked out the interview clips on VH-1 and I saw a real band that have paid thier dues, worked thier butts off, and deserve the success they have now.

Mainstream Rock has gotten boring, too dark, too serious, dull and needs a swift kick in the @ss. This band is just plain pure fun and brings in a breath of needed fresh air to the scene. Hate or love the music, the best thing about The Darkness is they have awaken the ears of classic rock and metal fans who are tired of or hate Nu-Metal and gotten them to the stores. I hope with the success of the Darkness major record companies will start looking again for bands who have a upbeat, fun and melodic approach to rock instead of leaving them to the indie labels and internet cult audiances.

If Justin can tune down his tendency to screech and the Darkness get a little more serious in the songwriting dept instead of parodying and poking fun at the bands they love The Darkness can become a great and influental band. Bands like Areosmith, Def Leppard and Rush swiped and borrowed from thier heros on thier early albums, but later developed thier own style and became Rock ledgends.

If the Darkness cant do this and and cant follow-up with a great second album then they will be just another one trick pony from the UK that hit big, sold a lot of CD's (that later wound up in used CD bins) and was quickly forgotten.

04/01/04: Ole Bach - toemrer.ole@get2net,dk
Rating: 0
The worst thing i have heard in years.

17/12/03: marshall faulk -
Rating: 92
Some folks just dont get it. This is nothing but a GOOD TIME,CRANK IT LOUD ROCK RECORD! Simply because Justin sings in an ORIGINAL style which is other than MAINSTREAM this music sucks??? Grow up folks...DARE TO BE DIFFERENT!! Im sure many bland,clueless fools thought Jimi Hendrix was 'awful', 'gimmicky' and 'transparent' as well, due to the fact that he was DIFFERENT back in his day. The whole record isnt full of the falsetto singing anyhow...the FOUNDATION of what this band is about is simply ASS KICKIN GUITAR ROCK and they are DAMN GOOD at it!! When Justin takes a more scaled back approach his voice is really very pleasant and in fact BETTER than alot of the CRAP that labels are passing off as music these days. The songs are fun and cleverly written. Anytime someone can fit BADMINTON and NEEDLEWORK into a rock gotta love it!! Smile you Darkness haters...and pull that bug outta yer keester.

27/11/03: Morradichi -
Rating: 0
The biggest load of crap I have heard in years. Nothing but a gimmick and any band that has to rely on a gimmick is lacking. Such is the case with this band. And before anyone starts to tell me that at least it's getting classic rock back in people's minds, there are far more deserving bands out there making better music with infinitely better vocalists who don't need gimmicks. A classic case of record company hype suckering people in. I hope this lot go away very quickly and give my poor ears time to recover.

Rubbish of the highest order!!

26/11/03: Federico -
Rating: 80
I've bought this cd. I hope that this band(after Great Britain) could bring hard rock to the charts of the whole world and open up the door to other bands. The songs are very catchy and funny.The falsettos are nice. In my opinion bands like Talisman,Metal Shop,Attraction or Silent Rage are better,and deserve to be the opener. But The Darkness seems to be the chosen ones so long live to the Darkness.

23/11/03: Rob Penn -
Rating: 100
Hands down, no question, the best rock album in over 10 years! After 10 years of grunge and alternative mumbling at thier shoes about how depressing everything is, here comes the Darkness to save the day for Rock n Roll. It hasn't left my CD played for 5 weeks.

Finally a band who can save us from Staind, Chevelle, Audioslave and the rest of the boring dull no talent can't sing crap on the radio today.

How did this album get rated 69% and aweful crap like the new Skid Row and Nickleback get ranked higher??? this is, isn't it?? or am I on

I can't put into words how excited I am about The Darkness, I had almost given up on new rock, sure I would pick up new releases from old favorites like Dokken and Danger Danger, and yes, sometimes a band like Marvelous 3, American Hi Fi and SR-71 would come along that was interesting... but it was never the same as it used to be... I began to think it would never be like it was in the late 80's and early 90's... but WOW! Here comes The Darkness, rock n roll is back and it's about time.

and to the people who say The Darkness is too Spinal Tap and over the top or silly........ I ask you this.... Has rock music today become so dull and bland that any band that comes along looking and sounding like real rock stars is labeled Spinal Tap? Maybe they should wear baseball caps and goatees and mumble really slow at thier feet and dress like Nickleback and Melodicrock will give them a higher rating.

12/11/03: Mark Kennedy -
Rating: 11
I think I would have to agree with Jeff Vancura comments on this one as there are far better bands out there like Danger Danger,Harem Scarem and so on.This is another band where most of their fans probably have'nt even heard of Saxon or UFO and think that Linkern Park are a rock band too!!People where I work own this album and I often get"do you like The Darkness Mark?"and most of them are into dance,pop,brit pop etc...So I think that says it all.

