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Real Rock ‘N Roll review of KXM-Scatterbrain by Maria Haskins

From the outside looking in, KXM might have originally seemed like a rather odd gathering of rock-talent: assembling dUg Pinnick on bass, George Lynch on guitar, and Ray Luzier on drums. However, the band’s debut album knocked me for a loop , and ever since, I’ve been hoping the three-piece would get together and work their magic again.

Well, my wish (and the wish of many other fans!) has been granted, and…well, wow. KXM’s second album ‘Scatterbrain’ is a knockout: whatever it is that happens in the studio when these three guys get together, the result is pure musical alchemy. ‘Scatterbrain’ is a powerful and multi-layered release, brimming with tracks that effortlessly weave together prog-rock, hard rock, and some fine-tasting psychedelic, groovy awesomeness. In short: it is pretty damn stunning.

The tunes are fiercely original and intricately beautiful, with complex and layered musical arrangements and a mind-blowing level of musicianship evident throughout. Add in the vivid poetry of the lyrics, and you end up with a collection of tunes that speak eloquently both about the world out there, and the world inside.

From beginning to end, the band sounds absolutely frigging amazing, and the sound is ignited by the mesmerizing, fluid vibe that comes through in every tune. Every track sounds so completely alive: it’s a brilliant combo of excellence and inspiration.

Title track ‘Scatterbrain’ is a perfect example of the swirling, proggier side of the album, while the fierce ‘Breakout’ is more straight-forwardly hard-rocking. My favourite track (at least right now) is probably the heavy, groovy ‘Big Sky Country’ – both for the pure enjoyment of hearing Lynch’s guitar, Pinnick’s bass and Luzier’s drums join together so beautifully, and also for Pinnick’s flat out fantastic vocals: this track floored me.

Other standouts include the sinuous and fiery ‘Calypso’; the trippy musical dreamscape that is ‘Noises In The Sky’ (I’m seriously in love with the lyrics for this track), and the gorgeously crafted ‘Obsession’ with its dark and heavy pulse and hallucination-inducing guitar-work by Lynch.

‘Scatterbrain’ is an astonishingly good album: if you haven’t listened to KXM before, this release might just make you a fan. If you’re already a fan: get ready to have your socks knocked off again.

Symphony Of Rock review of KXM-Scatterbrain

PUBLICATION: SYMPHONY OF ROCK BY: MICHELLE PEREZ-VEGA RATING 5/5 STARS

Just because you take some of the best musical entities in the world today – for example, Kings X dUg Pinnick, Dokken/Lynch Mob’s George Lynch, and KORN drummer Ray Luzier – and put them together doesn’t necessarily guarantee that anything musically noteworthy will come out.

Fortunately for the trio, this isn’t the case. KXM’s latest effort, Scatterbrain, proves that the members have found their rhythms and solidified their musical presence, surpassing the promise the band first showed on its 2014 self-titled debut, KXM.

Admittedly, KXM’s debut album was an experiment in the making. And, as with any band, it takes a while to focus on what is worthy, discovering the strength and weaknesses, while evolving into a musical entity that delivers on content.

No need to worry here – from the opening manic riffs of “Scatterbrain” to the quiet easy of “Angel,” KXM delivers 13 songs that are as wide-ranging and diverse as they come. Scatterbrain is proof that the band’s musical avenues have fully opened and are not being limited to any one category.

There is an overall sense of playing that makes this band come alive. There are no illusions here – you have the hard-on vocals complimented by provocative playing throughout. Starting right off – Pinnick’s voice is unequaled and really can’t be matched. Each verse Pinnick sings is with distinction: no parts of harmony are the same; no pitch is identical to the last. It can be mournful as in “True Deceivers” to sharp and attacking in “Obsession.” As a bassist, Pinnick successfully coaxes different tones out of his instrument and is a consistent bottom end to Luzier’s drumming.

Then you have Lynch: Songs like “Together” shows Lynch experimenting with sounds the listener might not be accustomed to or comfortable hearing from him, which is a good thing. But those who are more comfortable with Lynch’s signature heavy duty licks the guitarist is famous for can easily find them on “Breakout” or “Big Country.”

What can be said about Luzier is his adaptability to play with the eclectic and ever-changing algorithms that is Scatterbrain. He can pound the drums furiously when the song calls for it or tone it down to soft and complimentary beats. Luzier literally matches beat for beat with every lick and throbbing rhythm that can be found.

Take all that individual talent and you have a band that is one unified, solid, and consistent unit.

