Music Review: THE DARKNESS – Hot Cakes

Welcome back my favorite musical guilty pleasure ever: The Darkness. It's been seven years since the UK Glam rockers have unleashed their musical sex upon the human race and that's too long dammit. 'Hot Cakes' is no holds barred 1980's in your face and you're going to like it even if you don't want to.

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'Hot Cakes' is the third studio effort and first record since the band reunited with front-man Justin Hawkins after a lengthy break-up resulting in seven years between albums. This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2012 and I'm proud to say that it didn't end up being a disaster like a few others on that list. I do have some issues with 'Hot Cakes'…. The album cover is kind of gross but maybe that's because I'm more of a waffle guy. I get it, we're being poured with syrupy sex, but I think the art is way too cheesy and not in a good way. Thankfully the music is cheesy, IN a good way.

I do find it odd that Hawkins fires into the chorus of 'Every Inch of You' by screaming that every man, woman and child wants to suck his c*ck. Really? Ummmm….. Ok…. That's not right is it? But anyway, it's a wicked track and reminds us all why The Darkness isn't just some gimmick band. My favorite song on the entire record is 'Concrete' because it highlights the full extent of Hawkins' glass breaking high pitch vocals. That song is so good it isn't fair because the rest of the album doesn't come close despite being solid, so it can be distracting. Aerosmith has 'Dream On' and The Darkness now have 'Concrete'.

The Darkness cover a Radiohead track too, which I found bizarre but it works very well. I did get a little bored by songs like 'Nothins Gonna Stop Us' because I heard that song seven years ago and it was called 'Girlfriend'. Plus it was better. 'Hot Cakes' is a fun romp through time but its more Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure than Back to the Future. If that makes any sense.

I prefer the first two efforts far more, but 'Hot Cakes' is still a good time. Just listen to the track 'Everybody Have a Good Time' and chill out. It's hard to hate on The Darkness for not unleashing some masterpiece after such a long layoff, so I'm cutting them some slack. 'Hot Cakes' after all gets the job done so enjoy some syrupy music sex.

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1. "Every Inch of You"
2. "Nothin's Gonna Stop Us"
3. "With a Woman"
4. "Keep Me Hangin' On"
5. "Living Each Day Blind"
6. "Everybody Have a Good Time"
7. "She Just a Girl, Eddie"
8. "Forbidden Love"
9. "Concrete"
10. "Street Spirit (Fade Out)" (Radiohead Cover)
11. "Love Is Not the Answer"

3.5 Stars