In a few days, on March 17, KXM will unleash their sophomore album Scatterbrain on the world through Rat Pak Records. And wherever you are when that happens I hope you’re sitting down, because this one is something special. The self-titled debut in 2014 was sheer perfection as far as I’m concerned and many of my friends were in agreement. So how on earth do you follow that up? There’s nowhere to go but down, right? No, WRONG!! Sophomore Slump? ‘Da fuck outta here with that bullshit, try again! If it’s possible, Scatterbrain is even better than its predecessor.
Starting with the title track as their opener, Vocalist/Bassmaster dUg Pinnick, Guitar Wizard George Lynch, and Drum God Ray Luzier set about the business of shredding and grooving all the live long day. “Breakout” is next and serves up a slice of musical pie, heavy on the boogie with the sweetest of Lynch solos as the icing on top. This might be one of my favorites from him, period. The music on “Big Sky Country” is dark, sharp, and almost foreboding, and they sound like men on a mission, but not the goodwill, or welcome wagon kind. “Calypso” features some tribal drumming from Luzier and those lush harmonies we’ve come to expect from the group.
The first of several favorites right away, on a record full of them, was “Not a Single Word”. From the easygoing vibe on the verses to the get-up-and-go on the hook this one calls me to repeat it over and over. “Obsession” is a balls-out, slow tempo rocker with a ferocious riff and when all three guys hit at the same time it’s like a fucking freight train. Another one I can’t get enough of is “Noises In the Sky” with its sway and swagger. Pinnick sounds amazing and the chorus is the stuff of magic, like that 3 a.m. jam session you catch at an after hours spot no one really knows about. It feels like you’re one of the select few to be there, even though it’s been released as a single.
“Panic Attack” reminded me a bit of Pinnick’s other band KING’S X, and it’s very thick in its overall sound. “It’s Never Enough” has this bouncing tempo that will induce immediate head-bobbing in anyone caught in its web for sure while the undeniable rock power of “True Deceivers” has me thinking this may be a single soon as well. Yet another killer solo from Lynch, too! Luzier takes the reins on “Stand” with his off-times and china hits. Have I mentioned that the man is a drum genius? Pinnick also has a very deep and soulful vocal here. The guy is just incredible when he sings, and there’s no one who can touch him when he does.
“Together” has running harmonies throughout and it also changes direction once or twice, something I always enjoy. Capping off this crazy ride is the sweet little ditty “Angel”.There’s an underlying blues element there, but overall it’s just a really nice song that you’ll fall in love with from the very first spin. So what do we know? That KXM have done it once again. They have crafted 13 songs that don’t sound like anything else out there, but are undeniably KXM, and a cut above the rest. Scatterbrain will no doubt be on many a year end Top Albums list, especially my own, and if it’s possible I would give it a 12/10. Get this one on March 17, people. You’re welcome!
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM