The Darkness are in the process of crafting their long-awaited third album. That's about all we know, as the disc has no title and no concrete release date yet.

Singer Justin Hawkins said, during a conference call with rock journalists this week, that the band has completed nine songs, which are "all sounding shining and good." He also said The Darkness was planning to record for two weeks in January. A spring release is possible, with Hawkins pointing to a very specific date. He said, "I'd like it to be on my birthday, which is the 17th of March. That would be the ultimate gift to myself."

This as-yet untitled, possible birthday gift that Justin Hawkins gives to himself is the band's first album since 2005's 'One Way Ticket to Hell...and Back.' The band will hit North America for a 13-date tour in February.

As for how things are going? Swimmingly, it'd seem. "We're kind of trying to get back to the more organic kind of rock sounds of the Darkness," guitarist Dan Hawkins, who is Justin's lil' brother, said. "Rather than a big-name producer, we decided to do it ourselves, as per the first record. We just wanted to develop the songs and make sure they were really spot-on and basically take a minimal approach across the board -- apart from when we needed to go really over the top. But I guess it's kind of following on from the first record rather than the second, which was kind of more about the production than the songs."

We're in and can't wait to hear what the band has come up with. While The Darkness were seen as a bit of a kitschy band when they exploded onto the scene in 2003, they appear to be drifting away from that tag in the present.

Catch The Darkness on tour in North America in early 2012:

Feb. 1: Toronto, Ont. (Phoenix)

Feb. 3: Boston, MA (Paradise)

Feb. 4: New York, NY (Irving Plaza)

Feb. 7: Philadelphia, PA (Trocadero)

Feb: 8: Washington, D.C. (9:30 CLUB)

Feb. 10: Detroit, MI (St. Andrew's Hall)

Feb. 11: Chicago, IL (Metro)

Feb. 12: Minneapolis,MN (First Avenue)

Feb. 15: Denver, CO (Summit)

Feb. 17: Las Vegas, NV (House of Blues)

Feb. 18: Phoenix, AZ (Celebrity Theatre)

Feb. 19: Los Angeles, CA (House of Blues)

Feb. 21: San Francisco, CA (Fillmore)

Watch The Darkness Perform 'I Believe in a Thing Called Love'
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