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The Dark­ness were a won­der­ful anom­aly when they blew up like a cat­suited fire­work in 2003 and brought the sound of a cranked Mar­shall back into the charts for an equally be­wil­dered and de­lighted main­stream. Their post-re­union era, how­ever, has found them in a place where they might be some­what un­der­ap­pre­ci­ated. Times have changed but the Hawkins broth­ers haven’t and they are still ut­terly com­mit­ted to the de­liv­ery of rock. There’s a punk spirit to the way

PinewoodSmile makes no apolo­gies. Solid Gold’s clas­sic riff strut sums that up in tongue-in-cheek splen­dour (‘And we’re never gonna stop / shit­ting out solid gold’). And we can’t think of an­other band who would chan­nel their rage at un­com­fort­able com­mutes to the record­ing stu­dio like the hi­lar­i­ously fierce South­ernTrains. They’re sat­is­fy­ing rock­ers but the band like to branch out, and the de­but of drum­mer Ru­fus Tay­lor has added twists and turns to Ja­panese Pris­oner Of Love.

It’s easy to for­get how good The Dark­ness are in pop­pier, nos­tal­gic ter­ri­tory –I Wish I Was In Heaven puts Justin Hawkin’s falsetto to full use and Hap­pi­ness is the al­bum’s Fri­dayNight, punc­tu­ated by trade­mark gui­tar breaks. Un­apolo­get­i­cally Dark­ness. Just as we want them. Rob Laing DOWN­LOAD Buc­ca­neers Of His panio la

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