by Emery Columna –
I happened upon the latest album from The Darkness through a Facebook friend’s posting of a Dan Hawkins interview talking about his riffs on their latest album, Last of Our Kind. Needless to say, I was overjoyed to hear this kind of music coming to me again from England, the country of origin for my favorite Rock music going on 45 years now.
I was deeply affected by their song, Last of Our Kind. I realized that is me in more ways than one. If I pass without an heir… IT will be lost with me and nothing will be passed on to future generations… so I could relate to that song… about meeting my Kin, especially my Father’s Father who gave IT to me, in the great beyond and then be forgotten, lost to eternity with no one to carry on the line of One of a Kinds… But that is another story to tell at some point in the future.
It was this album and a phone call in August to a friend in the music business that inspired me to start MAAF Box to see if I could do anything to help stem the tide that threatens to vanquish what is left of once legions of real musicians who now face a life reduced to being a travelling minstrel… moving from town to town playing for food and lodging. There are no vast budgets of tour support from the dwindling music business and there is less risk taking and artist development for new artists at the major label level.
And we move on.
Someone must really dig The Darkness as much as I do and is bankrolling them. My compliments to that entity or person.
This album is produced like the great albums used to be and is very much like a 5 on a side vinyl LP. I am a sucker for the Les Paul & Marshall sound and this album is chock full of glorious power chords and tasty, singing lead guitar.
This is one of those albums that you can listen to in one sitting and wonder why it has to stop. The Darkness wears their influences on their sleeves well and in Justin’s case, the tattoos on his fingers.
I hear the music of British Rock exported to the USA for the past 50 years in The Darkness’ songs, most notably for me in Hammer and Tongs, which is very Rolling Stonesy. To me, this music is comfortingly familiar. It is what I call, Radio Friendly. I can hear this music playing in “heavy rotation”, if these are even concepts anymore.
When I first heard Justin back in 2004, I could hear Freddie Mercury. At the time, I did not know that Justin really digs Queen or about the tattoos… all these years later he has Tiger Taylor, Roger Taylor’s son, on drums now. I love the way Frankie sounds on bass with Rufus on drums. They form a solid, thumping rhythm section that Dan augments with glorious, crunchy rhythm guitar whilst Justin sort of levitates above it all with his stylish vocals and underrated lead guitar.
In my opinion, Last of Our Kind is one of THE BEST albums of 2015.
MAAF Box Rating:
MAAF Box Listening Pleasure: Barbarian, Open Fire, Last of Our Kind, Roaring Waters, Wheels of the Machine, Mudslide, Sarah O’Sarah, Hammer and Tongs.