Last Of Our Kind is very similar to PTL in that sense, but also quite similar to their second album, One Way Ticket... To Hell And Back in many other ways. Mainly the way they are utilizing other instruments than just guitar, bass and drums, and that the songs are more varied - not only straight forward hard rock. In almost every song on Last Of Our Kind, you can hear the use of mandolin, and in Mighty Wings there's a fair bit of synth in the mix.
The Darkness released the album-teaser Barbarian earlier this year, along with a barbaric music video to bring some attention to their new musical masterpiece that was about to arrive. Personally, Barbarian wasn't the horn on the viking-helmet for me. The guitar riff is heavy and dangerous, but the whole theme of vikings and barbarians didn't initially float my viking-ship. Might have something to do with me being Norwegian / a Viking, and being exposed to such culture all the time.
The first official single from the album, Open Fire, however, made me curious. Especially after they released the music video accompanying the song (can be seen below), which was partially filmed at Valentia Island in Ireland. That is also where they went for inspiration, and wrote most of the tracks on this album. The video really got me, because it is AMAZING. It's so cool. Really - it's just f***ing cool! That's what I like. The video had me listening to the song on repeat. Open Fire is once more a heavy track, with a crystal clear inspiration from The Cult's She Sells Sanctuary. This isn't the only song on the album where they wear their inspirations on their sleeves.
Like I said, this time they are doing what they want without thinking about having to write a monster-hit. The songs on this album are not just heavy rock and roll, but they also have the obligatory ballad / power ballad, as well as a monstrous proggy, thrashy (we can go on forever) songs that is Mighty Wings.
The balladous (ballodic? balladian?) portion of the album consists of the songs Wheels Of The Machine and Sarah O' Sarah. Two heartfelt songs that show Justin Hawkins' true writing skills outside of the c̶o̶c̶k̶ tongue in cheek, innuendo lyrics to Mudslide (although quite deliberately disclaimed in the opening monologue) - which is a skill of its own, I guess!
Roaring Waters come at you with one of the coolest riffs on the album. You are also in for a treat if you like abrupt changes in rhythm! I envision this song as the soundtrack to a barbaric movie where we sail a big viking ship on the open sea towards lands that require pillaging.
Last Of Our Kind, the title track, is nothing more than brilliant. This is the ultimate chant for the Darklings (fans of The Darkness). Not only because the lyrics speak to the world about how we are the defenders of the legacy of rock and roll, but also because 236 fans are singing in the song as the TDA Choir (The Darkness Army / fanclub)! I expected this song to be a compulsory track in their live set, but they unfortunately didn't play it at Sweden Rock Festival. However, if you see them on their Blast Of Our Kind Tour at the end of this year, I bet they'll probably play it then. It is amazing.
Lastly, Frankie Poullain (bassist and cowbellea) rounds up this irresponsibly amazing album with a ballad-y track called Conquerors, which sounds huge. It's like the song that would play at the end of a movie when everybody walks home again after a crazy party the night before, smiling at what happened last night (not the case with Frankie in this song). By the way - what a voice on that Scotsman! He can sing. Let him have the center stage for this one, boys!
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