October , 2014
Review by Mike Diquinzio
Label: Rat Pack Records
"Supergroup" may be a dirty word to some, but what better word is there to describe what happens when top-notch musicians from different musical styles come together to create something completely new and exciting? Much like last year's Winery Dogs, KXM's members seem to be cherry-picked like a fantasy football team to push the limits of music past anything any of us have ever heard before. On the surface, it seems like KXM's members couldn't have less in common musically, which makes this album all the more enjoyable when you press play.
Whereas one could reasonably predict what the Winery Dogs CD was going to sound like based on its members, KXM sounds nothing like any of its members' past efforts. KXM is comprised of guitarist George Lynch (Dokken, Lynch Mob), bassist/ vocalist Doug Pinnick (King's X), and Ray Luzier (Korn), and it is easily the best thing any of these guys have done in some time. While not as heavy and far more complex than Korn, it is way heavier than Dokken or King's X while being bluesy-er than all three. Every song on this album defies categorization by being completely fresh and unique.
The album opens with the heavy intro riff "Stars" that clears the way for a deceptively bright chorus before an uncharacteristically tame guitar solo from Lynch that makes you double-check the liner notes to make sure it is indeed him playing. By the end of the song though, the George Lynch we all know and love is on full display as he solos like its 1985 during the fade out. From there, ten more songs run the gamut of hard rock and blues jams, including the single "Rescue Me."
Sure, the ballad "Never Stop" is the lowest point of the album, but it is worth sitting through to get to "Faith is a Room" and "I'll Be OK," a song so good it seems impossible to top until you hear the serpentine riff and heavy rhythm of "Burn" three tracks later. "Human Friction" is yet another high point at the end of an album full of highlights punctuated by the heavy-as-hell bass tones of Pinnick. By this point in the album, choosing a favorite track has become a more daunting task than expected, but it's then that the true highlight is unleashed...
The mesmerizing instrumental "Tranquilize" closes this album out with three-and-a-half minutes of "this has to be improvised" jamming. With almost every song leading up to this being more incredible than the one before it, "Tranquilize" is the perfect way to close out what has already been an inspired journey because it truly is the one track that ends way too early and leaves you wanting more.
KXM is out now. Get up, get out and get it!