Two years on from Pinewood Smile and Lowescroft’s favourite sons return with Easter Is Cancelled! Let’s be honest here, there are no major stylistic changes….just ten more tracks of bombastic rock to quench the thirst of all the Darklings out there.
Kicking of with “Rock and Roll Deserves To Die” is a smart move, with gentle acoustic strumming and a restrained vocal performance from Justin Hawkins. Don’t fret Darkness fans, this soon gives way to stomping riffs from the always underrated Dan Hawkins and the return of Justin’s patented vocal histrionics before finishing with a AC/DC-esque flourish; which is exactly how we like it!
What follows finds The Darkness running through their full play book, with commerciality, pomposity, pure rock bravado, a sense of humour and supreme songwriting chops colliding with full effect. Always happy to indulge in their rock god fantasies, this time the lads also drop a little metal into their sound on the likes of the title track and “Heavy Metal Lover”. We approve!
There’s progression on this album but also a nod to their past and “How Can I Lose Your Love” and “Live Til I Die” wouldn’t sound out of place on the unfairly maligned and – virtually never discussed – One Way Ticket to Hell …and Back.
With Easter Is Cancelled, The Darkness have yet again shown they are one of the finest hard rock bands around, UK or otherwise. Yes, they can be ridiculously silly and highly divisive. However, time and time again they have proven themselves to be not just consummate entertainers but great songwriters as well. If The Darkness irritate you then this album will do little to change your mind. On the other hand, if you are a fan, then never mind Easter being cancelled, Christmas has come early! 8/10
Easter is Cancelled was released on 4th October 2019 through Canary Dwarf and Cooking Vinyl.