Earlier this year, the eccentric glam rockers from Lowestoft returned with the follow-up to 2012’s Hot Cakes. Last of Our Kind will go down in the group’s history as being their only album to feature now-departed drummer Emily Dolan Davies (Roger Taylor’s 24-year-old son Rufus currently occupies the drum stool), unless she rejoins in the future, of course.
Beginning with a spoken introduction from the days of yore, the hard-hitting “Barbarian,” a song about the Viking invasion of East Anglia, features some great riffing and some trademark falsetto, courtesy of heavily-tattooed, catsuit-wearing lead singer/guitarist Justin Hawkins. “Open Fire” brings back memories of the golden age that was the much-missed ‘hair metal’ period of the late 1980s, early 1990s. Bret Michaels should stop arsing about with country music and get Poison to cover it.
The opening riff on “Roaring Waters” is one of the best the band have ever come up with (the solo is pretty good too), while the superb ballad-like “Wheels of the Machine” (with more soaring falsetto) leads perfectly into the swooping, nearly six-minute majesty of “Mighty Wings.” The Darkness have always worn their musical influences on their sleeve, chief among them Queen, AC/DC, Def Leppard and Aerosmith, and “Mudslide” includes a riff any of the above would be proud to call their own.
I really enjoyed this 10-track album, produced by guitarist Dan Hawkins it’s the group’s best since 2003’s much-lauded debut Permission to Land. In answer to the often asked question: Are The Darkness a ‘joke’ band or are they for real? On this evidence, they are most certainly for real.
02. Open Fire
03. Last of Our Kind
04. Roaring Waters
05. Wheels of the Machine
06. Mighty Wings
08. Sarah O’Sarah
09. Hammer & Tongs
Run Time: 41:27
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Check out the song “Barbarian” here.