Album Reviews

The Darkness – Hot Cakes

on August 22, 2012, 8:00am
the darkness hot cakes D-
Release Date

Hot Cakes starts off with a dick joke, and not a very funny one at that. After detailing his past decade’s hardships with cocaine and fame, newly returned frontman of The Darkness Justin Hawkins wails about how every man he met during his formative years wanted to suck his cock.

These opening lines to “Every Inch of You” are indicative of the content on the rest of the album (their first since 2005’s underrated One Way Ticket to Hell… and Back). Over 11 songs, the words begin to scrape the surface of something serious and human before reverting to the band’s usual glam rock tropes. That a group known for dork-fingered shredding, leopard print, and general buffoonery even thought to discuss their personal turmoil in the first place is a small step toward musical growth, but sadly, The Darkness squanders these seeds of opportunity. The party is always waiting, the humor is always cheeky (you’ll be hard-pressed to find mention of “sabre-toothed cave ladies” on another album this century), and, despite Hawkins’ troubles, the drugs are always a laughing matter.

Even though no one expects The Darkness to churn out a gloomy, self-loathing opus in the vein of Alice In Chains’ Dirt, it would be nice to see them channel their travails into something that combines more grounded subject matter with their signature brand of nostalgic fun. Instead, we get more of the usual cock-rock posturing and exaggerated machismo. “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us” charges forward with Dan Hawkins’ syrupy harmonies and soloing, and “Everybody Have a Good Time” reels in ears with exuberant cowbell and an anthemic chorus. And even these songs fail to capture the raw energy of Permission To Land or the orchestral pomposity of One Way Ticket, instead falling limp between the two.

Surprisingly, the album’s most effective moment ends up being a cover. The band jolts the moody lullaby of Radiohead’s “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” with ’80s hair metal thrash, adding an element of surprise to something familiar. If only The Darkness could do the same to their own songs.

Essential Tracks: “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us”, “Street Spirit (Fade Out)”


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June 7, 2014 at 6:25 am

I for all time emailed this website post page to all my associates, for the reason that if like to read it then my links will too.

September 1, 2012 at 4:01 pm

I’m not sold that the folks at C.O.S. actually listened to this album. It sounds like they stopped the record immediately after the “suck my ______” line. On top of that, they didn’t get the lyrics correct leading up to it. Ballerz gonna ball. Haterz gonna hate. Next time, listen to the album before reviewing it!

August 30, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Jeez, Hate much? It’s The Darkness! Enjoy it for what it is. I think it’s a fantastic release. The Darkness campiness and ‘machismo’ as you called it are the reason they are great. I think you need to get off the high hipster horse you are riding and relax a bit. I (and I imagine most Darkness fans) want The Darkness to be The Darkness. You music reviewers are so pompous that you’ve forgotten the fun in music. Go back to Radiohead and Arcade Fire Land and be gloomy by yourself.

Emily G
September 3, 2012 at 4:41 pm

I agree with you. I think that people – in general – need to keep in mind the music and WHERE/WHO it is coming from. Musically, the album (especially the guitar riffs/solos) are ridiculous. The lyrics are obscene and silly, as The Darkness has always been. If they tried to go down another more “serious” path, they’d be straying away from their original fan-base. It’s good they stayed true to themselves (as corny as that may sound). Anyway, Hot Cakes is dope.

If you want to hear The Darkness play something gloomier like Radiohead, here’s a link to them covering “Street Spirit” :

August 27, 2012 at 7:22 pm

This is a great record – the interviewer probably takes himself too seriously to give a positive review, but if you liked the previous records, you’ll definitely enjoy this album.

Dan Fratoni
August 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm

I streamed the album a few times on Rolling Stone before picking it up on iTunes: Let it grow on you. It’s a fun record!

August 24, 2012 at 9:33 am

“80s hair metal thrash”,my friend that musical genre does not even exist except in your woefully uninformed mind!How the hell do people who have no grasp,let alone appreciation,of this style of music get to review these albums?Take it with a pinch of salt,content in the knowledge that this TWAT has never listened to an album in his life with a smile on his face(something that all The Darkness fans have been privileged to be able to do).Long Live The Darkness!!!!!

August 24, 2012 at 11:59 am

Dickweed, thrash is being used as an adjective and not as a musical genre. Your woeful lack of appreciation for the English language is almost as sad as your understanding of it.

August 22, 2012 at 2:52 pm

It’s not as good as Permission but better than One Way. I’m a fan, so I’m not very objective about this, but I really liked it. But seriously, anyone who cites the band’s lack of musical growth as a criticism shouldn’t be reviewing records at all. There are many bands out there who we’d never expect or even want to change too much, KISS, DEVO and AC/DC come to mind. We love them for the sound they created and that’s what they should stick to. And just to clarify it’s every “man, woman and chile” that wants Justin’s willie in “Every Inch.”


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