“Welcome to the Groove Machine.” Remember those words from the KING’S X album Tapehead? Well they couldn’t be more apropos here. KXM, the new project from dUg Pinnick (KING’S X), George Lynch (LYNCH MOB), and Ray Luzier (KORN) has finally arrived after being buzzed about for a long, long time. Hell, I first learned of the project in an interview with dUg nearly a year ago. So does it live up to the hype and was it worth the wait? You bet your ass it does and you bet your sweet ass it is!! The self-titled album (out now via Rat Pak Records) has grooves for days, smooth as silk harmonies, and nearly flawless song structures.
With an almost surgical precision Luzier, Pinnick, and Lynch start our journey off right on “Stars”, the tribal drums a veritable metronome and guitar riffs shrouding us in their fog. First single “Rescue Me” and “Gunfight” have that BIG rock sound and it’s obvious why these were the first two tracks made public. They’re two of the albums best, hands down. The band gives us a glimpse into their softer side with “Never Stop”, Lynch displaying some of his most soulful playing to date, particularly on the solo. Four songs in and all I can do is wonder what the hell took these guys so long to get together??
At one time or another most of us thought that “Faith Is a Room” would be the album title, but that didn’t happen. What did happen is that this song damn near knocked me over when I first listened to it. The thick meaty riffs and groove on this one made it an instant favorite and one I keep going back to. And as if that’s not enough, the band goes from Hell to breakfast on “I’ll Be Ok”, starting with Luzier’s intro mini-solo and finishing with Pinnick and Lynch dueling it out. I swear if this band doesn’t tour I’m gonna scream bloody murder outside their collective houses until they do!
Decidedly darker subject matter (domestic violence) is on display for “Sleep” sounding very much like something KING’S X would come up with both in tempo and tone. It’s one of the more sobering moments on the record and lyrically it will stay with you long after it’s done. The relentless spinning rhythms on “Love” made this another one I fell for right from jump. Another victim of REPEAT button overload, I’m afraid. There’s an eerie funhouse-like quality to “Burn” at the start before it blossoms into a thick as molasses rocker, all three men sounding like there’s nowhere else they’d rather be than in that jam room. Lynch utilizes some spacey effects for “Do It Now” while Luzier gets the groove going with some off-beats and Pinnick also adding some vocal effects for good measure.
“Human Friction” is really interesting because at first I had no idea where it was going, something I always love. Zigging when I think you’re gonna zag is one sure-fire way to not only get my attention but keep me coming back for more. Oh, and that stop and start thing you guys do there? Yes, please! Six minutes of musical bliss, I tell you. Taking us home is the funky, jazzy instrumental “Tranquilize” that totally showcases how well these three play off one another. It almost sounds like they just plugged in and played and this is what came out. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was done in one take.
The bottom line is this: Go and buy this album. Go to your record store, buy it on iTunes, I don’t care what you do, just buy it! But do it today. You owe it to yourself as a fan of true rock and roll music to add this to your collection. And once you do get it, I guarantee it won’t leave your player for weeks on end. I can also guarantee KXM will be on a LOT of year end Top 10 lists for 2014, mine included.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM