I love The Darkness’ new album Hot Cakes. (Hell, I’ve loved all of The Darkness’ records, especially the commercial flop One Way Ticket to Hell…And Back. Seriously, listen to that record. The lyrics, as the Brits say, are rubbish, but the music slays on every track). With Hot Cakes, the band has delivered exactly what the world has come to expect–walls of guitar, cheeky humor and insane vocals. Simply, the record rocks in a way few others have done in quite sometime.
Over at Grantland, Steven Hyden has a great article on The Darkness, irony and how they exist in the modern music landscape. Basically, in America we view The Darkness simply as a novelty act. Blazing riffs! Glass-shattering falsetto? These guys can’t be serious! Sorry sanctimonious music nerds, they’re not a joke. They’re just British. And English fans still appreciate good old fashion, ass-kicking rock and roll.
In the U.S. music has become so segmented and genre-within-genre specific that unless you can please a niche audience, you’re band is nothing. Mainstream rock is dead in the States mainly because there aren’t any good bands around. The only relevant band that I can think of the rips on stage every night and still puts out quality records: Foo Fighters. You know where the Foos are huge? England. (Watch they’re Wembley concert film NOW).
You see, America has bastardized rock and roll so much in the last twenty years that when a band like The Darkness releases “I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” everyone thinks it’s a parody and that the band is just taking a piss at those who came before them. People laugh because they think the band is in on the gag with them. Possibly, but just because a band may have a sense of humor doesn’t dismiss their talent.
Irony has gotten out of control in America. People wearing ugly t-shirts from Goodwill and growing ridiculous mustaches and liking music (or beer) because others think it’s lame needs to stop. (And one would argue that’s not even the definition of irony! Ask Alanis). Anyways, I love The Darkness because they fucking rock and Justin Hawkins has the best pipes since Freddy Mercury. I don’t care what critics or hipsters or my friends think. If you can’t take The Darkness seriously, then obviously you take yourself way too serious and you have no idea how to have a good time.