Saturday, November 10, 2012

Dokken's Big 3 Return with T & N

You might say that T & N is the closest thing to a full blown Dokken reunion that the fans are going to get. Guitarist George Lynch was in the studio laying down tracks for his new Lynch Mob album, but lead singer Oni Logan didn’t think the songs were true Lynch Mob songs and the album was shelved. Drummer Brian Tichy then suggested to George that he should get Mick Brown and Jeff Pilson together to form a new band. Pilson has already been writing new Lynch Mob material with Lynch, so it all just fell into place.

They decided to dust off some old Dokken classics and re-record them. The chemistry that the three of those guys have immediately went into overdrive when those sessions started. It was so strong that they wrote new material to be included in the new project. Thus, the formation of T & N. The name did start out as Tooth and Nail, but there was a legal dispute with Tooth and Nail records, so they decided to shorten it. Now, here we are as T & N are about to unleash something pretty special on the world.

The new album, Slave to the Empire, consists of seven new songs and five re-recorded Dokken classic with guest vocalists. Ok, I know everyone wants to know about the revisiting of the old Dokken songs, but I want to talk about the new material first. Lead vocal duties on the new songs are handled by Jeff Pilson and he does a great job. The album opens with the title track and you immediately know that the guys mean business. It’s an aggressive, rocker challenging the listener to rise up and be a free thinker.

“Sweet Unknown” has a nasty bass groove at the beginning that weaves its way throughout the entire song; a great track from beginning to end. “When Eagles Die” has a beautiful acoustic intro, but it doesn’t take long before the amps get plugged in and Lynch starts cranking away. The acoustic element shows up throughout the song and adds another layer to the song. “Mind Control” is definitely a stand out track on the album. It’s catchy and its infectious groove immediately hooks you in. Lynch also has some tasty guitar spot in it as well as a killer solo.

Now, let’s touch on the re-recorded stuff. Sometimes when a band re-records some of its old classics, they really come up short and the newer versions seem to pale in comparison. I think this time there is an exception to that. T & N stay pretty true to the originals, but each vocalist adds their own flare with their individual style. Lynch Mob alumni Robert Mason, currently fronting Warrant, lends his vocals to “It’s Not Love”. Doug Pinnick of Kings X takes on “Tooth and Nail” while Tim “Ripper” Owens of Judas Priest fame tackles “Kiss of Death”. The track that immediately created a buzz on the net after being announced was the classic power ballad “Alone Again” featuring the one and only Sebastian Bach on lead vocals. All I will say is that you will not be disappointed.

Overall, this is a killer album. Seven new kick ass tunes and fiver killer re-recordings that rock just as hard if not harder than the originals. If this wets your appetite for more T & N, then don’t fret. It seems that a second album of new material and re-recorded Dokken classic is in the works. I know that I am not the only one who is looking forward to seeing and hearing this band out on the road. 

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