Well, it's been ages since I wrote a review, so here is my first one of 2006! Rob
Review: The Darkness - One Way Ticket To Hell
Well, I was one of those people who bought the Darkness' first album "Permission To Land" when it came out. While that album had fun, catchy riffs and great rocking, I have to admit that it hasn't come off my shelf for a while now. It was a short term record. I had some trepidation about getting this album for those reasons.
The album opens with what is probably the most Darkness-y track, the title track. While the chorus may be a bit dodgy, "one way ticket to hell and back" sort of makes it a return ticket really doesn't it? Or did they sneak on the train for the way back! It's actually one of the tracks I play the least but I can't really fault it though.
The next track opens with the most 80's sounding rock intro I've heard for a while. I was beginning to think that they'd covered a Def Leppard track or something! It's classic rock stylee though although I'm not a great fan of piano solos. It's perfectly listenable.
The next track "Is it Just Me" is an OK slab of rock but average compared to many of the tracks on this album. Seems to plod a little. Still has that 80s sound again.
"Dinner Lady Arms" starts with a very Police style intro slowly morphing into Duran Duran! Which isn't such a bad start really. The Darkness appear for real on the very singalong chorus. It shouldn't add up but I actually quite liked this, a bit like the band in general really!
Ballad time with "Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time". Not a fan of ballads really but this was OK.
Quite cheesy, a bit orientally, "Hazel Eyes" has what I think is the naffest chorus of the album! Again, it's OK though but not one I repeat often!
Track 7, "Bald", is one of my favourites. Starting with a very dark (no pun intended) intro, it leads into a big greasy rock riff. Rocking guitars, great vocals and queen-esque harmonies stand this track out for me. It's probably one of the only tracks to retain the ACDC style riffage on the verses which I liked on some of the first albums tracks like "Black Shuck". A goody!
"Girlfriend" starts with what can be only described as a tribute to Status Quo! The first few bars seem to have been lifted from "Rockin' All Over The World" but soon turns into the Darkness. Good Rock'n'Roll, sort of Quo meets ELO with The Darkness thrown in as well. Although I could have done without the trumpets! Interesting synth-esque guitar solo too!
Now, I'm sure The Darkness have listened to a few Sparks tracks in their time and it shows on this track. Probably the silliest track (especially if you read the lyrics!), a love song about a fling at a country fayre! Very Sparks meet Queen with ELO along for the ride. Bouncy, catchy and loopy, it's my favourite track on the album and always gets a smile out of me whenever I play it!
Last track "Blind Man" is a sort of chill-out wind down track. Very Queen in places, ballad-y, and the trumpets aren't as irritating on this. It does sound like it should be a Christmas song though, felt very Christmas-Carolly in places. A good ending though.
Overall, I did like this album, it has plenty of variety and tracks which can suit whatever mood I'm in. I believe there is better in this band to come but this will do for now.