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Justin Hawkins of The Darkness performing in Brighton, United Kingdom
Michael Burnell/Getty Images

For those worried about the state of rock music these days, The Darkness is answering the call. After a seven-year hiatus, all four original members have returned with their third album, Hot Cakes (Wind-up Records, $14). Full of the unapologetic glam rock experienced on songs like 2002’s breakthrough single, “I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” the Brit rockers have picked up where they left off: with the amps cranked to 11. Frontman Justin Hawkins talked to American Way about the band’s current tour with Lady Gaga, Hot Cakes and the one record that got him hooked on rock ’n’ roll.

On opening for Lady Gaga: “I’m not even sure how our name came up, to be honest. I’ve never spoken to her and I’ve never met her before. But I suppose there’s something about what we do that connects.”

On the name Hot Cakes: “We went through a lot of working titles and we started thinking about some of the biggest albums of all time — Hotel California, Thriller, Bat Out of Hell. Then we thought, ‘Yeah, Bat Out of Hell. Let’s look for something a bit fast like that.’ We came up with Hot Cakes because it sort of suggests speed and had this urgency we were after.”

On the first album he ever bought: “Run-DMC’s Raising Hell. I actually bought it for ‘Walk This Way.’ So that allowed me into Aerosmith and Rick Rubin and all the great stuff that he produced. Weirdly, that album turned me on to rock.”

Lyrically Speaking

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The Gaslight Anthem
(Mercury Records, $10)

“And with this pen, I thee wed
From my heart to your distress.”