The Darkness will be releasing their new album, entitled Last of Our Kind, on June 1. It will be the fourth album from the rock band led by Justin Hawkins, and their first with Emily Dolan Davies as the group's new drummer. Guitarist and backing vocalist Dan Hawkins and bassist Frankie Poullain both return for the latest record.
Last of Our Kind's first single is "Open Fire," while the album's opening track has been announced as "Barbarian." Other songs included are the title piece, as well as "Roaring Waters," "Wheels Of The Machine," "Mighty Wings," "Mudslide," "Sarah O’Sarah," "Hammer & Tongs," and "Conquerors."
In anticipation of the album's release the band is currently on the road, having played several sold-out shows in Ireland earlier this month, tying into the fact that the new record was recorded on the country's Valentia Island. Ahead of them are the Pistoia Blues Festival in Pistoia, Italy (July 18), Boardmasters in Newquay, UK (August 5) and the Leyendas de Rock Festival in Alicante, Spain (August 8). More dates are expected to be announced.
It's been a long and winding road for the group that's marking its fifteenth anniversary this year. The Darkness were formed in 2000, but didn't shoot to fame until 2003 and the release of their first album, Permission to Land. That album contained their best-known song, "I Believe in a Thing Called Love," which registered on 11 charts worldwide, including Billboard's Pop Songs Chart (No. 35) and Alternative Songs Chart (No. 9).
The band subsequently won three BRIT Awards - the British equivalent of Grammys - in 2004, including Best British Group, Best British Rock Act, and Best British Album. But their second album, 2005's One Way Ticket To Hell...And Back, didn't reach the sales success of its predecessor and received mixed reviews. Then Hawkins entered rehab in 2006, effectively shuttering The Darkness for several years.
Yet in early 2011, the band came back together with a new single, appropriately titled "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us," being released the following year. Third album Hot Cakes received a much warmer response than the record before it and charted extensively, including in three U.S. categories: Billboard's Hard Rock Albums Chart (No. 2), Rock Albums Chart (No. 12) and the Billboard 200 (No. 43). The band also served as Lady Gaga's opening act for her European and African dates.
Are The Darkness back? With the exception of making the transition between longtime drummer Ed Graham and Dolan Davies, it would seem so. The early cuts from Last of Our Kind have the same combination of aggression and irreverence that has defined the band - they're rocking hard, but really they just want to have a good time, and they want audiences to have a good time, too. Expect them to make a splash when this record arrives in June.
Last of Our Kind can be pre-ordered through the band's website.
For more on Justin Hawkins, visit his artist page at AXS.