The Darkness – ‘Pinewood Smile’ (Cooking Vinyl) Print
CD Reviews
Written by Dave Prince   
Wednesday, 04 October 2017 04:00

The Darkness - Pinewood SmileNow, The Darkness should be well known name to the readers of Über Rock. Now on their fifth album, ‘Pinewood Smile’ sees the band writing some of their best work. As always, the songs are infectious and wordy. But this time the Hawkins brothers - Dan and Justin along with Frankie Poullain and Rufus Tiger Taylor have recorded ten solid gold songs that will have you falling in love with their unique brand of rock n' roll.

 

Setting the tone straight away with the catchy fun anthem ‘All The Pretty Girls’, the band sound reinvigorated since the arrival of Taylor on the drums. The fun continues with ‘Buccaneers Of Hispaniola’; however, it is the riffola that is ‘Solid Gold’ that slays these ears. This is the fun, no frills rock ‘n' roll that the band do so well and others can only dream to emulate: the main riff is a slice of AC/DC riff heaven that few bands can pull off, yet The Darkness do so with ease. Which takes us to the bridge for a slice of melodic ecstasy. This song on its own is worth the price, so not only do you get ten tracks of very decent rock but one of the finest singles ever from The Darkness - and who would have thought that would be possible in 2017?!

 

Anyway, on to the other tracks and we get another riffageddon with ‘Southern Train’s – that takes the listener on a journey via - yep, you guessed it… Southern Trains... This leads nicely into ‘Why Don't The Beautiful Cry’: while this little ditty is pleasant enough, it's no ‘Love Is Only A Feeling’.

 

 

However, things go back up a slight notch with the mid paced rocker ‘Lay Down With Me, Barbara’, which is a decent song, if a little strange after such a raucous opening half of the album. ‘I Wish I Was In Heaven’ opens like a jingly-jaggly indie pop rock song, but when the unmistakeable vocals hit you have yet another winner!

 

‘Happiness’ is yet again a slab of brilliance that only the quintessential Britishness of the band could pull off without a snigger. The swaggering verse takes us to a stop start bridge and a glorious chorus that screams summer!

 

However, the closing song of the standard version of the album is’ Stampede Of Love’, which screams '70s MOR; this has classic, classy pomp rock stamped all over it and when you put all of these songs together, it begs the question why the hell wasn't this release at the beginning of the summer? Those Darkness boys missed a trick there!

 

‘Pinewood Smile’ is released on Friday (6 October).

 

The Darkness play the following live dates:

 

 

Friday 13 October – Limerick, Dolan’s Warehouse

Saturday 14 October – Dublin, Academy

Sunday 15 October – Belfast, Limelight 1

Thursday 23 November – Southampton, O2 Guildhall

Friday 24 November – Manchester, Academy

Saturday 25 November – Blackburn, King George’s Hall

Monday 27 November – Leeds, O2 Academy

Tuesday 28 November – Newcastle, O2 Academy

Wednesday 29 November – Glasgow, O2 Academy

Friday 1 December – Stoke On Trent, Victoria Hall

Saturday 2 December – Nottingham, Rock City

Sunday 3 December – Norwich, UEA

Tuesday 5 December – Guildford, G Live

Wednesday 6 December – Margate, Winter Gardens

Thursday 7 December – Southend, Cliffs Pavilion

Saturday 9 December – Birmingham, O2 Academy

Sunday 10 December – London, Eventim Apollo

Monday 11 December – Brighton, Dome

Wednesday 13 December – Cardiff, St David’s Hall

Thursday 14 December – Bristol, Colston Hall

 

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