Guns 'n' Roses
Before I begin this review, please help yourself and answer this
question: do you like classic rock? I’m asking this because Permission to Land is
much more likely to appeal to such audiences. The Darkness is a band aiming
to relive the classic rock scene of the 80’s, from their wardrobe all the
way to their style of music. But even if you don’t usually listen to
classics, there’s more than one other reason to give it a try as well.
The band is made up of brothers Justin (vocals) and Dan (guitar)
Hawkins, Frankie Poullain on bass and Ed Graham on drums. After
the masses with their outrageous and highly energetic on-stage antics
the UK, and with their debut album surrounded by so much hype
beforehand (the rock magazine Kerrang! proclaimed them as the best rock ‘n’ roll
over the last twenty years), the overall consensus was that
Land was going to be ‘mind-blowing’, ‘a huge breakthrough’ and other
expletives. I did not find the album to be exactly that, but it was a
effort to begin with.
First of all, I am thoroughly astonished by Justin Hawkins’ incredible
voice. His is a combination of Freddie Mercury’s high-pitched falsetto
Axl Rose’s rebellious screams. And because of that vocal talent alone (which is definitely a requisite for any modern band trying to sound
classic rock fans should get this album. The least you can do is to
them Queen-wannabes, but truth be told, they’re not even there yet.
Keep in mind that these guys are absolutely outrageous, especially
live gigs and in their music videos. Although they don’t claim
joke band, some of the songs were obviously intended to be humorous.
Shuck, which the first track off the album, actually sounded more like
you’d expect from the works of Tenacious D, except maybe funnier. And
songs Givin’ Up and Growing on Me are much better when looked upon in a
comical sense, but Friday Night is just a downright silly (if not
inexplicably embarrassing) excuse for a song though.
Now for the good stuff. Justin’s falsetto is most apparent in the song
Your Hands Off My Woman, and it’s a very good track, although it’s
was too short for my liking. And then there’s the single I Believe in a
Thing Called Love, aided by Dan Hawkins’ electrifying guitars and a
tune throughout. But Love Is Only a Feeling and Love On the Rocks With
Ice are the true gems off this album, with the latter featuring
thumping rock searing through five minutes of absolute perfection.
Note that all the songs I mentioned in the previous paragraph had
successfully recaptured the classic feel of the late 80’s, where the
‘n’ roll scene was at its peak. Although the lyrics may not have been
Pink Floyd quality, The Darkness is truly a talented band, unlike many
faceless sellout bands you’ve heard of over the past few years. If you
liked Led Zeppelin, Guns 'n’ Roses, Queen and the like (chances are you
do), Permission to Land vaguely resembles the greatness of these past
legends. As an avid classic rock fan, I’d say that it’s one of the most
distinctive and notable rock efforts of the year. But there’s still