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An early frontrunner for "Best Rock Record of 2014" that's gonna be HARD to top!
on March 21, 2014
There's just something about a truly great power trio that, when it works, it REALLY works, and that is most definitely the case with the first (and hopefully not the last) offering from the latest "supergroup" power trio of Doug Pinnick, George Lynch and Ray Luzier known as "KXM". What the title, taken from key letters of their respective bands, Korn, King's X and Lynch Mob, may lack in imagination is more than made up for by the 13 (ok, 12 with a "radio edit" extra version of "Rescue Me") blistering, funky, grooving hard rockin' tunes that make up this thrill-ride of a rock record.
While the most obvious comparisons here will be to King's X, understandable with the inimitable vocals and distinctive bass tones of King's X frontman Pinnick, as well as a similarly melodic and groove-oriented song structure with strong harmony vocals, it's the highly-original styles of Luzier and Lynch take the record into new territory and give it a bit more gritty aggression than one would normally associate with King's X. The resulting blend demonstrates a uniqueness and chemistry that just plain WORKS and makes KXM a band much greater than just the admittedly formidable sum of its talented parts.
Doug Pinnick is Doug Pinnick, which is to say, one of the greatest rock 'n' roll singers ever to take the stage, and a distinctive and original bassist whose patented growly, fat tone is the PERFECT backbone to fill out a 3-piece band, as he has proven beyond all doubt on his legendary work with King's X over the years. Luzier's technical, yet MASSIVELY funky grooves are the perfect compliment for Doug's bass, and the two of them make a powerful, funky & formidable rhythm section that serves as the foundation upon which George Lynch delivers some of his most interesting and inspiring guitar work in years. George's playing truly shines on this record, and he's somehow managed to "shred" less while actually sounding MORE smoldering and intense than he has in quite a while. He really stretches himself here and has reinvented himself to become a more focused and mature player than ever, still rocking brilliantly, yet adopting some of Ty Tabor's uncanny ability to write solos that actually support and lift the songs more than show off his technique, something he certainly has nothing to prove about at this point about to anyone!
Without breaking the individual songs down, Lynch's fiery, melodic intensity is in no finer form than on the record's standout track (IMO), "Burn". This song is simply a hard rock masterpiece, the ultimate blend of groove and aggressiveness, and Lynch's solos are tasty, melodic-yet-smokin' lessons in how to play lead rock guitar, and he's put himself right back on the map as a veteran player whose modern work is as relevant and impressive as his classic work with Dokken and Lynch Mob.
If you love great, grooving, fiery melodic hard-rock songs that make you crank your stereo all the way up and drive too fast, this record is a MUST-have, just be warned: The band is not responsible for any legal ramifications you may suffer for the lead foot you WILL experience if you listen to KXM while driving!