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.