Album Review: The Darkness – Pinewood Smile

The Darkness
Pinewood Smile
(Cooking Vinyl)

One of the most eccentric and electrifying rock ‘n’ roll bands of this era, The Darkness, will be releasing their fifth studio album on October 6, 2017 through Cooking Vinyl. Pinewood Smile is autobiographical album that is infused with high-pitched distortions, catchy riffs, added drums and guitars, and lead singer Justin Hawkins’ insane falsettos. This is also the first album with their drummer, Rufus Taylor (son of Queen’s Roger Taylor).

The band worked with Grammy Award winning engineer/mixer/ producer, Adrian Bushby. Some of Bushby’s work includes The Foo Fighters on their Echos, Silence & Grace album and Muse’s Resistance.

With a more modern approach, the band really demonstrates their musical range yet also stick to their roots of classic rock. The guitars and drumming in this album are definitely more aggressive and evident than any of their previous work, which makes the album completely mind-blowing. The Darkness has been listening to a lot of George Harrison and Guns n’ Roses. Mix that with Bushby on this album, it really goes to show how they can play classic rock with a modern twist.

Pinewood Smile starts out with their hit, “All the Pretty Girls,” which vividly sets the tone of the whole beats-oriented and electrifying album. The heavy guitar riffs of “Buccaneers of Hispaniola” and the 80s big hair rock n’roll chant song “Solid Gold” where they sing, And we’re never going to stop/ shitting out solid gold illustrates the musical and humorous creativity that these guys can create.

The album also includes the 80s metal-like tune “Southern Trains” and the slower tune “Why Don’t the Beautiful Cry.” “Japanese Prisoner of Love” starts off with metal-like guitar riffs and then transitions to melodic rock verses and stays that way throughout the whole song. Other songs include the slower tune “Lay Down With Me, Barbera” and the super catchy and falsetto track “Wish I was in Heaven”

“Happiness” makes a person want to rewind to the best summer of their lives. The final track on the album “Stampede of Love,” is a slower tune that has a little folk feel mixed with some unbelievable guitar shredding and screaming which is a perfect way to end the album.

Purchase the album here.

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