darkness Pinewood Smile (LP, £18.75)label: cooking vinyl
England’s most distinctive, multiple award-winning, platinum-selling, hugely entertaining rock gods – and one-time saviours of rock’n’roll turned national pleasures – The Darkness are back with their fifth album. Featuring the singles ‘All The Pretty Girls’ & ‘Solid Gold’. ‘All The Pretty Girls’ is a glorious, hard-rockin’, autobiographical anthem intellectually examining the fact that when you’re a rock star you get a lot of attention from ladies and discussing the ethical conundrums that come with that. As Justin Hawkins so eloquently sings with trouser-splitting vocal magnificence; “All the pretty girls, like me for who I am / All the pretty girls, when the record goes platinum / Plenty of action, massive attraction, when you’re selling out stadiums / All the pretty girls… and their mums”. Hard-hitting social commentary, right there! Their expletive-drenched new single ‘Solid Gold’ is accompanied by a video of the self-proclaimed rock legends performing in a huge aircraft hanger amongst a mass of glam-rock lighting and Marshall speaker stacks. Frontman Justin Hawkins announces, “We have written this song to reassure you all that having now released more music in the period after our well publicised hiatus than in the period before it, we have no intention whatsoever of stopping. Hence the lyric "We're never gonna stop... Shitting out solid gold". Barring any unforeseen circumstances, The Darkness will always be here to delight and beguile. You're welcome.” An absolute monster of a rock song, ‘Solid Gold’ takes no prisoners whatsoever, taking direct aim at the music industry and addressing record companies, egos and the insincerity that comes with it. It will make uncomfortable listening for A&R men everywhere… “There's a guy coming down from Sony / Artist and Repertoire. If he likes what he hears in those stupid ears / I can buy myself a faster car / Blowing smoke up our arses / Everything we do is ace / He wants to wine and dine us / He's desperate to sign us/ Cos we melted his fucking face”Well, you don’t get that from Ed Sheeran! Addressing the album and The Darkness’s undoubted relevance in 2017, Justin asks, somewhat rhetorically of the world at large, “Why should anybody care? Because if you don't, we're fucked!! History will remember us as the apathetic generation who negligently ushered in a dreadful dystopian age that may or may not come to be known as ‘The Rise of the Arseclowns’. We cannot allow this to continue! You may not give a shit about Brexit or Trump, but PLEASE... give a shit about The Darkness otherwise the last bastion of cultural sensibility will fall and our airwaves will be polluted by meaningless pop purveyed by arseholes and morons... Oh wait!” Written in Putney, recorded in Cornwall and produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Adrian Bushby (Foo Fighters, Muse), the compositions have all the crucial elements of classic Darkness fare, but with added layers for the ears to peel away at… like a sonic onion but a lot tastier. It also features the drumming and vocal talents of gorgeous new band member Rufus Tiger Taylor, son of Queen legend Roger Taylor, who shares vocal duties with Justin on two of the tracks. Kerrang have published their ‘Solid Gold’ Rock Chart interview with Justin and featured Pinewood Smile as their ‘Sleeve Of The Week’. Planet Rock have published a great album review – 4/5 and spotlighted the tour in their ‘10 Gigs To See This Month’ and run the ‘Six Songs To Listen To…’ feature with Justin. Tracklisting 1. All The Pretty Girls 2. Buccaneers of Hispaniola 3. Solid Gold 4. Southern Trains 5. Why Don’t the Beautiful Cry? 6. Japanese Prisoner of Love 7. Lay Down With Me, Barbara 8. I Wish I Was In Heaven 9. Happiness 10. Stampede of Love. + download.
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