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THE DARKNESS - One Way Ticket To Hell...   Print  E-mail 
Written by Mark Reed  
Saturday, 03 December 2005
Shit Sandwich? Nein Danke.


The Darkness try to beat 'difficult Second Album syndrome' with more of the same, and end ultimately disappointing. With no musical progression, the same playground lyrics (but now trying to be serious, and thus, just dull and boring), and a lack of gobsmackingly good songs, "One Way Ticket To Hell" does exactly that - but never comes back from the precipe.


For their debut, The Darkness managed to cover their flaws with enthusiasm and speed, whereas now, from the slower, almost mogadon riffage of the title track - nothing more than a half-baked AC/DC clone - to the final track, the predictably sensitive ballad, this scant 35 minute excursion harks back to a distant and best-forgotten age : the height of prog rock, 1973-75. Anyone listening to this and enjoying it should be set afire for encouraging the mediocrity of thinking that will see us drown in identikit sludge of a moribund, dead culture by 2010.


"Dinner Lady Arms" is OK, but could've been written by Warrant in 1989. "Knockers" meanwhile, borrows most of it's musical backdrop from PiL's illadvised 1986 LA metal experiment "Album",  "Hazel Eyes" has a good chorus, but little else, and the rest of it just blurs into one long piece of under-written, indistinguishable balderdash. Which is a great shame, because their debut promised great things.


In many ways, it's the best album Queen never made. The trademarks of producer Roy Baker are there (flawless, boring and anodyne guitar solos, multitracked chorus vocals, inaudible bass and minimal drum work), and the debt to June 1973 is larger than that of some Third World countries. The tricks of the trade fail to hide the shortcomings of lazy songwriting - the joke is wearing thinner than their hair. There's only so many times multi-tracked vocals falling through the octaves and pedestrian orchestral arrangements can cover a lack of good ideas.  

In the end, "One Way Ticket" is a shit sandwich. Short, unadventurous, lyrically bland, and proof that the one trick pony needs to be taken to the knackers yard.  Fuck me, it's shit. I really wish they'd split up now and left us with glorious memories, not current disapppointments.


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