The Darkness – Easter Is Cancelled (Cooking Vinyl)

Fair play to The Darkness. Notice of Easter’s cancellation has been served at least six months in advance. Thanks to Justin Hawkins and co. nobody will be caught cold when the Easter Bunny stays bedded down in his burrow, the Church of England scraps the most significant religious celebration of the year and Cadbury’s shelve Creme Eggs (even the limited edition white ones). Nobody can say they didn’t see it coming.

The same can’t be said for Easter Is Cancelled: the sixth – and best – album by The Darkness. Conceivably, that’s a claim far wilder than the flashiest of Justin’s tasselled jump suits. But like every aspect of the Easter story, it’s 100% true.

It’s a boast steadfastly supported by sublime songwriting, those uplifting melodies and lyrical twists that carried this legendary band to the lofty heights of number one 16 years hence and an overriding sense that the shackles have been removed once and for all.

Easter Is Cancelled has the power to reduce Pinewood Smile to a grimace. Last Of Our Kind sounds like the last chance saloon by comparison. Hot Cakes comes across utterly undercooked and only the band’s first two long players come anywhere close to what will surely prove to be a career-defining statement of brash creativity.

Which, when all is said and done, is incredibly sad. You see, nobody will ever hear Easter Is Cancelled, according to the album’s chief protagonist and possessor of the most unique shriek in British rock.

During a typically daring exchange with fans at this summer’s Ramblin’ Man Fair, Justin reminded those present ‘We’re still making albums’. The Darkness’s flamboyant frontman went on to add ‘but none of you c***s are buying them’.

That must be a recent thing. Some c***s definitely bought Pinewood Smile a couple of years back. Enough, in fact, to fire Easter Is Cancelled’s perfunctory predecessor into the top 10 of the UK album charts. More c***s still bought copies of Last Of Our Kind and c***s across the country put their hands in their pockets to secure a top five berth for Hot Cakes.

But if we take Justin at his word and concede that nobody – not even the old c***s at Ramblin’ Man Fair – is buying Darkness records these days then the cancellation of Easter is the very least of our worries.

It means an entire generation will miss out on the self-deprecating joy that is Rock And Roll Deserves To Die. It means Deck Chair’s casual refrain will be lost on lovers of lascivious, laid-back lounge music. And it means Heavy Metal Lover – a crazed beast of an anti-love anthem – has no future whatsoever.

So come on c***s everywhere. Easter might be cancelled but Christmas is still alive and kicking. Pick up the perfect present and prove Justin wrong. It’s win-win. And it might just persuade The Darkness to deliver another album sometime soon.