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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: 610
Language: english

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The End Machine: The End Machine
Posted by Butch Jones, SoT Staff Writer on 2019-04-07 14:34:10
My Score:

Frontiers Records has released a true front runner for one of the Hard Rock albums of the year with the debut release from the new “Supergroup” calling themselves, The End Machine. A new band, but no where close to being newcomers as The End Machine consists of 80’s and 90’s Hard Rock/Metal legends, George Lynch, Jeff Pilson and Mick Brown who together make up ¾ of the original Dokken band, along with stellar vocalist, Robert Mason (Warrant, ex-Lynch Mob, ex-Cry Of Love). This coming out party is a fierce one at that. Fans of guitar legend, George Lynch, strap in!!

Having ¾ of the Dokken band and those members being chief co-writers in both bands, you do get some of the best elements of classic Dokken, but delivered with a world-class vocalist. Also have ¾ of the second version of Lynch Mob will bring in that flavor, as well, all of which results in a fabulous batch of tunes that are both familiar and new. Songs like “Ride It” have that “Back For The Attack” vibe, with a Lynch riff that just pulsates and the rhythm section of Brown and Pilson pound and push this into a nasty, heavy rocker of a tune with a catchy chorus that will get stuck in your head and an album highlight solo from Mr. Scary himself.

Now in his 60’s, guitar god, Lynch is the Hard Rock/Metal version of Jeff Beck, as he continues to push his limits and develop, all while still sounding like George Lynch! The man will not allow himself to age or get old and his playing on this debut album is literally some of the man’s best in his entire career. His noodling, fluid leads have never been so on point and his lead work on “Bulletproof” is a great example of the ever expanding Lynch. George uses a multitude of different tones and textures all throughout The End Machine and he continues to show why he is still so revered.

The End Machine is a modern sounding band with one foot in the great waters of the 80’s, while forging forward in 2019. Killer Hard Rockin’ tunes like “Hard Road”, have that Lynch Mob vibe of “Wicked Sensation” and finds George delivering one of his patented eely, twisting and slippery lead breaks that 3 notes in, you know it’s George “Fuckin’” Lynch. Lead off track, “Leap Of Faith” shows that Robert Mason’s voice has only gotten better after all these years and with Jeff Pilson and Mick Brown adding their excellent backing vocals underneath, it’s a vocal hurricane. But it is the moody, Acoustic intro’d, “Sleeping Voices”, where Mason delivers what might be the vocal performance of the year. Mason pleads and croons his way into the chorus that kicks into a searing and passionately delivered vocal. The layered vocals in the chorus are sublime and honestly the best vocal that I’ve ever heard from Robert Mason and Mason has recorded some excellent vocals over his career. But wait for it, because Lynch once again comes in with a nice and slow Bluesy lead that just rolls into another seething and crying tour de force solo.

The End Machine have hit this effort out of the park with this 11 song eponymous release. This is how 80’s-90’s Hard Rock being made in 2019 is supposed to sound; excellent vocals, a rock solid rhythm section, guitar hero pyrotechnics, all within a batch of expertly crafted songs that make you feel good while listening. Jeff Pilson also wore the hat as producer of the album and his production is loud, crisp and spacious as he has made his reputation as producer a good one. This is an excellent album and if you are fan of any of the members other bands, you will not be disappointed, this is a top album of 2019, for sure!

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