By Emma Towers
The first single from their sixth album, Easter Is Cancelled, is Rock and Roll Deserves to Die. It was released on 6t August 2019.
As much as this is a controversial statement, the music video, however, rather suggests that it’s more tongue in cheek. Which makes more sense coming from a British hard rock band.
Rather than letting rock n’ roll die, it seems The Darkness think it deserves to be reborn, just as they have been over the past few years.
‘Dressed up in the emperor’s old clothes / And they’re pulling at a thread / Naked with your empty heart exposed / You will wish that you were dead’
As the heart of the guitar and the drums kick in, along with Hawkins’s high-pitched vocals, it’s clear we’re heading for something great. With its repeating lines, ‘‘Rock and roll, your time has finally come’, ‘I am afraid you must die’ or ‘Now I’m afraid you must die’, it’s got the fun but powerful and catchy lyrics that you’d expect from the band. It’ll have you singing along from the first minute. Don’t expect to forget the chorus too quickly.
As the video continues, the band showcase the pretence of some rock acts, with their suit and bowties. Thankfully, this act is later dropped and replaced by a very different look, but they do look lovely all dressed up.
Justin keeps us hooked with his stage presence and magnetism, which is equally matched by the talent the other band members display. Yet the band are interrupted to be asked to play ‘softer’ during the next chorus. This allows for another few softly sung lines of lyrics to make you question the rockers we look up and listen to.
‘All of us have built a house of cards… Charlatans all tattoos and no scars / Nothing real to perform’
And for these apparent sins, ‘judgement’ has been passed, and it’s time for the sinners to tie their colours ‘to a sinking galleon’s mast’. The serious tone is soon lost as Justin sings ‘Now I am afraid you must die’ once more, and things take a more ridiculous, but funny turn.
Hilarity ensues as the more the band sings ‘die’ and hammer away at their instruments, their hair and the audience’s flies off too, as do their clothes… – the ass cheeks of Justin are the closing shot. But what more would you expect of him? Hopefully not him turning around, it would have been nice to see a catsuit or two. (They feature in their latest music video for Heart Explodes, as well as Dan in a Thin Lizzy t-shirt, Frankie’s on point suits and Rufus is adorable as always.)
Whether you feel that this song is a comment on today’s rock n’ roll sound, or a funny and exceptional first single, you can hardly deny it’s awesome.