‘Easter Is Cancelled’ and ‘Rock and Roll Deserves to Die’ are two extremely outlandish and over the top statements; most rock bands would not even contemplate exhorting the latter. The Darkness, though, are not most rock bands. They have always been outlandish and when they make these statements, you know there will be an intriguing and humorous reason that isn’t quite apparent at first.

Combining elements from the classic ’70s and ’80s gargantuan rock bands with their own ability to deliver kick ass music, The Darkness open their new album Easter Is Cancelled with the aforementioned statement about rock ‘n’ roll’s supposed fate. With a classical acoustic guitar intro before blowing the hair off the top of your head with a dual guitar blast, it becomes clear it will be The Darkness who will be killing rock ‘n’ roll today.

The album is a concept album, of sorts, with the idea being that rock music these days is generic and boring. The Darkness are asking, where is the showmanship? Where is the spectacle? The danger?

The title track itself is an ode to great old school rock ‘n’ roll boogie. The rhythm section of Rufus Taylor on drums and bassist Frankie Poullain is exceptionally tight, allowing Dan Hawkins’ riffs to add that extra layer of panache and swagger cool on top.

Lyrically, this is some of the best work from Justin Hawkins, as shown on the comedy-driven ‘Heavy Metal Lover’ where he name-drops the band Obituary while singing “your favourite power ballad is ‘Chopped in Half.’” That being said, The Darkness’ specialty is writing catchy melodies—and Justin’s vocals are a perfect match for a soft rock love song—as displayed on ‘How Can I Lose Your Love’ and ‘In Another Life.’ The guitars are as smooth as a summer’s day, driving along the coast with the top down.

The album closes with ‘We Are the Guitar Men’ with The Darkness proclaiming, “long live rock and roll.” It can only be described as the band’s take on prog- rock, with songs combining mandolins, keyboards, great riffs and time tempo changes in an epic finale to the album.

This band still has swagger, they still have the eccentric humour, they still have the ability to make you break the speed limit while breaking your heart at the same time. The king is dead, long live the king.

Rating: 8/10

Easter Is Cancelled is out now and you can purchase it here.

Watch the video for ‘Rock and Roll Deserves to Die’ here.
Watch the lyric video for ‘Heart Explodes’ here.

The Darkness will be touring Australia in March 2020. See below for dates.

Wednesday, 11 March 2020 – FREMANTLE, Metropolis

Friday, 13 March 2020 – SYDNEY, Enmore Theatre

Saturday, 14 March 2020 – MELBOURNE, Forum

Sunday, 15 March 2020 – ADELAIDE, The Gov

Wednesday, 18 March 2020 – BRISBANE, The Tivoli

Friday, 20 March 2020 – AUCKLAND, Powerstation

Available here.

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Photo: supplied