The Darkness Do What They Do Best Which Is Rock Hard and Get Weird with New Album Motorheart

4.5 out of 5 stars

From the opening song “Welcome Tae Glasgae” that goes from a pulsating sound to an absolute raging rock breakout all the way through to the last song “So Long” which is a trimmed down acoustic song (1 of 3 extra songs added for the deluxe release of the album), Motorheart is another notch in the rock bedposts for UK band The Darkness.

The shredding guitars and the absolutely banging drums are an absolute pleasure to listen to. Lead singer Justin Hawkins’ voice is always about adding the highest octave falsettos possible too. 

The music of The Darkness harkens back to the glam rock days with a good chunk of Prog Rock added into their sound as well. They got pretty big back in 2003 with the release of their first album Permission to Land which had the hit single “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” which became a worldwide hit.

They still haven’t quite recaptured the lightning in a bottle from that song, but their music has never really disappointed. Also, I haven’t seen The Darkness in concert myself, but from the videos I have seen, and from all accounts, they seem to put on an absolutely thrashing stage show.

If you are not into weird rock, they are definitely not going to be your thing though. It’s a tightrope they walk, and their sound isn’t for everyone, but the title track on this album “Motorheart” is a great example of just how strange the music, the vocals, AND the subject matter can be in one song.

The song is talking about having an android as a lover, and starts off with the lines:

I never have to listen to ridiculous opinions
She never tries to make me into one of her minions
The touch of a button, a steely caress
You need a Phillips screwdriver to get her undressed

It’s a five-minute David Bowie meets Coheed and Cambria sci-fi rock opera that is intriguing and off putting and totally rocking all at that same time.

My two favorite songs on the album are probably “The Power and the Glory of Love” which is very reminiscent of their early music and has a great guitar all over it (both solos and the riffs in general), and “Nobody Can See Me Cry” which is just a speed song that makes you want to dance your ass off.

Sticky Situations” which is a pretty proper rock ballad in the vein of Def Leppard brings a lot of love song into the middle of this album.

I think my least favorite song on the album is “Jussy’s Girl” which is just too much of an 80’s throwback and almost plagiarizes Rick Springfield in subject matter except to say “I wish YOU” were “Jussy’s Girl” instead of “I wish that I HAD Jesse’s girl.” That’s not to say that the song isn’t still decent. I would have just preferred it was not released at all or as a single and not on the album.

The bonus songs are actually all pretty decent too. I would say “It’s a Love Thang (You Wouldn’t Understand)” and “So Long” are a couple of the best songs on this album.

This album is totally worth checking out even if you haven’t gotten into The Darkness before.

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