06/11/03: eddy - ed
Rating: 100
absoulutely brilliant,those of you who rubbished this cd must be living under a stone or are already dead. wake up to the real world of new heavy metal long live the darkness.

31/10/03: Jeffrey -
Rating: 85
I am not going to rehash what everyone is saying here but I think that the disc does have it's merits. The music is catchy and upbeat and the vocals are good after you get used to them. I just hope that record companies may look at another British band that is ready to on the world....The Wildhearts!!!! I know that Justin and Ginger hang out so maybe America at large will get a dose of true genius!!!!

25/10/03: Almo -
Rating: 100
Easily the best release of the year for me. I usually don't disagree with Andrew but he missed the boat on this one. The vocals are precisley the reason this is outstanding. It's different, it's fun and I can't listen to this without smiling. Get your hands off my woman is making my playlist for the NY marathon next week. Hopefully it'll come on when I could use a boost, it is a rocking, yet hilarious song. Fun, fun, fun.

20/10/03: Jeff Vancura -
Rating: 5
Absolutely laughable!!! No wonder the record companies are saying they are losing money because of the internet. Who in their right mind would buy this crap. To think Atlantic is the same label that gave us AC/DC, Foreigner, Ratt, Led Zeppelin and many other classic bands from the 70's and 80's. How can they stoop so low. The singer of this band sounds like Tiny Tim for god's sake and this horrible 80's band Nitro comes to mind. The only man that should be allowed to sing that high is Tony Harnell and even he doesn't do it anymore. Don't get me wrong, the music is ok but the vocalist is just horrible. I understand everyone's heart is in the right place when they say we should support these guys because they are our only hope. I refuse to do it because the record companies will just find carbon copies to throw at us which just means more crap. Plus why should I spend hard earned money on something I think is pure garbage. A charity could use it more and I would feel better giving it to them. I am perfectly happy buying imports from independent euro lables than the trash being put out by major lables. I am so glad I took care of my records, tapes and cd's when I was younger. I can see they are going to have to last a lot longer. Thanks to bands like Harem Scarem, Danger Danger, Talisman and Westworld. They know how to make hard rock sound fresh and new.

14/10/03: Jason -
Rating: 100
I agree with the original review that the love/hate debate will rage on, but that's the key to a release like this. I saw the video and laughed like crazy then realized I loved the song which was I Believe In A Thing Called Love and even the video had me grinning for hours. So funny yet the music was excellent and the vocalist knows how to get the listeners attention which I think is cool. This band and their album Permission To Land are trying to bring back fun to rock and I like it. Hey I buy everything from TNT to Il Nino, so I pigeonhole no band, if it's good, it's good. This album has the musical chops and the personality to propel the band for a long time to come. I hope these guys get a chance to be recognized for their musicianship as well as their ability to entertain as well, hats off guys, ya got my vote for favorite new band.

09/10/03: Tom Fullbrook -
Rating: 100
Being a british rock fan can be somewhat difficult at times- There are a few really good bands around but not enough and things can get a bit bland. The Darkness have just come along and blown up everything in thier path. The album is fantastic- i mean who else could get away with opening an album with a song about a huge dog who frightens villagers in the east? thats the kind of thing songs should be about! 'Growing On Me' is just one of the best rock songs ever written. People think thier a joke band, i think theyve just tapped into the right market. In Justin Hawkins they also have one of the best vocalists ever! Its finnally nice to see someone bucking the trend and giving British Rock a much needed kick up the arse. Hail the four sweaty blokes from Lowestoft!

08/10/03: koogles -
Rating: 34
This year's Andrew W.K., this band will be cool for 15 minutes. Gimmicky and transparent.

05/10/03: Chris -
Rating: 100
Okay Folks. It's starting...some new music that alot of people hate. I'm telling you all now (and its a good thing) the "nu metal", grunge-core" scene is DONE! Janes Addiction's latest, The white stripes, Velvet revolver, Jet, The Darkness. These bands are the buzz. Limp Bizkit's new disc is flopping....BAD!
This is the moment we all have been waiting for.
All I hear is " the music's great but the singer has got to go".
That singer happens to be the lead guitarist as well. So what if he sounds like tiny tim half the time. At least he doesn't bang chords on a 7 string and stand next to a DJ.
The Darkness...thank you...Bring the noise...for it is welcome here.
When creed gets around to recording there new album, they better have there hand on the pulse. it wont matter though. The holocaust is upon them.
And Linkin Park? enjoy what ya got left, becuase your oxygen supply is dangerously low. you're gonna wake up tommorrow with Justin Hawkin's crotch in your face.

