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The End Machine: The End Machine

Since the self-combustion of the classic Dokken line-up (Don Dokken, George Lynch, Jeff Pilson and Mick Brown) we’ve been treated to all manner of reconfigurations of that quartet. Tooth N’ Nail saw Lynch, Pilson and Brown come together again, while I don’t need to tell you who was in Lynch/Pilson, do I? Add in ‘Wild’ Mick joining Lynch Mob while also sticking with Don in Dokken, and that The End Machine finds Lynch on guitars, Pilson on bass and Brown behind the drums should be little surprise. The double D however is nowhere to be seen, with the vocal slot taken by current Warrant frontman and ex-Lynch Mob singer Robert Mason. All of which has, of course, led to accusations that this latest Dokken(less) get together is just the same band with a different singer.

Is that truly the case? Well, ask George Lynch to plug in a guitar and you’re going to get a sound that reminds of his work with Dokken, purely because this fret-master is one of the few out there to absolutely have a tone and style all of his own. Add in the wordless bond of the rhythm section and there’s little doubt that you’re going to be reminded of some days gone by. And yet with Mason’s fuller, richer, grittier tones, this is also something unique. The opening quartet of tracks feel like they’re trying to confirm that point of difference, Mason howling the mid-tempo “Leap Of Faith” into being, before “Hold Me” injects a little (bot not a lot) more urgency. It’s a solid, if slightly unspectacular introduction, but one that does become more appealing once you get to know them; with especially the latter adding an unexpected slice of Jimmy Page-isms in the middle eight. “Ain’t No Game” growls like an AC/DC grinder, but it does contain the first real Dokken tinges, with the layered backing vocals unmistakable. However it’s not until track five, “Ride It” that things really explode into the fret-fury we’ve been waiting for, the foot put firmly on the floor, and Mason really coming into his own as it does. Lynch also glances to the past with a stinging solo that could have easily sat on the Tooth And Nail album but there’s little point denying that it’s a thing of beauty.

“Burn The Truth”, rather cleverly, changes the pace again with a deep bass strewn riff skittling the notion that this lot are about to simply pay homage to their own legacy; a shout of aggression seriously slapping you in the face, while “Hard Road” decides to head in a bluesier direction altogether. “Alive Today” adds more grit and determination and a chorus that lifts the soul, before “Line Of Division” decides to feel like it’s a lost gem from Winger’s Pull sessions �" yes it’s that good. The only real slowie turns up in the shape of “Sleeping Voices” and yet even this is a bruised and bullish venture that seeks no pity, leaving the second real Dokken-like moment to close proceedings out, with the aptly titled “Life Is Love Is Music” bulging on Lynch’s low slung push and Brown’s powerful beat.

As a collection of songs, this ‘debut’ is a mighty beast. Personally I’d have moved some of the more ready blasts higher up the running order just to make that initial grab a little tighter, but beyond that it’s mission accomplished. The End Machine is a new band in its own right and yet if you liked Dokken, then there’s a strong chance you’ll love this too.

Track Listing
1. Leap Of Faith
2. Hold Me Down
3. No Game
4. Bulletproof
5. Ride It
6. Burn The Truth
7. Hard Road
8. Alive Today
9. Line Of Division
10. Sleeping Voices
11. Life Is Love Is Music

Added: April 7th 2019
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: The End Machine @ Frontiers
Hits: 1424
Language: english

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