The Darkness

Pinewood Smile

Cooking Vinyl

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If you loved the Darkness the first time round then you won't be disappointed by Pinewood Smile. After a two-year break the four-piece is back, this time with the drumming skills of Rufus Tiger Taylor (son of Queen's Roger Taylor).

Pinewood Smile is a darker and more grown up disc. If you are expecting more of what made Justin and co famous (I Believe in a Thing Called Love) you'll be happy to hear the pop style rock of the poodle rock days is still there. Justin's vocals soar as the anthemic style that is their trademark flies with the progressive rock of Status Quo. There is a richness that is reminiscent of Steven Tyler and Axl Rose, while the lyrics are still very much tongue-in-cheek but with a darker edge reflecting what has been happening to the band recently. All the Pretty Girls is one of the camper tracks on the album, with new ground being trod with Southern Trains a fast, frantic and very sweary dark thrash about, whereas Solid Gold is full of the frustrations of the modern music business.

RACHEL HOWDLE