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Darkness Descends

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The Darkness
Darkness Descends

By Shannon McGarvey

It's 6 a.m., the sun is peeking through the slits of my cheap Venetian blinds, and I'm dreaming of The Darkness.

I'm dreaming of David Lee Roth disciples (circa "Panama") kicking and howling, Lycra locked tightly to genital portions of their anatomies. I'm fantasizing Freddie Mercury wannabes, writhing around ridiculously in amplified versions of sexuality, singer Justin Hawkins dressed in white, his neckline a sequin-laced road sign directing all drivers toward testosterone. Yes, I'm contemplating England's latest and greatest addition to rock 'n' roll resurrection, reveling in the rapid eye movement induced by the outlandishly glamorous The Darkness.

If you're perplexed, asking yourself who this mysterious hermaphroditic band is, don't worry: You've only missed the last trend-riddled boat sailing on a flash-in-the-pan musical movement that started about four years ago. But chances are, you've experienced The Darkness' melodramatic exploitation of smoke machines and space-age phalluses in the video for the group's first U.S. single

The Darkness
with
Wildhearts


8:30pm
Tuesday, April 13
Stubb's Bar-B-Q
801 Red River, Austin
512-480-8341


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"I Believe in a Thing Called Love." The video, a modern-day ode to the graces of cheesy rock's back pages - fashioned after Kansas' "Dust in the Wind" and evoking Queen's epic "Bicycle Race" (but lacking the inspired lyricism) - suggests that there's nothing about The Darkness that is new but something about its execution that is oddly intriguing.

The band's debut album, Permission to Land, demonstrates that these guys have mastered the task of fantasy metal kitsch but are cheapened by the fact that they seem to revel in their own blatant lack of originality. Granted, I'd take one thousand bands like The Darkness over one Nelly, but I've come to expect more from modern pseudo-subterranean bands.

Ultimately, music revivals prove trying and desperate. Even though Permission to Land is fun and The Darkness' videos are always amusing, it would be nice to see a band banking on internal impulses instead of sifting through the ashes of dead-and-gone for some morsel of leftover fame. •


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