REVIEW: KXM – “Scatterbrain”
Here is a recipe for an awesome rock album. First, take three uniquely talented musicians and put them in a studio together. Next, let them jam and explore their common love of music. Finally, let a wizard mix up this super chunky song stew packed with all sorts of savory flavors. The result is ‘Scatterbrain’ by KXM.
‘Scatterbrain’ is the sophomore album by KXM. For those new to the band, KXM is drummer Ray Luzier (Korn), bassist/vocalist dUg Pinnick (King’s X), and guitarist George Lynch (Lynch Mob). Apparently the group spent just 10 days together jamming at the Steakhouse studio in North Hollywood California. As with many of the great album in history, ‘Scatterbrain’ is the result of letting phenomenal musicians create music on the spot as the tape deck rolls. This record packs in 13 hard rocking tunes showcasing the band’s combined imagination and virtuosity.
A throbbing vibrato bar drop punches up into a heavy and chaotic riff as the title track of “Scatterbrain” kicks the album into gear. The odd time signature and brilliant drum riffs of Ray Luzier combined with George Lynch’s nifty riff give this tune its progressive metal undertones. The pace shifts during the lead break with George playing a passionate blues-infused solo that reminds you of what a wonderful musician this man is.
One thing that I’ve always loved about King’s X is the voice of dUg Pinnick and the wonderful harmonies they have employed in their music. “Breakout” and “Big Sky Country” give dUg a vehicle to express himself and his distinctive voice in both the lead and harmonies. Ray is solid and emotive in his drumming on these songs, keeping his playing nailed tight and deep within the song. Once again, the guitar solos by George Lynch are superb. His guitar effortlessly sings and fills each song with color.
On “Calypso” and “Not A Single Word”, the band explores Afro-Cuban drums, Latin motifs, and even a bit of reggae rhythms. All the while, the music remains firmly rooted in hard rock with KXM’s own unmistakable delivery. You can imagine these guys in the studio having a ball burning through these tunes. This is music that raises the hairs on your arm and invigorates your being.
“Stand” is an exotic dreamer starting out with a trippy guitar riff that floats on top of a syncopated rhythm. The bass makes this song a winner as the low rumble lies in wait during the first half of the song only to pounce during the extended bridge. The twisted and sinewy guitar solo is understated and unnerving.
‘Scatterbrain’ closes with a bluesy lullaby called “Angel”. The lazy drift of this song is beautifully rendered in echoes. Ray and dUg keep things simple and relaxed. The soulful vocals ease you gently down. There is a Hendrix vibe flowing in George’s playing. Instead of soaring on top of the song, he simply accents the dreamy quality of the song. Once it finishes, its time to flip back to track one for another round.
Bottom Line: On ‘Scatterbrain’, KXM gives you the gift of powerful, energetic, and kick-ass rock music. These gifted musicians exude the fun and exhilaration of making music. They bring this passion to life over the course of the album. Their tight and dynamic performance speaks volumes about the beauty of three friends jamming together and letting the tape roll.