The Darkness do not fail to entertain in their energetic new album, Motorheart.
Ah, The Darkness. Listening to any of their music is always going to feel like coming home – that is, if ‘home’ were a glam, action-packed guitar-fest that has you screeching out the choruses to your favourite tracks in an attempt to come anywhere close to imitating lead vocalist Justin Hawkins’ impeccable high notes. The thing about this band is that you know exactly what you’re getting, yet they never seem boring. Reliable, yes; predictable, maybe. But boring? Never.
For those listening to the deluxe version of the record, it opens with Welcome Tae Glasgae, an evocative track with thundering drums and bagpipes over an atmospheric pedal note before exploding into a frenzy of guitar riffs and falsetto – just what we like to see (even if I did laugh at Hawkins’ pronunciation of ‘Glasgae’).
Otherwise, the album jumps straight into the title track Motorheart which catches your eye (or should that be ear?) immediately with its almost exotic-sounding guitar melodies and its hilariously clever lyrics – but then again, what else would you expect from a song about a sex robot? Elsewhere, the album goes down a slightly more sensitive road with Jussy’s Girl. Ignoring the fact that the title itself is sickly enough to, if I may paraphrase the lyrics, ‘make me wanna hurl’ (‘Jussy’, really?), it is somewhat sweet: ‘I begin to question Cupid’s aim / I wouldn’t change a thing about you, except maybe your surname.’ Somewhat.
Speed of the Nite Time is one of my personal favourites on the record. It stands out among the rest of the tracks on the album and is certainly the most 80s out of them all. Additionally, it’s pretty – you get so used to hearing Justin Hawkins’ falsetto within the context of hard, glam rock bangers that you rarely get to appreciate how delicate it has the capacity to be: the lyric ‘feel this burning love’ with the lighter instrumentation in the background just shimmers and it is magical.
All in all, this is without doubt an incredibly fun album. The Darkness have definitely stayed true to their style whilst still evolving and keeping things interesting – not to mention retaining a sense of humour. Whatever your thoughts on this record, one thing is for certain: there’s never a dull moment.
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