It must be noted that the band also has an excellent penchant for lyrics. Overall, the album shows lyrics and music equally balanced, and KXM fully delivers. What works for the band also works against it – the music is sometimes too catchy to the point where the somber messages in the lyrics could possibly be ignored. There are some serious and dark undertones to this album to entice the listener and it would be a mistake to take the music over some of the solemn subject matters KXM chose to address.

Overall, Scatterbrain is a successful release of bluesy metal with a touch of driving melodic funk. It’s a lot of great music rolled into one package that can appeal to everyone if approached in an open-minded manner. Definitely a “5” out of a 5-star rating.

MUSIC RADAR feature on George and KXM

Check out the great piece that Music Radar is featuring on George and KXM right now.  Click here to read.

Cryptic Rock review of KXM-Scatterbrain by Lisa Nash

KXM “Scatterbrain” review / Cryptic Rock / by Lisa Nash / 4.5 out of 5 rating

Putting a group of all-star musicians in one room together to record an album does not always mean instant magic. In fact, many times it ends in a lackluster effort, leaving many fans disappointed. Thankfully that was not the case when the three-piece band known as KXM came together back in 2013. Brought together by King’s X Vocalist/Bassist Dug Pinnick and Korn Drummer Ray Luzier, they were quickly joined by legendary Lynch Mob and Dokken Guitarist George Lynch. Impressive, right? Well it gets better, their 2014 self-titled album debuted at #31 on the Billboard 200 and was a mastery of thoughtful, well composed tracks.

Now a few years removed from their initial success, KXM are set to return with their anticipated sophomore album, Scatterbrain. Set for release on March 17th via Ratpak Records, Scatterbrain consists of thirteen new songs recorded over just a ten day period at Steakhouse Studio out in North Hollywood, California. Calling on Chris “The Wizard” Collier, who produced their first album, KXM look to up the dosage and then some with Scatterbrain.

Opening with the title-track, “Scatterbrain,” the mood is set with a punch approach, which is slightly disjointed in the manner of a Psychological Thriller. Projecting the feeling of being on the edge, even the solos in the instrumental section are somewhat eerie and sinister. Then, twisted and distorted chords make “Breakout” an engaging track where Pinnick has an unusual vocal style that fits so well within this music. Quite haunting at times, while ominous, it is never depressing or dull.

Moving on, “Big Sky Country” is a political statement which is very much of the moment, with references to walls, borders, and controls. It is dark and bleak, reminiscent of some of the themes broached in George Orwell’s classic novel 1984. Taking on a fast, rhythmic dance feel, “Calypso” is a weird mix of Salsa, Bossa Nova, and Latin tones etched with threatening overtones. Overall, it is something of a cocktail of sounds and feelings, echoing agonies and desires.

Keeping with the Latin influences, “Not A Single Word” possesses hints of Santana, juxtaposing the traditional dance vibes with a more modern vocal, giving it a fresh and exciting impression that lures the listener in. Changing the mood, the heavier and more brutal “Obsession” is powerful and malevolent while Lynch’s whirling guitar solo emulates madness. This is before “Noises In The Sky” refers to the phenomenon of the sounds that have been heard worldwide that appear to come from the skies above. These noises often are described as being like trumpets, and while there are many strange theories, one of the most popular explanations is that it is the warning of the Apocalypse. The song is as unusual and alien as the noises it is about.

Later on, mental health becomes a hot topic, and “Panic Attack” deals with one form such. While the song seeks to encourage and give strength to the sufferer, it also has the feel of delirium and insanity. Shifting emotions, funky and offbeat, “It’s Never Enough” is a mix of rant and dismay, beefed up with tantalizing riffs and innovative drum licks. This is before the psychedelic “True Deceivers,” which focuses on religion and faith, asking difficult questions.

Pulling no punches, “Stand” considers the political turmoil and convictions of the masses; in the current climate, it brings home a truth. Musically, it is mis-matched and at odds with itself, in harmony with the topic it raises within the lyrics. Begun more straightforward, “Together” has intense drum beats which pounds the listener into submission. Changing it up, it winds its way mysterious and hypnotically through fascinating breakdowns with harmonious choruses as well as strange melodies. Bringing the fantastic journey to a close, “Angel” offers a love song which is both beautiful and creepy at the same time. Dressed with elements of Country and Blues, it is a perfect end to such a varied and inspired album.

Scatterbrain is one of those albums you have to work at, it is not instant and it takes a few listens to get it. That in mind, it is worth that extra effort to get to know these collection of songs. It challenges norms, takes risks, and has a futuristic, ahead of its time aura that takes a while to be absorbed into the psyche.

