The Darkness return with their fifth album Pinewood Smile, which was written in Putney and recorded in Cornwall, England. The album was produced by Grammy Award winning Adrian Bushby, who is known for working with Foo Fighters and Muse. It’s fun, entertaining and full of sharp wit, straight out of pole position.
“All The Pretty Girls” drives forward with its upbeat and irresistable sounds. It’s a fun and glorious track, which doesn’t skip a beat. “Bucaneers of Hispaniola” keeps in form with the set tempo for this very adventurous and catching track. It’s nonchalant, yet serious. Accomplished guitar work hits the spot, as the scrupulous drumming holds the beat. The song harbors a classic sound that represents something offbeat in our modern day.
“Solid Gold” is an anthem. A track which is very reminiscent of Motley Crue and the hair metal era, you can’t help but fall in love after the first listen. It’s a golden track, which is absolutely solid. “Southern Trains” manuever forward with such urgency. It’s a fast ride with soaring guitars and you feel like you’re trying to get somewhere, but you’re really not getting anywhere.
“Why Don’t the Beautiful Cry” follows with a slower approach. It’s hedonistic and shows off a softer side to the band, yet it still keeps a fun element to the lyrics. You can’t help but be drawn in by Justin’s British tones and his vocals are completely mesmerizing. “Japanese Prisoner of Love” is fast and heavier than the later, as it powers forward without letting up. Its groove is expertly executed and it sure isn’t a prisoner of the music.
“Lay Down With Me, Barbara” is another slower track, but it still has plenty of meat to chew at and it’s full of ambience and feeling from start to finish. “I Wish I Was in Heaven” picks up the beat again. It’s beautiful, spiritual and up-lifting, a track which will make you smile amidst the grey skies.
“Happiness” follows with some good ole rock and roll. It’s fun, light-hearted and will have you singing your heart out. It’s feel good song through and through, for when you are feeling blue. “Stampede of Love” steers the train to its end for one final stop. It’s a simplistic, stripped down track, full of unconditional love and a chorus that crashes in for an explosion of feelings.
The Darkness are a solid unit who have evolved without losing their identity. They are humorous, don’t take themselves too seriously, and are utterly flamboyant.
Pinewood Smile is downright brilliant.