Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Record Vault: The Darkness – One Way Ticket To Hell… And Back

“One Way Ticket to Hell… and Back” is the second studio album from The Darkness. So much for all the talk about diminishing recording budgets, as this album cost £1 million to make.

Released in November 2005.

They even got Roy Thomas Baker, best known for his work with Queen, who is a major influence on The Darkness to produce.

And a change was happening within the band as well.

Bassist Frankie Poullain left the band during the early stages of production on the album, with most bass parts on the album played by guitarist Dan Hawkins.

So the musicians for the album are Justin Hawkins on Lead Vocals / Guitars and Piano,
Dan Hawkins on Guitars and Bass and Ed Graham on Drums.

Richie Edwards would join on Bass for the tour.

One Way Ticket

A flute and a choir starts it all off and then a riff inspired by “Highway To Hell” kicks in.

And the song is an amalgamation of the big hits from the debut, like “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” and “Growing On Me”. A perfect opener.

But the solo felt like a bit of a joke. And it feels like that was the intention.

Knockers

It’s got this Pink Floyd feel in the Intro and Verses and I was waiting for Justin Hawkins to sing “We don’t need no education”. But that never happened.

And the Chorus has this Gospel Country Rock feel.

Is It Just Me?

The riff is similar to “Too Fast For Love” and other blues rock classics like “Peter Gunn” with a Chorus riff that reminds me of Rick Springfield and “Jessie’s Girl”.

Dinner Lady Arms

Musically, it’s a Def Leppard “Hysteria” like riff, just more up-tempo.

But the Chorus lacks lyrically, because the title is stupid and the hook doesn’t resonate.

Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

A hard rock ballad with a title to challenge Meatloaf.

Hazel Eyes

It starts off with harmony guitars, which feel like they have a backwards effect on em. Then the strumming starts and the song begins. There’s bagpipes, a vocal melody and some high falsettos, which the guitar mimics as a harmony lead.

But it felt rushed and it ends abruptly.

Bald

The intro is brilliant, ominous and it builds nicely, until the guitars crash in with distorted chords and lead breaks. Musically, this is my favourite song, even though the Chorus vocal melody is a ball squeezing contest in falsetto highs.

Girlfriend

The riff has got that Status Quo 12 bar blues feel. But it’s not a favourite.

English Country Garden

I get what they are trying to do on this by bringing in the weirdness of Queen but it’s a skip.

Blind Man

Another skip.

Wanker

It’s the B-side to the “One Way Ticket” single and its Rolling Stones groove smashing against AC/DC and Status Quo works for me.

There are horns which gives it a soul rock feel, and Hawkins moves between normal singing in the verses to his falsetto in the Chorus which he even harmonises as a backing vocal.

It’s insane.

Grief Hammer

It’s the other B-side to the “One Way Ticket” single and the Intro gets me interested right away. Musically its pretty good.

And this album while good in certain parts lost me as a fan for almost a decade.

Because at times it felt like a Jack Black “Pick Of Destiny” soundtrack. And I like that soundtrack because it’s Jack Black.

And I guess it a big recording budget doesn’t lead to quality.

I more or less ignored them until “Easter Is Cancelled” in 2019.

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A to Z of Making It, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

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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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

2019 – Part 5

And here is Part 5, the final part of my listening experience for new music released in 2019.

And a big thanks to all the various blog sites I visit, who also share their stories. Some of the artists on here, are because of these sites.

Better Part Of Me
Son Of Man
Shine
Let It Be Love
When Love Is Hated
Never Alone
Michael Sweet

“Shine” is one of the best songs Michael Sweet has written in the last decade. It sounds timeless and it could have appeared on any 80’s album, 90’s album, 2000’s album, etc.

And is there any other artist releasing as much music as Michael Sweet with his many different projects (maybe apart from George Lynch). If you want to survive in the new world, follow his lead.

Below
Leprous

Its melancholic and atmospheric and I like it.

Descending
Invincible
7empest
Pneuma
Fear Inoculum
Culling Voices
Tool

After 13 years, the album is released.

My favourite song is “Invincible” and I guess everyone is googling to see who the hell “Ponce DeLeon” is based on Maynard’s lyrics. I’m resisting doing so, as Tool is known to send people on wild goose chases.

The Rush/King Crimson intro from “7empset” gets me interested and musically the song is a summary of Tool’s career from the debut to the “Aenima” album.

Calm before the tempest comes to reign all over

And this violent windy storm will bring rain, to wash away the deceivers of society. And in typical Tool fashion, if you go the songmeanings website and type in the name of the song, you will see such peoples varied interpretations of the lyrics.

Too Far Gone
Alibi
Big Wreck

From the “But For The Sun” album. Courtesy of the excellent Thunder Bay blog. You can read Deke’s review here.

Something to Believe
Sacred Reich

From the “Awakening” album. It’s the most rocking song which remains with me long after the song is finished.

Also cool to see Dave McClain return to the band after departing Machine Head.

Out Of My Life
No Halos In Hell
Battle From Within
I Am The One
Dreams Gone Wrong
Blood Brothers
Hit Me
Man Of Eternal Rain
Kings And Queens
Lies
Cyhra

From the impressive “No Halos In Hell” album.

The excellent blog “Man Of Much Metal” did an excellent review.

White Lines
Destiny
Tygers of Pan Tang

It’s their best album since the first three albums.

Let It Shine
This Is How We Roll
Down N Outz

From the “This Is How We Roll” album, a supergroup project which involves members from Def Leppard and Quireboys like the mighty Joe Elliot on vocals.

Delirious
38 or 44
Eclipse

“Delirious” has this Vita Bratta guitar style in the guitar playing and it connects. And if you don’t know by now, they are from Sweden.

Firesoul Fly
Serpentine
Black Thunder
Pretty Maids

One thing about this band is consistency. They keep recording, keep releasing and each album is a good listen, a cross between metal, heavy rock and pop/hard rock.

Here is an excellent review over at Sonic Perspectives.

Rock And Roll Deserves To Die
In Another Life
Easter Is Cancelled
The Darkness

Read this review over at 2loud2oldmusic. It’s what got me interested in the album.

No Messiah
The Consumerist
Back In The Days
Crying Game
Learn To Walk Again
Sober
Bad Wolves

From the N.A.T.I.O.N album.

Doc Coyle is a legend. His work with God Forbid got me interested in him, but his blog posts made me a fan. Yes, his writings on social issues and music, hooked me in. This is the next step in his evolution.

And here is another excellent review over at Sonic Perspectives.

Rise
H.E.A.T

Another act from Sweden who keeps taking the old sound to sound new.

Misguided Love
Be The Believer
Another Night
This Isnt Love
Come Home
If I Could Fly
Destined To Survive
What You Want From Me
Let Me Dream
Work Of Art

From the excellent “Exhibits” album. And I will direct you over to the Sonic Perspectives website who nail the review.

And that’s a wrap for the new music released in 2019 which I liked.

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