Last of Our Kind

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Last of Our Kind
TheDarknessLastOfOurKind.jpg
Studio album by
Released27 May 2015 (2015-05-27)
Recorded2014-2015 at The Hawks Nest (Norfolk)
Genre
Length41:27
LabelCanary Dwarf
ProducerDan Hawkins
The Darkness chronology
Hot Cakes
(2012)
Last of Our Kind
(2015)
Pinewood Smile
(2017)
Singles from Last of Our Kind
  1. "Barbarian"
    Released: 8 March 2015
  2. "Open Fire"
    Released: 25 May 2015
  3. "Last of Our Kind"
    Released: 29 July 2015
  4. "Million Dollar Strong"
    Released: 30 October 2015
  5. "I Am Santa"
    Released: 19 November 2015
Alternate cover
Deluxe edition cover
Deluxe edition cover

Last of Our Kind is the fourth studio album by British hard rock band The Darkness. Produced by the band's guitarist Dan Hawkins at his studio The Hawks Nest in Norfolk, it was first released on 27 May 2015 in Japan, and later in other territories, by Canary Dwarf Records. The album is the first and only by the band to feature drummer Emily Dolan Davies, who replaced Ed Graham in 2014 before leaving less than a year later. The album also features Frankie Poullain on lead vocals for the first time on the final track Conquerors. The album was promoted via PledgeMusic, with the band offering signed copies of the album on both CD and vinyl, as well as signed guitars, handwritten lyric sheets and setlists from the band's archive.[1]

Recording and production[edit]

Last of Our Kind was entirely written in Ireland, then produced by guitarist Dan Hawkins at his own recording studio at Leeders Farm, in Norfolk.[2] Around fifteen songs were in contention for the final track listing; ten appear on the standard release, with the Japanese and Best Buy releases containing two exclusive bonus tracks, while another – "Million Dollar Strong" – was played live during their warm-up tour of Ireland in March 2015.[3] A special edition of the album was also released in November 2015, containing four bonus tracks.

Release and promotion[edit]

The first song revealed from the album was Barbarian, which was released on 23 February at the same time as the album's official announcement.[2][4] "Barbarian" was released as the first promotional single on 8 March 2015. A PledgeMusic page was set up to promote the album before release.[5] The release of Last of Our Kind was preceded by a tour of Ireland in March 2015.[6] The second promotional single from the album, "Open Fire", premiered on 23 March, followed by an official chart release on 25 May 2015.[7] Following the departure of Emily Dolan Davies from the band, The Darkness performed live for the first time with current drummer Rufus Taylor, the son of Queen's Roger Taylor, at an album launch party, hosted for fans at London's Gibson Guitar Studio on April 23. [8]A third single, "Last of Our Kind", was released on July 29, accompanied by an in-studio promotional video, which features the band alongside a select number of fans.[9] The album was re-released on 20 November 2015, with alternative, Christmas-themed cover and four bonus tracks including the singles "Million Dollar Strong" and "I Am Santa".[10]

Critical reception[edit]

Journalist J.C. Maçek III of Spectrum Culture wrote "This fourth album was produced by guitarist Dan Hawkins who proves to be a genius with this style of music, especially when evoking the most primal wails of his brother, vocalist Justin Hawkins."[11]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic63/100[12]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[13]
Kerrang!4/5 stars[14]
Classic Rock4/5 stars[15]
Spectrum Culture3/5 stars[11]

Music and lyrics[edit]

Frontman Justin Hawkins has described the album as "brutal", adding that "It's definitely stripped back with the exception of some mandolins. But when you're doing medieval rock, you should have a mandolin on it ... It's medieval rock, but it still sounds like The Darkness. It's medi-urban, I suppose".[2] Explaining the meaning of the lyrics more deeply, the singer has noted that they "describe the Viking invasion of East Anglia which culminated in the decapitation of Edmund the Martyr", describing the thematic basis as "classic Darkness".[2]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Justin Hawkins, Dan Hawkins and Frankie Poullain; "Mudslide" and "Messenger" co-written by Emily Dolan Davies, "I Am Santa" co-written by Rufus Taylor.

No.TitleLength
1."Barbarian"3:34
2."Open Fire"4:01
3."Last of Our Kind"4:09
4."Roaring Waters"4:38
5."Wheels of the Machine"3:07
6."Mighty Wings"5:46
7."Mudslide"3:25
8."Sarah O'Sarah"3:52
9."Hammer & Tongs"4:02
10."Conquerors"4:55

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2015) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[17] 23
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[18] 53
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[19] 56
Irish Albums (IRMA)[20] 49
Italian Albums (FIMI)[21] 36
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[22] 43
UK Albums (OCC)[23] 12
UK Rock Chart[24] 1
UK Indie Chart[25] 2
UK Vinyl Chart 4
US Billboard 200[26] 125
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[27] 13
US Top Hard Rock Albums (Billboard)[28] 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Darkness: Last Of Our Kind".
  2. ^ a b c d "The Darkness: 'Last Of Our Kind' Album Due In June; 'Barbarian' Video Released". Blabbermouth.net. 23 February 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  3. ^ Chromeboy2003 (19 March 2015). "The Darkness – Million Dollar Strong, Live at Dolans Warehouse, Limerick Ireland, 14 March 2015" – via YouTube.
  4. ^ Leight, Elias (23 February 2015). "Exclusive Premiere: The Darkness Return With 'Barbarian' Video". Billboard. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  5. ^ "The Darkness Return with Viking-Themed Song 'Barbarian', New Album 'Last of Our Kind' (Audio)". Rock Cellar Magazine. 23 February 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  6. ^ "The Darkness Unleash Barbarian". Classic Rock. TeamRock. 23 February 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  7. ^ "THE DARKNESS: New Single 'Open Fire' Available For Streaming". Blabbermouth.net. 23 March 2015. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  8. ^ "The Darkness Setlist at Gibson Guitar Studio, London". setlist.fm.
  9. ^ "Premiere: The Darkness' brand new video". www.gigwise.com.
  10. ^ "THE DARKNESS To Release Deluxe Edition Of 'Last Of Our Kind' Featuring Four New Songs". 30 October 2015.
  11. ^ a b J.C. Maçek III (July 7, 2015). "Last of Our Kind". Spectrum Culture.
  12. ^ "Last of Our Kind by The Darkness". Metacritic. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  13. ^ James Christopher Monger (August 11, 2015). "Last of Our Kind". AllMusic.
  14. ^ "Last of Our Kind". Kerrang!. 30 May 2015.
  15. ^ Everley, Dave (11 May 2015). "The Darkness: Last Of Our Kind". Classic Rock. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  16. ^ "Last of Our Kind (Deluxe Edition) by The Darkness on Apple Music".
  17. ^ "Australiancharts.com – The Darkness – Last of Our Kind". Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  18. ^ "Austriancharts.at – The Darkness – Last of Our Kind" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  19. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  20. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 23, 2015". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  21. ^ "Italiancharts.com – The Darkness – Last of Our Kind". Hung Medien. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  22. ^ "Swisscharts.com – The Darkness – Last of Our Kind". Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  23. ^ "The Darkness | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  24. ^ "Rock Albums". BBC.
  25. ^ "Indie Albums". BBC.
  26. ^ "The Darkness Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  27. ^ "The Darkness Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  28. ^ "The Darkness Chart History (Top Hard Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 11 June 2015.