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The Record Vault: The Darkness – Permission To Land

Released in 2003. But I didn’t buy it then.

The debut album “Permission To Land” took everyone by surprise. No one was ready for The Darkness. Their look, their vocal chops, their style of music was all “anti-what’s in vogue”.

Justin Hawkins is on vocals, lead and rhythm guitar, synthesizer and piano. His brother Dan Hawkins is on rhythm and lead guitar.
Frankie Poullain is on bass and Ed Graham is on drums.

I saw the clips and I watched em perform on various TV shows. I was a fan but I didn’t feel the need to buy. I wasn’t sure if it was a gimmick or the real deal.

Anyway a few years later I actually purchased their product.

Black Shuck

I was hooked from the AC/DC inspired intro. Very “Dirty Deeds” like.

Once the singing started, I was like WTF.

In a simple verse you hear operatic falsettos, Meatloaf like “Bat Out Of The Hell” style vocals, Freddie Mercury extravagance and NWOBHM throaty spitfire vocals. Almost theatre like. King Diamond also comes to mind.

It felt like a train wreck and I liked it. So I stayed on the train to see how far it would go before it crashed.

Get Your Hands Off My Woman

Then this started, with a bass riff that reminded me of The Police. The operatic falsetto is all over the verses and the Chorus.

And I like the “Hit With Me Your Best Shot” inspired Chorus riff.

The train crash was still on the rails.

Growing On Me

Very Cheap Trick like in the Intro/Chorus and when the Verse kicks in, check out the Rick Springfield “Jessie’s Girl” riff.

And I like it.

Finally we get a solo in the middle of the song and in the outro, but it’s the riff before the solo which I like.

I Believe In A Thing Called Love

At 159.4 million streams on Spotify, it’s their “hit”.

What else can be said about this. The riffs are very Sweet/ELO like and the Chorus vocal delivery has become iconic throughout the years. I remember in the early days of the “Idol” shows, there always was a singer who auditioned with this song.

And how good is the Outro, with the lead first and then that head banging riff to close.

So far, so good. A four punch knockout combo so far.

Love Is Only A Feeling

A mid-tempo like ballad more Poison like. And by now, my ears had acclimatised to the falsetto and normal singing voices.

Givin’ Up

Musically, it’s AC/DC in attitude and spirit.

Stuck In A Rut

The intro riff is “Thunderstruck” played ala Malcolm Young. Vocally it’s everywhere and not my favourite, but it doesn’t take away from the power of the music to me.

Friday Night

More Cheap Trick like influences.

Love On The Rocks With No Ice

I like the music. Its hard rock the way I like it. It has that AC/DC style of rock, with all of these other influences throughout, like ELO, Bad Company and even Judas Priest.

And this song has their best solo moments in the mid-section.

Holding My Own

“Purple Rain” from Prince and “Faithfully” from Journey come to mind when I hear this.

Makin’ Out

More AC/DC style of rawk and roll to close out.

Check out the open string lick after the solo, very “Thunderstruck” like.

By the end of it, I hoped they would stick around, but had a feeling that the labels would use them and spit them out. Like “Chainsaw Charlie” in “The Crimson Idol”.

But I was wrong, as they have shown the same resilience from when they started.

Doing it their way and “anti-what’s in”.

In Australia, Canada and New Zealand, the album was certified Platinum. In the U.K, it was 4x Platinum.

In Denmark and the United States it’s certified Gold.

And I guess you know which review is coming tomorrow.

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7 thoughts on “The Record Vault: The Darkness – Permission To Land

  1. These guys are awesome. This debut blew my socks off as it was so unexpected and exactly what the world needed. The 2nd album wasn’t as good, but still great. I really like their last album Easter was Cancelled and might be my favorite. Can’t wait for the new one coming very soon!!

  2. I never have listened to them much at all. I think back when they first hit I was way too into the underground and I probably gatekept myself out of checking them out. I do remember a lot of people slagging them off in the past.

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