The Darkness – Hot Cakes
Smut’s always been a core ingredient of The Darkness’s overstretched shtick, but I could swear it used to come with more wit. The glam riff and louche lyrics of third album opener Every Inch of You pick up precisely where they left off, but when the guitars are silenced for a falsetto ‘suck my cooooooock!’, you can’t help but long for the comparatively sophisticated double entendres of past releases.
Blunt knob gags aside, fatigue blights Hot Cakes. The Darkness once conquered charts and hearts by virtue of a razor-sharp pop nous and inherent sense of fun, but both assets have since waned. Yet while seemingly locked in a terminal regression, the formula still occasionally comes through: Everybody Have a Good Time offers enjoyably mindless rock n roll thrills, while their cover of Street Spirit – a live staple, pitched between Iron Maiden and Skunk Anansie – is splendidly irreverent.