KXM
"Scatterbrain"

(Rat Pak)

01. Scatterbrain
02. Breakout
03. Big Sky Country
04. Calypso
05. Not a Single Word
06. Obsession
07. Noises in the Sky
08. Panic Attack
09. It's Never Enough
10. True Deceivers
11. Stand
12. Together
13. Angel

RATING: 9/10

George Lynch, dUg Pinnick and Ray Luzier formed, on paper, the unlikeliest of alliances, coming from such diverse styles of heavy music—LYNCH MOB, KING'S X and KORN respectively. Yet coming together as KXM, multiplicity became magic, and the group's 2014 self-titled debut struck 31 on the Billboard 200. More than merely proving this amalgamation to be no fluke, the super trio's new album, "Scatterbrain", has advanced three times beyond its predecessor. Placing a larger emphasis upon prog and percussion, "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.

The whirligig prog effects that twist themselves throughout the windy title track immediately signal how much KXM has evolved. Could George Lynch or dUg Pinnick ever have imagined having technically savvy players to bounce off 30 years ago? Much less a contemporary drummer able to switch hats from agro pounding rhythms to meticulous rolls, triplicates and decorative hi-hat taps, accenting their greatly busy schemes? "Scatterbrain"—and the slinky, percussion-clapped "Calypso"—is one of the most complex songs any man in this trio has ever set himself to, and it's total ear candy that grows more delectable by the bar.

By contrast, "Breakout" (and later in the album, "True Deceivers") is far more straightforward, with dUg Pinnick asserting fluid bass lines and escalating vocals. George Lynch strums and squawks along the verses en route toward the song's towering choruses. Inherently, "Breakout" becomes a lost KING'S X track with ensemble harmonizing sweetly replicating the effect while erecting the guitars and beats toward a massive, polyrhythmic finish. Lynch and Pinnick's strums on "Big Sky Country" are hypnotic enough, but the scraping reverb and funky spelunking Lynch drops into the core melody is dizzying stuff. As with "Breakout", extracurricular percussion and gang crooning spices up the lurking track along with a muscular shred solo from George Lynch. dUg Pinnick's screeching in the finale of "Big Sky Country" will get you, guaranteed.

The pounding choruses on the ska and flamenco-mingled "Not a Single Word" are as sublime as its verses are shimmering. It's hard to judge what's more impressive about "Obsession" thereafter, its monstrous chords and slamming rhythm, dUg Pinnick's up and down yelping or George Lynch's trance-inducing guitar play. Pinnick's bass lobs at midpoint further toughen an already hefty number: Sheesh!

"Noises In The Sky" lets off the intensity a smidge, if not the blues and funk globs, but KXM worms this one into a colossal, BEATLES-worthy finish. "Panic Attack"'s tempo may not be as frantic as its title suggests, but the slower jitters KXM fuels into the song are severe. Ray Luzier crushes full-on anxiety into "Panic Attack" as George Lynch rips and wails an appropriately tense solo.

Given KXM's pedigree, it shouldn't be this much of a surprise, but "Scatterbrain" far exceeds expectation. This album should rank as one of the proudest moments for all three men, and whatever stories behind its recording should've been documented in a special edition package. This is vivacious and determined music by professionals who set out to prove KXM is no novelty. God in heaven, feel these brothers knocking from Mother Earth, won't you? Noises in the sky, indeed.

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).