(Atlantic Records) - 3.75 out of 5.0
The Darkness is pure kitsch. Their debut record Permission to Land is ridiculous. Whatever, I like it. Front man Justin Hawkins pours himself into the tightest tiger-striped leotards you’ll ever see. It’s no secret to the first few rows what this guy’s got in his trousers. Some say that Hawkins is the new David Lee Roth. Yeah I’ll believe that, umm… never. The rest of the band looks like they’ve been around the rehab block once or twice. They all weigh 110 pounds and have scarves tied everywhere. They kind of look like one of Steven Tyler’s microphone stands. So, the seventies are big now with The Strokes and all that. Shit changes. Here come the early eighties. So fuck off with your torn jeans and faded tee-shirt, you filthy hippie. You bought that shit at American Eagle anyway. Now it’s spandex and glitter. Yeah, glitter. The eighties are officially back in business. Someone get Freddie Mercury on the phone… oh, wait. Never mind on that.
Check this chorus: “Get your hands off my woman, motherfucker!” Now that’s some real shit. We all know that feeling; even girls know what that one’s about. I can’t get enough of these songs about beating dude’s asses for feeling up on your lady. I even dig that Eve 6 song. You know it, “Think twice before you touch my girl / Come around I’ll let you feel the burn / Think twice before you touch my girl / Or I’ll break your fucking lips and you’ll die bastard fuck.” I get juiced up when I hear that shit. Permission to Land is mostly made up of campy love songs with bad titles like “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” and “Love on the Rocks With No Ice.” Hawkins rips out the shrillest, most heinous falsetto that I’ve ever heard. It’s disgusting. Of course, that same falsetto has surely knocked the panties clean off of hundreds of groupies, so maybe I shouldn’t be so harsh. The musicianship on this record is mediocre, but somehow the sum is greater than its parts. The Darkness is like Thin Lizzy meets Cheap Trick, but not as good and maybe better kind of. Does that make sense?
I really hated this album at first listen, but then I realized that I also believe in a thing called love, and that love is true, and maybe I love The Darkness, and maybe that’s not wrong. Just listen to these lyrics, “Sleeping in an empty bed / Can’t get you off my head / I won’t have a life until you’re dead / Yes you heard what I said.” These are songs that everyone can relate to. Who hasn’t fantasized about murdering their lover? Lord knows I have and, actually, I’m pretty sure I could get away with it. But that’s not the point. Yes, I may want her dead but all I have to do is listen to the song and it calms me down, it makes me think, “Hey, I’m not the only guy who thirsts for the warm blood of their loved ones.” I can identify with The Darkness. I mean, she’d better watch her back, but as long as I have Permission to Land, things ought to be okay.