RAT Rock News

RAT Rock News

Rock is a far more diverse genre than it often gets credit for. If you want proof, look no further than our friends from the U.K. and Ireland.

There are a bunch of very popular bands in the U.K. and Ireland that just haven’t taken off in the States for one reason or another. One of those bands is The Darkness, whose debut album, Permission to Land, turns 20 today (July 7) In the States, the LP is best known for its wild single “I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” but the album also boasts killer tracks like “Black Shuck,” “Get Your Hands off My Woman,” “Growing on Me” and “Love Is Only a Feeling.”

 

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The Darkness followed Permission to Land with 2005’s One Way Ticket to Hell…and Back, which doubles down on the glam and, perhaps, was just too English and cheeky for most American audiences. Like Permssion to Land, the album still contains a bunch of bangers, like the title track, “Knockers” and “Is It Just Me?”

 

Sadly, The Darkness fell into the usual trappings of rock stardom. Singer Justin Hawkins went to rehab for drug and alcohol issues in 2006, which led to the band going on a five-year hiatus that saw them pursue other projects. In 2011, they would reform. The following year, they dropped their third studio album Hot Cakes, which contains the biographical song “Every Inch of You” that still slaps more than a decade later.

Since then, they’ve released four additional studio albums and continue to carry the torch for glam rock in a way few other bands really have.

Of course, there are plenty of other bands that, like The Darkness, should really be given another look by American rock fans. Keep scrolling to see which other acts you should check out sooner than later that Americans just don’t seem to “get.”

  • The Darkness

    Okay, so the intro of this list was spent making the case for checking out The Darkness’ catalog, but if you get the chance to see the band live, it’ll be a show that’ll rank among the most fun you’ll ever attend.

    True story: When The Darkness was touring the U.S. in support of 2012’s Hot Cakes, this author told her future husband they needed to go to one of their shows. While the future husband was apprehensive about the suggestion (“Really? The ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love’ guys?), the show, as promised, was ridiculously awesome and led to him saying afterward, “You were right. That was one of the best shows I’ve ever been to!”

    As luck would have it, The Darkness is touring the U.S. in the Fall and will be performing Permission to Land in its entirety. A full list of dates can be found at TheDarknessLive.com.

  • Stereophonics

    A unique combination of Britpop and alternative, Stereophonics is fronted by Kelly Jones, whose voice will make you ask, “What are they putting in the water in Wales?” (Coincidently, the band collaborated with fellow Welsh gem Tom Jones on a brilliant cover of Three Dog Night’s “Mama Told Me Not To Come” featured on Jones’ 1999 album Reload.)

    Their track “Dakota” off their fifth studio album, Language. Sex. Violence. Other?, is their only song to chart in the U.S., peaking at number 34 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. However, fans of the FX series Rescue Me might recognize another track from that album, “Devil,” which is featured on the series’ 2006 soundtrack LP.

  • The Jam

    There’s a good chance you’ve heard “Town Called Malice,” and if you haven’t, you can listen to it below. That track alone is reason enough to check out the rest of The Jam’s catalog. The Jam’s frontman/primary songwriter Paul Weller is an icon in his native U.K., and it could be argued that without Weller, there may not be an Oasis.

  • The Stone Roses

    Yet another major Oasis influence and straight out of Manchester, England as well, The Stone Roses only released two studio albums: 1989’s The Stone Roses and 1994’s Second Coming. They remain some of the most beloved albums among U.K. rock fans to this day. While The Stone Roses appeared on the alternative rock charts in the U.S. with “I Wanna Be Adored,” “Love Spreads,” “One Love,” and “Fools Gold/What the World Is Waiting For,” they just never reached the level of worship among Americans as they have with the Brits. Frankly, that should change.

  • Thin Lizzy

    The inclusion of Thin Lizzy might be semi-controversial to some, but let’s face facts: Very little Thin Lizzy gets attention in the States outside of “The Boys Are Back in Town,” “Whiskey in the Jar” and “Jailbreak.” There are loads of gems in the Thin Lizzy catalog like “The Rocker” from 1973’s Vagabonds of the Western World, which can be heard below. The entire Jailbreak record is a no-skip classic, as is 1977’s Bad Reputation. It also bears mentioning that Phil Lynott’s vocals remain some of the most unique and underrated in the entire classic rock genre. He has a unique combination of soul and grit that is truly special.

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