05/10/03: Jason Muzzell -
Rating: 85
hmmm...something a little different. i like it.

04/10/03: Richard Banham -
Rating: 95
I love this band to death.

Some of the people in countries other than the UK who dismiss the Darkness as a hype should be made aware of the fact that they have actually been slogging away for years before making it big.

I feel that it is also important to point out that they have succeeded in spite of the British music media which was incredibly dismissive of them before they started selling records over here. Unlike Oasis, they were not the flavour of the month with magazines like NME or Q before the public caught on.

I saw them live at an MTV concert here a few days ago. They were superb.

Great, fun tunes, crunchy guitars, thunderous bass and a great drum sound.

Oh, and I like Justin's singing as well.

04/10/03: The Limey -
Rating: 90
There are some cracking tunes on Permission To Land and once you're used to Justin's "falsetto notes", it's a very easy record to get into.Love On The Rock's With No Ice is one of the best rock tracks i've heard in years.However, because of one or two "fillers" it just falls short of being a classic and i expect their 2nd album to improve upon PTL in every department.
A quick note on The Darkness as a live act.They are simply brilliant and there's no Rock/Metal band out there (working today) that are as good as these when it comes to delivering sheer entertainment value.I know several people who aren't bothered at all about the album who have still conceded that as a live act, they are excellent!

Whether or not they will town down the high end vocals for a more serious approach remains to be seen but i expect this lot to be around for many years.Hopefully in that time they will open the doors for many other Rock acts!

04/10/03: Mike Braithwaite -
Rating: 93
I recently asked the legendary great rock A&R guy, John Kalodner : John Kalodner, what his thoughts are on the band. I was a bit shocked because it sounded exactly like what I've been saying all along.

"They are a great band and it's surprising because we haven't had anything like them in such a while. I do hope their CD catches on and starts a new trend toward straight-ahead rock and bands who can actually sing and play and write songs." John Kalodner

So.....I rest my case. Sure they can improve, but what a good start. Andrew, I certainly don't think they are laughing at us. They are very sincere about being goofballs and writing cool, catchy tunes. Sure they need some improvement in the vocal department, but the talent is there, and it will get better there's no doubt. I think Justin has a great voice in the lower registers.

OK, here's how I rate the songs from best to worst:

1. Love On the Rocks With No Ice
2. Love Is Only A Feeling
3. Holding My Own
4. Get Your Hands Off My Woman
5. I Believe In A Thing Called Love
6. Friday Night
7. Black Shuck
8. Growing On Me
9. Givin' Up
10. Stuck In A Rut

I think 'Love Is Only A Feeling' is the ideal first single for the US market. Of course, it won't be, but it should be.

04/10/03: Sgt Schultz -
Rating: 90
So far this is one of the most played CDs in my house this year as it's a great rock CD that begs to be played loud. The music may not be very original but that's not really important as the band sounds like they are having fun. I'll admit Justin's vocals are not for everyone but in my opinion it's part of what makes the band who they are. Everything about the band and the songs are over the top and with a bit of humor thrown in. It's also like nothing else out there at the moment. I know people who really aren't into rock music that after a couple of listens really like the CD which to me is a good thing. Play it loud and enjoy!

04/10/03: freddy de keyzer -
Rating: 68
Not half as bad as some people said,but the singer is indeed very, very strange indeed.This is a decent hardrock/party record, with some AC/DC influences, but not of the same class. The musicians are good enough, but another singer would be great ! Anyway : one of the so many releases and not worth the hype they create in England around this band ! There are hundreds of better bands out, who don't have the response these guys have. But how long will it last ? To end :the playing time is with 38 minutes a real shame. Go for other records, people and forget this all by all, overrated act !

04/10/03: Harlan -
Rating: 69
Pretty much a dead-on review, I have to say. That's exactly what I was thinking when I listened to The Darkness. A friend in Britain had been talking them up and it's easy to see why. Musically, they do have some great stuff. But I 100% agree about the vocals. "Growing On Me" is a GREAT song that is nearly ruined by a few ill-timed warbles by Justin Hawkins. And there are a good handful of catchy rockers here that are fun to hear in the car.

Like you, though, I do have a bit of a stinging sensation that these guys are laughing at those of us who miss the "rawk" sound of the 70s and 80s. I mean, Spinal Tap was one thing because it felt like they were laughing with us. With The Darkness, I feel paranoid that they're just laughing AT us. Again, like you said, the critics love this kind of music if it's treated as a campy satire of the genre. If they even sensed that the boys in The Darkness were serious, it would be over QUICK.

