Culture

Does anyone have a flashlight and a beer?

THE DARKNESS
Permission to Land
***

Many heavy metal groups spawned from industrial provinces in England -Black Sabbath and Judas Priest from Birmingham, Def Leppard from Yorkshire and, now, The Darkness from Norfolk. Though while these falsetto singing, cock-rocking performers are wallowing in fame in their homeland, they’ve had limited exposure over here so far, performing at indie fests like Austin’s South by Southwest and the Siren Festival on Coney Island, NY.

Nevertheless, Permission to Land fucking rocks: balls against the wall, pure fist-pumping, head-banging pleasure. Unlike Andrew WK, they shift between partying and sentimentality that harks back to classic ballads like “Bringing on a Heartbreak” or “More Than a Feeling.”

Kicking off with “Black Shuck” – thrusting in adrenaline like any AC/DC album – where the businessmen and priests “forgot to give a fuck,” front man Justin Hawkins then rabidly screams into their first single with another driving guitar line in “Get Your Hands Off My Woman.” The first of their power rock ballads is up next with Hawkins’ crooning, “You’re a part of me now and I only have myself to blame,” in “Growing On Me.”

Running throughout all the songs is the lyrical trait of fitting more words than you could imagine into one breath, bringing to mind another ’80s or ’70s rock band: their second single and newest video is a perfect example of this, “I Believe In a Thing Called Love” where Hawkins’ “heart is in overdrive and you’re behind the steering wheel.” The rest of the album cuts between more ballads like “Love is Only a Feeling” along with the party anthems “Givin’ Up” and “Friday Night.”

As refreshing as Permission to Land is in the present music industry, it’s still nothing new and listening to Def Leppard’s Pyromania, AC/DC’s Back in Black or whatever is your favorite hair band album may be more fulfilling than these displaced partiers.

November 4, 2003

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