Courtesy: Rat Pak Records
This past March, rock outfit KXM released its sophomore album Scatterbrain to the masses. The album is a solid new effort from the “super group,” which is composed of Ray Luzier (Korn) on drums, George Lynch (Lynch Mob) on guitar and dUg Pinnick (King’s X) on bass and vocals. That is evident early on in the album’s prog-metal infused title track and opener. It will be discussed shortly. ‘Calypso,’ which comes just a little ways into the record’s sequence, is another example of what makes Scatterbrain a solid new effort from KXM. It will be discussed later. ‘It’s Never Enough’ is yet another example of what makes this record so enjoyable and is hardly the last of the songs that could be cited in a discussion of what makes this record so impressive. The ten songs not noted here could each be cited in their own right to support the aforementioned statement. That applies both to the songs’ musical and lyrical content. Keeping that in mind, the musical and lyrical content exhibited in Scatterbrain makes this record from start to finish a work that shows clear focus. That focus, in turn, makes this record yet another record deserving of a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock records.
KXM’s sophomore LP Scatterbrain is a record that displays great focus both musically and lyrically from start to finish. The result of that focus is a record that deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock records. Those statements are supported right off the top in the album’s title track and opener in part through the song’s musical arrangement. The arrangement easily lends itself to comparisons to songs from Pinnick’s main band, King’s X as well as to Platypus and Liquid Tension Experiment. That is not a bad thing, either. That is because such comparisons form a solid foundation for the song; a foundation on which the song’s lyrical content rests just as solidly.
The lyrical content presented in Scatterbrain’s lead/title track is its own important part to this song because of its seeming commentary contained therein. There is a mention of “people trying to kill you…when they don’t have the right” in the song’s lead verse and an added mention of time and life fleeting in the second. Meanwhile Pinnick reminds listeners in the song’s final minutes “don’t be afraid, don’t cry, don’t let them scare you.” One has to assume here that he is referencing the people noted in the song’s lead verse; those who would otherwise do others harm in whatever form. It plays into the song’s second verse, too with Pinnick perhaps making note of how short life is. If that is indeed the case, then Pinnick singing about not letting people scare them, that second verse would seem to be Pinnick telling listeners to not let life pass them by worrying about those people in question. This is of course only this critic’s own interpretation and certainly not the only interpretation. Regardless of the song’s true meaning, the manner in which Pinnick delivers the song’s lyrical content–and the content itself—makes for plenty of interest and discussion. When it is joined with the frantic energy in the song’s musical arrangement, the whole of the song makes the song an impressive first impression for KXM in its second outing. It also collectively makes ‘Scatterbrain’ just one clear example of what makes its namesake so impressive overall. It is just one of the album’s most notable works. ‘Noises in the Sky’ is yet another example of what makes Scatterbrain so impressive.
‘Noises in The Sky’ is another clear example of what makes KXM’s new album so impressive first and foremost because of its musical arrangement. The arrangement presented here is the polar opposite of that presented in the album’s title track. It is more of a blues-based rock arrangement that regardless, still boasts its own heaviness. In the same breath, that comparison to King’s X is just as undeniable as in the case of ‘Scatterbrain.’ The song’s lyrical content is just as heavy in its own right with even more seeming commentary. The commentary is inferred as Pinnick sings in the song’s lead verse, “Have you heard the noises in the night/Is this a warning/Sounds like a trumpet blowing high/Is this a warning/Whatever it is, is far and near/Is this a warning.” He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “The sun is bright/The flares are high/Is this a warning/Only for those whose ears can hear/Is this a warning/Something is happening/It just ain’t clear/Is this a warning.” The instant thought that comes to mind in considering all of this is that the song is making a religious statement. On another level though, maybe it could be a response to all of the doomsayers out there who like to preach so much about the end times. No matter the meaning, it is certain to lead to some heavy discussion. When that heavy discussion is joined with the heaviness in the song’s musical arrangement, the end result is a song that is yet another example of what makes Scatterbrain such a solid, focused record. It still is not the last song that can be cited in exhibiting what makes the album so impressive. ‘Angel,’ the album’s closer is one more prime example of what makes this record stand out.
‘Angel’ serves to make Scatterbrain stand out just as much as ‘Noises in the Sky’ and ‘Scatterbrain’ because it stands out both musically and lyrically from those songs just as much as they stand apart from one another and the rest of the album’s offerings. Musically speaking, this song is not necessarily a ballad per se. But in comparison to the record’s other arrangements it is comparably softer and gentler. That softer, gentler approach works well with the song’s softer lyrical content, too, which seems to be a bit of a bittersweet message, making the song in whole a truly touching work. The seemingly bittersweet message is inferred as Pinnick sings in the song’s lead verse, “You’re not like the others/Who left me alone/You said the right things and I couldn’t breathe/I don’t want to give in/But the truth always wins.” He goes on to sing in the second verse, “I don’t want to do this/But it’s all I can feel/In my heart as it heals/I’ve heard it’s been said/That three times is a charm/But four times/You’re just a fool/I asked an angel to watch over you/But it came back and asked me/Why/Because angels don’t watch over angels/I’m waiting on my angel.” The juxtaposition of those verses comes across almost as a story of love lost. Yet even in that seeming story of lost love, there is still some happiness, again making that bittersweet feeling. Again, the combination of that deeply emotional story and the song’s equally touching musical arrangement makes this song its own outstanding work. In the bigger picture, it is yet another example of what makes Scatterbrain a solid, focused new effort from KXM. When it is joined with the previously discussed songs and those not noted here, the end result is an album whose focus makes it enjoyable from start to finish and one more clear candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock records.
KXM’s sophomore album Scatterbrain is a record that is anything but scattered. From beginning to end, this album shows great focus both musically and lyrically. From seeming commentaries to more personal works, the album offers plenty for everyone to appreciate. That being the case, it proves itself to be an easy candidate to be one of this year’s top new rock records. More information on Scatterbrain is available online now along with all of KXM’s latest news and more at:
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