The Darkness return with their second album, One Way Ticket To Hell...And Back, released through Atlantic Records on November 29.
Everything you've heard is true. All of it. The exhaustion and the fear, the pressure, paranoia and pan pipes, the breakdowns and break--ups, the sackings, sitar solos and endless studio sessions, and now ultimately -- with this, their second album -- the rebirth and redemption of The Darkness.
One Way Ticket To Hell...And Back is the conclusion of a year--long journey from Lowestoft to London and from Monmouth to LA to prove to everyone (and themselves) just how utterly irrelevant every other band is right now. To create the album they simply had no choice but to make. To prove The Darkness are still the world's greatest band.
Lest we forget, since they released their first e.p in 2002, The Darkness have achieved more than most bands could ever dream of. Over 3.5 million copies of their number one debut album (2003's Permission To Land) sold world--wide, with 1.5 million in the UK alone, an unprecedented three sold out nights at Wembley Arena, four Top 10 singles, three Brits, an Ivor Novello 'Songwriters Of The Year' award and a Reading & Leeds Festival headlining slot. This was success on a scale not witnessed for generations.
So, when it came to making a second album, the stakes were high. This meant finding an extraordinary producer that could realise their ambitions. Enter Roy Thomas Baker, affectionately know as RTB, responsible for crafting some of the most impressive and influential records of all time with a resume that includes Queen, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Free and The Who.
RTB isn't an ordinary producer in the same way that The Darkness aren't an ordinary band. He and the band were introduced in Los Angeles, instantly bonded over a mutual love of rock and were able to start assembling the album together. "Roy Thomas Baker is a genius, that's all there is to say about it." Justin declares, "It's been a privilege to watch that man work, his ear is perfect, his instinct fabulous."
One Way Ticket To Hell...And Back is a big f*ck--off rock album about faith lost and restored, and about love lost and found. The Darkness really didn't have any choice but to make a record this good. The stakes were too high and the sheer, superhuman feat of pulling it back from the edge (an effort that would most likely kill any lesser band stone--dead) has done nothing but steel their resolve and drive them to make what had to be -- and is -- the finest rock album of the past twenty years.
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