The Darkness | Hot Cakes

Wind-Up (2012)
By DAN WEISS  |  August 22, 2012
2.5 2.5 Stars

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The most obvious strike against the Real Life Spinal Tap's reunion album (yup, first since 2005) is trying to find an excuse to care about it. Light on laughs and riffage, the title/cover entendre makes it hard to tell if it is supposed to be so terrible or a joke about being so terrible. So it's an uphill battle for anyone to recognize this band's achievement: never actually metal, they were a crack (and coke-addicted) power-pop band who cooked up a genius gimmick to get people to care about them, clad in open-chested pantsuits with flying Vs to sing odes to their genital warts or outrageous drug habits ("Now my septum is in tatters/And I've still got the runs!"). Seven years later, they can only get up the musical nerve — plenty of Angus Young riffs and Brian May guitar harmonies — without even the wit for titles doubling as choruses: "Everybody Have a Good Time" (paging Wang Chung), "Keep Me Hangin' On" (ditto Whitesnake). But the long-available cover of Radiohead's "Street Spirit" is inspired, and first single "Nothin's Gonna Stop Us" grafts one candy rope hook after another into one of the year's finest melodies — just don't try to make sense of the lyrics.

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