Graham Clark, Music Features Writer

Album Review: The Darkness: Return Back To The Limelight With New Album Motorheart

The Darkness: New Album Motorheart (cooking vinyl)
3 Stars

Catalog No: COOKLP805
Welcome Tae Glasgae; It’s Love, Jim; Motorheart;
The Power And The Glory Of Love; Jussy’s Girl;
Sticky Situations; Nobody Can See Me Cry; Eastbound;
Speed Of The Nite Time; You Don’t Have To Be Crazy About Me… But It Helps; It’s A Love Thang (You Wouldn’t Understand)

British rock outfit The Darkness have never denied that they were influenced by luminaries such as Thin Lizzy and Queen. Combined with these influences the group led by Justin Hawkins went on to have huge success in the early millennium. Hawkins had previously written advertisement jungles which gave The Darkness a commercial slant in their songwriting.

The band now release their seventh album Motorheart with the title giving a clue as to who influenced some of the tracks on the new album. Motörhead can be heard many times here - especially on the album title track Motorheart.

The album kicks off with an ode to Glasgow with the track Welcome Tae Glasgae. “The Women are gorgeous and the food is ok” Hawkins sings, Ashe continues to name check every venue the band have played in the city. You can imagine what the enthusiastic response will be when the band play the Barrowlands in Glasgow on their forthcoming tour.

It’s Love Jim sees The Darkness back on more familiar territory before Motorheart has the racing tempo associated with Motörhead as mentioned earlier.

The Power and the Glory of Love runs along with a touch of AC/DC whose Young brothers were born in Glasgow before their family emigrated to Australia. The track has a guitar riff that Angus Young would be proud to play.

The Rick Springfield track Jessie’s Girl is reimagined here as Jussy’s Girl though that's where any similarities end before the obligatory ballad arrives in the shape of Sticky Situations where Hawkins gets to hit those high falsetto notes. The track reminds me though of their Christmas hit, Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End).

It’s back to the Motörhead influence on Nobody Can See Me Cry but the band must have been getting homesick for their hometown of Lowestoft as they fondly remember the seaside resort on Eastbound - even name checking all the local pubs - they’ve probably earned themselves a few free pints there.

The guitar riff on Speed of Nite Time threatens at times to go into David Bowie”s Fame as the album ends with It’s A Love Thang (You Wouldn’t Understand) which comes as bit of an anticlimax after all the previous bravado.

The lyrics are as barmy as ever, the songs as addictive as the flu and just as hard to shake off which really is what The Darkness were always about - long may they continue as they don’t disappoint here.

See The Darkness on tour in the north:

2nd – O2 Academy, Liverpool
3rd – Academy, Manchester
4th – Bonus Arena, Hull
10th – O2 Academy, Newcastle
11th – O2 Academy, Leeds