CD Reviews

Dokken - 'Broken Bones' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 22, 2012    
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An eleventh studio album that might be their last.

An eleventh studio album that might be their last will have Dokken fans lamenting the passing of a band that was once on the verge of superstardom. Take it from me that had the well publicised bust-ups between Don and George never happened then we could have been talking about this band in the same breath as Bon Jovi, but possibly without all the corporate bullshine! Like a well-oiled machine a re-invigorated Don Dokken (after successful vocal surgery) takes us all the way back to their glorious heyday sounding better vocally than on 2008s ‘Lightning Strikes’ where he admitted he was sounding a little hoarse, and upping the anti with some truly memorable songs with all the hooks and melodies that you’ll find on any Mutt Lange produced record.

The catalyst for giving Dokken fans what they’ve been craving is down to guitarist Jon Leven, who grew up idolising George Lynch and copying his style so that today, in 2012, the loss of George Lynch is only felt by those who regret the break up of the classic line-up. Opening song and first single ‘Empire’ is an anti-war song that bursts out of the speakers with great riffs riding high on an energetic beat with that familiar Don vocal and featuring some superlative fluid runs from Mr Leven, powerhouse drumming by the hugely underrated ‘Wild’ Mick Brown and steady bass lines by the solid ex Quiet Riot, House Of Lords, Great White, Rough Cutt and XYZ bassist Sean McNabb. As an opening statement of intent it ticks all the right boxes as it fairly blew my ears off! And from here on in it’s impossible not to have a grin on ones face as Dokken turn on the 80s style in rich abundance and delivers a masterclass of epic proportions!

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‘Yes’ Don’s altered his singing style as he can’t quite scream like he used to but as he says he’s not in his early 30s heyday anymore so what do people expect? With the likes of the slow rhythmic almost middle eastern tone on the glorious ‘Victim Of The Crime’ underpinned by some great heavy riffing and the memorable traditional melodic mid-paced rocker ‘Fade Away’ or the metaphoric title track along with the classic slower ‘Burning Tears’ with a truly memorable chorus and a classic Lynch tonal quality on the fabulous solo, the listener has more than enough nods to the past to please even the hardest cynic. There’s even a lovely melancholic acoustic ballad to slow things down and a truly remarkable off-beat time signature to the very interesting ‘Waterfall’ with the chorus in traditional 4/4 timing. Only bands like Rush and Dream Theater tend to dabble like this to show off how clever they are. This works exceptionally well so hats off to Don and the band for trying something out of the box!

This album will please Dokken die-hards no end and if it does turn out to be the last ever then what a fitting way to bow out!

Carl Buxton

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