The Darkness
Last of Our Kind


3.5
great

Review

by Simon Killip CONTRIBUTOR (140 Reviews)
July 16th, 2017 | 20 replies


Release Date: 06/01/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Better late than never.

People love a good comeback story, don’t they? The tale of someone who rises to the top, only to have that height used against them a little down the line, watching as they plummet into the depths of despair from a few serious mistakes made during that time; eventually clawing their way back out of the proverbial hole they found themselves in, only to come out of it wiser and stronger. The thing is, for The Darkness, it never quite happened that way. The band literally went from rags to riches overnight with their 2003 classic, Permission to Land, receiving a level of success that would crush most people’s sanity, put in the same given situation, and true to form, shortly after world domination, it turned south for the band. Founding bassist, Frank, was fired during the recording process of their sophomore album, while tensions elsewhere in the camp raised to their highest. By this point Justin had turned into a caricature of his original self; a walking, talking rock n’ roll cliché that was hellbent on sending himself into an early grave with drug and alcohol abuse. Though I myself enjoyed their second LP as much as their debut, it was considered by many to be a steaming waste of time. One Way Ticket to Hell and Back was a write-off to its fans and, shortly after its release, saw the band dismantle itself.

Now this would be where the story turns for the better and I go into detail on their earth-shattering comeback that saw a focused – and clean – Justin Hawkins, and all his original members, back into the fold to unleash hell on the earth once more. The sad truth is, Hot Cakes was a disappointingly insipid release, that contained nothing but a dull collection of by-the-numbers classic-rock tunes, and me, struggling to shake the thought they’d put the final nail in their own coffin. Putting insult to injury, a couple of years later Ed was unable to drum due to health problems, resulting in him having to leave the band. So, by 2015, with everything that’d happened to the band, would it be unfair of me to say nobody really gave a damn about them anymore? I feel the statement holds merit, given how many times the band have dropped the ball: their implosion after a disliked second LP and a groggy comeback in 2012 resulted in many to lose hope and interest with The Darkness (myself included). Their history leaves a lot of baggage, and that baggage has frustratingly dulled the impact this album should have on the music world; an excellent return to form, which not only hears these guys hungry again, but delivers all the ingredients any fan could want.

Last of Our Kind is chockfull of energy and top-tier song-writing. The band’s playful edge and meta elements are heavily dominant here; solos soar, and Justin’s vocals reach some of the best performances his entire career. But what I’m glad to hear more than anything else, is they’ve managed to create songs that stick in your head after you’re done listening to the album – something Hot Cakes sorely lacked. Countless moments of catchiness are ever present: “Barbarian”, for its guitar slides and groove, the guttural shout of “barbarians!” while Justin adds an over-the-top scream over it all; the goth-rock styled riff to “Open Fire” and Justin’s extremely infectious melodies and chorus will be in your head for days after playing it; while “Mighty Wings” blends great riffing with a tinge of Queen and “Mudslide” makes sure it’s delivering first-class, classic-rock riffing in the vein of AC/DC. This level of quality is something I never expected to hear from the band again, and it’s excellent to hear the boys back on form. The production is excellent and captures the mood of the record perfectly, while the album does a decent job of keeping you alert while you’re listening to it.

Sure, it doesn’t quite reach the same levels of excellence the first two albums have, and a little bit of fat could have been trimmed to ensure the album functions at full capacity: “Hammer & Tongs” and “Conquerors” are certainly weak links here, and had they been dropped from the track list, it would have done wonders for the album’s pace; while a little bit of restraint could have been used on a couple of tracks to make the LP sharper. But overall, it’s got a great atmosphere, the tone and production make everything sound great, and Justin’s vocals are as impressive as ever. If you’re a fan of the band, but never gave this a chance, I urge you to give it a spin; it’ll please old-skool rock fans and fans of the band alike. There might have been a delay in rising their Phoenix, but they've more than made up for it with this record.

Great.

EDITIONS: CD DELUXE//V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶//D̶I̶G̶I̶T̶A̶L̶//C̶D̶ ̶

PACKAGING: Standard jewel case

SPECIAL EDITION: Two bonus tracks



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"This is the end...the universe has brought you here to die!"...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Batareziz
July 16th 2017


134 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, Simon. Although I do not consider "Conquerers" and especially "Hammer & Tongs" to be weak, it is a great album and definitely one of their best. Rock on The Darkness!

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
July 16th 2017


13303 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers bud. But I dunno, I just felt those two tracks in particular lacked the umph the really good songs run at. It's an awesome album though. Looking forward to their new one in September

Digging: Chelsea Wolfe - Hiss Spun

Batareziz
July 16th 2017


134 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I guess they don't have that umph you mention, but "Hammer & Tongs" is still an enjoyable track. Though I agree, they don't have an epic hard rock feel of the previous songs. Oh yeah, and I can't wait for the new one too, particularly after the awesome "Last of Our Kind".

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
July 16th 2017


4346 Comments


My band opened for them here in our hometown last month and they put on a great, fun show. Great review! I have yet to listen to an entire album of theirs, but the songs I listened to on Youtube were fun.

Digging: The Flying Eyes - Burning the Season

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
July 16th 2017


13303 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wow, that's cool man. You get to hang out with em?

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
July 16th 2017


4495 Comments


great review.. haven't listened to anything past their first album, but the band are a lot of fun and damn good..

Digging: Rip Rig Panic - God

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2017


13303 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers, butcher. Second album gets a lot of heat, but I love it. Either way, their discog is worth investigating.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
July 17th 2017


4346 Comments


Nope, they spent the afternoon in the hotel and maybe visiting around. The soundcheck was done by their crew, we only saw them before they got on stage lol.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2017


13303 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Argh, that sucks. Still cool though.

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2017


13096 Comments


band was always mad cringe but good review gonzo

i just cant stand anything glammy or hard rocky

their early hits were fun as fuck tho

I BELIEVE IN A THING CALLED LOVE

Digging: Palais Schaumburg - Palais Schaumburg

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2017


13303 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You know, it's funny you say that, Mort. I can't stand a lot of it either; the likes of DC do nothing for me. However, I can listen to the rip-offs like this and Airbourne. How does that work? haha

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2017


13303 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's probably why I enjoy One Way Ticket so much, because the cock-rock side is toned right down.

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2017


13096 Comments


I just always feel like its a bit of a dead genre and that those reviving it should let it die

Dewinged
July 17th 2017


5394 Comments


Whoa these guys are still around? Might give this a shot.

Digging: Toothless - The Pace of the Passing

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2017


13303 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"I just always feel like its a bit of a dead genre and that those reviving it should let it die"



Can't argue with that. And judging from the title of this LP, I think they know it's a dying breed too.



Do it, Dewinged, it's good.

DinosaurJones
July 17th 2017


5646 Comments


I'll give this a check for sure. I really enjoyed their debut, was less than impressed with "One Way Ticket..." and tbh didn't even bother with "Hot Cakes".

But this review has convinced me to give this one a listen.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2017


13303 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Let us know what ya think bud

trackbytrackreviews
July 17th 2017


3315 Comments


This band needs to die already lol

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2017


13303 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

TBT : (

trackbytrackreviews
July 17th 2017


3315 Comments


I just hate their a e s t h e t h i c so much haha



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