The End Machine - The End Machine

The End Machine cover
The End Machine
The End Machine
Frontiers Music srl
Sometimes, the “genetic” experiments, that happen at Frontiers dungeons, create musical frankensteins, which pretty much fall flat on their collective butts, but occasionally they manage to create some pretty handsome “bastards”.
With Dokken always shimmering in the background and Lynch Mob and Warrant in its roster, the mix and match tactics this time have brought together, classic-era Dokken members George Lynch (guitars), Jeff Pilson (bass), and Mick Brown (drums) together with current Warrant (but also Lynch Mob) vocalist Robert Mason. A union that for all intends and purposes makes a lot of sense and indeed ends up having admirable chemistry. Also Lynch’s pretty awesome output in the last few years can now safely include this album, as it’s consistent in quality, with all the cool stuff he’s been involved with recently.
While you’d expect 3/4’s of Dokken to have many similarities with well Dokken and that’s true up to a point, Lynch’s distinctive style is pretty prominent and Mason is pushing himself in ways that make him remind me of a more down to earth Tony Harnell (TNT, Starbreaker etc.). The mix is both potent, as well as interesting and keeps you guessing what will come next at every twist and turn of the way.
“Leap of Faith” is a heavy, rather modern tune, that sounds a lot like something that could have been found on a Starbreaker album, pretty midpaced, if not even sluggish, but when its lush chorus arrives it’s all forgiven.
“Hold Me Down” doesn’t change much from the openers formula, other than sounding even more rhythmical.
Follow up “No Game” has a more vintage sound and guitar playing to match – while maintaining the modern production values. Lynch doesn’t overplay his solos but comes up with parts that really fit the grand scheme of the songs.
“Bulletproof” has some really nice interplay between vocals and guitars and the bluesy licks that Lynch comes up with lead to a glorious improv.
The heavy rocking “Ride It” is a swaggering hard and heavy behemoth that rolls in like a juggernaut. Its driving rhythm is fast paced and Mason ups his game to match the whole vibe with impressive results.
“Burn the Truth” has some massive bass and feels like a throwback to the early 90s. Think Warrant of that era and some of the more lax Lynch Mob moments and you got it down pretty much. The acoustic undertones are brilliant and Mason’s cool and measured delivery that just soars on the choruses is second to none.
“Hard Road” is a hard rocking and pretty funky number, about how tough life can get… with a nice enough hook and chorus.
“Alive Today” seems like it’s more modern cousin that somewhere along the way brightens up unexpectedly, but I tend to like the former a bit more, I guess, without dismissing the latter.
“Line of Division” has the same bluesy swagger of late 80s to mid-90s Whitesnake or TNT, while “Sleeping Voices” exchanges the Snake influence for a more Skid Row like vibe. Both are pretty pleasant in their distinctive ways.
“Life is Love is Music” closes the album with a funky rock vibe and a pleasant chorus that however leaves a bit to be desired, as it feels too groovy to close the album on.
An acoustic and pretty breezy (if not for the vocals) almost Hawaiian version of “Burn the Truth” is offered as a Japanese bonus track that’s not too bad… just different in the most interesting way and offers more closure when it comes to the album.
In my eyes Lynch can do no wrong (as of late) and here Frontiers’ bizarre genetic experiments, with its rosters artists, have given birth to a really “handsome” new band that I hope we’ll hear news of again and again in the future. Recommended!