2003 album from the heavy metal outfit on the Must Destroy label, could be the biggest UK rock album of the year.
The Darkness's Permission to Land
is an entertaining and unabashed return to the pomp-rock of a bygone age, when mullet-clad dinosaurs travelled the stadiums of the world--back before Nirvana and their lank-haired ilk swept the world in an unstoppable tide of flannel shirts and overwrought earnestness. So, while their peers were drawing inspiration from the Pixies, Sonic Youth and the Stone Roses, the four guys in the Darkness were busy studying their Queen and Def Leppard albums and learning how to rock.
It's this unapologetic rock & roll spirit that makes Permission to Land a stand-out debut album (well, for 2003 at least--sometimes, you've gotta look back in order to move forward). There's no bedsit electronica, acoustic surrealism or garage rock to be found here; instead, this is music as pure entertainment, best suited to a wall of Marshall amps, guitars tuned up to 11 and a pyrotechnic display visible from orbit. Singles "I Believe in a Thing Called Love", "Growing on Me" and "Get Your Hands off My Woman" are all typical of what's on offer here: huge guitar riffs, crashing drums and the over-the-top falsetto vocals of singer Justin Hawkins. But they're not the only standouts here: "Black Shuck", "Givin' Up" and "Love on the Rocks (with No Ice)" are all anthemic fist-raisers, packed with sing-along choruses and guitarist Dan Hawkins' ultra-infectious hooks. Original? No. Ironic? Maybe. Fun? Oh yes. A lesser band would have approached the spandex-clad rock of Permission to Land with tongues firmly in cheek, and it's to the Darkness's eternal credit that they manage to inject the whole thing with enough sincerity to carry it off. And why shouldn't they? After all, Bon Jovi always looked like they were having a heck of a lot more fun than Nirvana anyway. --Robert Burrow
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.