"A Tribute to The Darkness" (Tributized; 2004)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

When I first reviewed The Darkness's "Permission to Land," I gave the CD three chainsaws out of four. After listening to "A Tribute to The Darkness," however, I've been forced to go back and increase the review rating to three and a half chainsaws. Why? Because after listening to the eight Darkness covers on this CD, I've come to the conclusion that the Darkness is the only band that should ever play these songs. The six bands who try here just fail miserably which tells me that The Darkness is better than I originally gave them credit for.

It's not just that these bands can't match the unique voice of Darkness singer Justin Hawkins, it's that the eight tracks covered herein are listless, lifeless and, ultimately, pointless. Maybe the bands here (Pisser, The New York No Stars, Blockk 16, Pure 13, They Why Bothers and U.K. Rock Brigade) are better when they're playing their own material but they're just plain dull here. The soft production doesn't help.

Still, the CD isn't a total loss. Also featured are five tracks bunched together as "The Roots of The Darkness" and they're not half bad. Included are the Mission U.K. re-mix of the classic Sweet track, "Ballroom Blitz," "Cum on Feel the Noize" by Quiet Riot, a cover of Thin Lizzy's "The Boys Are Back in Town" featuring Steve Grimmett, Lea Hart and Ray Callcut (that sometimes sounds like the Sponge Monkeys from, the Die Krupps remix of Lemmy and Ted Nugent covering Queen's "Tie Your Mother Down" and a cover of AC/DC's "Sin City" by Great White. 

It's CDs like this that make online music downloading services so popular. There's no reason to buy (or even listen to) tracks 1 - 8 of this CD, but tracks 9 - 12 are worth a download. Better yet, buy the real "Permission to Land" instead.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 12 Feb 2018 21:33:05 -0500.