All in all, this is very much intelligent music. Listeners will need to think about and have knowledge to understand, which means it may not have mass appeal, but those who get it will really appreciate the skills on show, the musicianship, and creativity that goes beyond the normal boundaries. For these reasons CrypticRock gives Scatterbrain 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Behind the scenes video of KXM-Scatterbrain video shoot

Check out the behind the scenes from the latest KXM video shoot!

Metal Hammer review of KXM-Scatterbrain by Dave Ling

METAL HAMMER MAGAZINE / by Dave Ling / KXM “Scatterbrain” Review

On the face of it, KXM are a logic-defying pool of seemingly random talent. Take one former hair-metaller – ex-Dokken guitarist George Lynch – and throw him into the mixer with Korn drummer Ray Luzier, then add the musical chameleon that is dUg Pinnick, bassist/vocalist of the impossible-to-categorise King’s X, introduce them at a party and suggest working together under an impenetrably initialled name (Lynch’s contribution, the ‘M’, derives from the second word in the moniker of his current act, Lynch Mob).

If a self-titled debut issued in 2014 suggested KXM had legs, Scatterbrain offers more of the same, but better. All three members are über-serious musicians fluent in multiple genres (don’t forget that Luzier has also backed Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth), and although these 13 songs were jammed out in the studio, aside from the expected musical chops they really flourish courtesy of some deep, hulking grooves and Pinnick’s soulful singing.

Prog Magazine review of KXM-Scatterbrain by Gary MacKenzie

PROG MAGAZINE / by Gary MacKenzie / KXM Scatterbrain” Review

This side-project-cum-supergroup’s eponymously titled 2014 debut stimulated a lot of interest, and this second salvo is set to raise the band’s profile further. Initially, the combination of Kings X mainman dUg Pinnick handling bass and lead vocals, Korn drummer Ray Luzier, and Dokken and Lynch Mob axe-wrangler George Lynch might seem a slightly disparate blend. The result, perhaps unsurprisingly, sits somewhere between the nu-metal/alt rock of Korn and the eclectic, hard-edged sounds and soulful hooks of Kings X, with Lynch terrific throughout adding grit and invention.

Apparently written entirely in the studio over a three-week period, Scatterbrain clocks in at well over an hour of quite wide-ranging material, albeit with consistent core sounds and an overall feel. Straight out of the gate, the title track is a jagged, urgent statement of intent with Pinnick almost howling the one-word refrain. For a guy in his 60s, Pinnick sounds great and he stamps his identity very firmly on this album (he’s also looking annoyingly spry in the promo pics). For fans of Kings X, tracks like Breakout, the rhythmic pump and chunky riffing of Big Sky Country with its Gillan-esque screams, and the slightly bluesy Noises In The Sky may help to ease the wait for their next long threatened release.

Funk and blues elements crop up frequently, in tracks like Obsession, True Deceivers and Stand for instance, and Not A Single Word incorporates bits of pop rock and even ska. In lesser hands such inclusions might help to consign the project to the “old farts still trying to sound hip” file, but KXM manages to give everything a contemporary sheen and inject real vibrancy, something Luzier’s often driving and unrelenting – yet unerringly appropriate – playing helps to emphasise.

KXM also challenges preconceptions – anyone seeing George Lynch as just an 80s hair metal hold-over, for instance, really needs to hear this and the range of sounds and styles he manages to squeeze out of his guitars – from creative rhythm and solo ideas in Breakout and Calypso to the technoflash noodling of Obsession and Panic Attack. The trio format seems to work well for KXM, and Lynch is a big part of this, managing to coax beguiling and expansive textures out of his instrument in tracks like Stand, but it is tempting to imagine how their sonic world might expand with a dedicated keyboard player.

While arguably not fitting any handy prog-related pigeonhole, Scatterbrain is very definitely worthy of your attention and offers much to fans of hard, slightly raw rock with bold hooks and shrewd twists.

Littleton, CO – 06/17/17

Who
Lynch Mob Live In Concert
When
Saturday, June 17, 2017
8:00pm - All Ages
Where
Freedom Festival at the Platte River Bar (map)
Littleton, CO

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Santa Rosa, CA – 06/16/17

Who
Lynch Mob Live (BUY TICKETS ONLINE)
When
Friday, June 16, 2017
8:00pm - All Ages Buy Tickets
Where
The House Of Rock (map)
Santa Rosa, CA

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Blabbermouth review of KXM’s Scatterbrain

Check out the review from the people at Blabbermouth!

Blabbermouth gave a 9 out of 10 review of the album. “Scatterbrain” is a wet-dream sophomore response to a damned fine debut. If you haven’t said: “Wow,” at least five times by album’s end, you weren’t listening…read more here http://www.blabbermouth.net/cdreviews/scatterbrain/#y3gStMeKeR4vjM7G.99