Still...just take the vocals with a grain of salt ("big grains of salt") and it's probably worth the $9.99 I found the album for at Tower Records...

04/10/03: David Mosley -
Rating: 99
Just what we all needed a bit of camp flair
and lots of fun to boot
Why did we have to wait so long for a true metal band
to come on the scene.
Every note is a pleasure to my ears and the singer as the vocals
of robert plant but with a little more class.

04/10/03: Tim -
Rating: 0
The vocals on this are the worst I have ever heard. This is awful.

03/10/03: Paul Melling -
Rating: 90
I really feel that many "critics" of this album have missed the point..that is,that this band are sticking 2 fingers up at fashion,pappy cover versions,pop idols,boybands etc etc.What thay have done here is make an album of completely over the top,old "Queen style" rock that KICKS ASS!! What a refreshing change it is to listen to such irreverent catawalling and hard rock again so long after Freddie´s excesses in the 70´s.Yes,it is mad,daft,call it what you will,but at the end of this album you will have been ENTERTAINED and ROCKED.
Elements of The Cure,AC/DC,Lizzy exist here in varying degrees and i say to anyone who loves their rock as it used to be..non political,non politically correct..just pure entertainment with tongue firmly planted in cheek..GIVE THIS A GO !!
Single wise,they have left just enough tracks "f" free to get some move lads,and good luck to you.

03/10/03: Poison Arrow -
Rating: 50
I've seen this band develop from nobodies to national and maybe international sensations, and I'm not surprised by their sudden rise, much in the same way as I wasn't surprised by the rapid success of dire pop band the Spice Girls. You just get a feeling about these things, once you get the hang of how the media influenced mass of consumers/idiots thinks. (incidentally, most Iron Maiden fans fit into the same category) Certainly there are some good songs on the disc, but this is not the legendary rock band the world wants them to be. I met the guys when they supported Alice Cooper recently, and they are simply not stars. They are media puppets, caught up in a hurricane of attention from something that started as a joke no more humourous than a loud fart in public. Yes, everyone turns around and reacts with shock and bewilderment, but after a short while, people get sick of the smell. My only hope is that with this new found popular acceptance of guitar rock, that some real stars, currently unrecognised, will shine through and get the attention they deserve. Buy this album if you must - in a few months bargain bins will be full of unwanted copies, so perhaps it's better to wait until it has the lower price tag it warrants.

03/10/03: Jason R -
Rating: 89
It is cliched but they are not a joke having payed theiur dues for over 8 years. I think they are playing the media at thier own game ie radio hates rock but doesn't mind a joke band as they see the Darkness. If it only gets more of this style of rock back in the press/radio it can't be bad. Some top tunes that really do grow on you but will they last or be another Kula Shaker?

03/10/03: John Trimbos -
Rating: 69
I agree entirely with your review, Andrew. But.... I think it's important to support these guys. They're obviously fans of Def Leppard, Van Halen, Thin Lizzy etc - bands we all love. If they help to make classic rock cool again then more power to them!

03/10/03: -
Rating: 80
The Darkness are currently the most talked-about rock band in Britain,there´s a lotta buzz going on around this up-and-coming British act and the debut "Permission to land" is like a Formula 1 racing car with Angus Young as the motor and Russel Mael of Sparks as the driver.
The music is clean classic hard rock with some AC/DC manouvres but performed with singer/guitarist Justin Hawkins unbelievably odd way of singing,very theatrical not so far from Russel Mael of Sparks and that makes this album so original.
His brother Dan Hawkins plays the guitar as well and then there´s the solid rhythm section with Frankie Poullain on Bass and Ed Graham on Drums,and it´s so much fun to listen to these guys play.....a given record on any Friday night to come!
"Black shuck" opens this 38 minute long rock and roll ride,the guitar riff reminds me of "Let there be rock" with AC/DC but I don´t care ´coz this is done with a touch of glam in the 70´s mode,impossible not to love!
Then it continues with dynamite stuff done with some major 70´s influences from bands like Mott the Hoople,AC/DC ofcourse and UFO in some moments,"I believe in a thing called love" and "Love is only fading" are so ultra-melodic that it´s contagious and I believe in every word Justin says when he says -If you look at bands from 25 years ago, people have smiles on their faces. We're bringing a bit of that back.
So true,so true.IT´S FRIDAY NIGHT NOW and the album is played loud in my headphones(have to think of my family otherwise,I would have rocked hard in the speakers).
If you care about Hard rock done the old fashioned way and have some extra love for exceptional vocals,THE DARKNESS is for you ladies and gents.-KAJ ROTH

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