Depending on how you view these things, the Darkness arrived either two decades too late or a decade-or-so too early. The band’s great first album, Permission To Land, came out in 2003: If it had come out in 1983, it would have been right at home alongside releases by bands like Judas Priest, the Scorpions, and AC/DC. If the Darkness were an emerging artist this year, they’d be part of a trad-metal revival that includes everything from Ranger to Enforcer to Crypt Sermon. The Darkness’ stock would be especially high right now due to the fact that the band’s frontman, Justin Hawkins, had co-written one of the best songs on Weezer’s 2014 comeback, Everything Will Be Alright In The End (said song being “I’ve Had It Up To Here”). So it’s an apt moment for the Darkness to return with a new album, their fourth, following 2012’s underrated Hot Cakes. The new LP will be called Last Of Our Kind and it’s preceded today by the lead single, “Barbarian.” I want to love this because I honestly love all three Darkness albums, but to my ear, “Barbarian” is a pretty weak song by Darkness standards, and the idea that the Darkness are the “last of their kind” is a fallacy: Right now, there are more bands playing in this style than there have been since the mid-’80s. That said, I would be pretty damn surprised if the new record didn’t contain a few bangers, and maybe “Barbarian” is better than I’m giving it credit for. Listen and watch the comic book-style lyric video below; let me know what you think.
Last Of Our Kind is out 6/1 via the Darkness.