• Sun. May 26th, 2024

The End Machine – Classic Dokken Members Unite With Robert Mason!

Jeff Pilson, George Lynch, and “Wild” Mick Brown played together in the 80s as part of the classic Dokken band lineup, recording some of the decade’s most iconic rock. However, Don Dokken has continued on with other lineups over the years in his own band. The End Machine is a new group from the three other classic Dokken members, with Cry of Love and Warrant vocalist Robert Mason on vocals (who also performed with George Lynch as the vocalist of Lynch Mob, and sang on their classic 1992 self-titled sophomore LP). This is NOT the first attempt as a “Dokken without Don Dokken” band; these three had tried their hand at it a few years prior with a project called T&N, which featured several guest stars. And while the threesome did reunite with Don for a few tour dates under the Dokken moniker, it’s been said in interviews this was only for money and was certainly NOT a lasting thing.

Quite honestly, upon hearing about The End Machine, I was quite thrilled. Like many fans, I was disappointed to see the T&N project didn’t become a full-time gig for the respective musicians. Will The End Machine fill the gap? As Don Dokken’s voice has diminished terribly in recent years and he can no longer perform quality vocals live in concert, it was a relief to see his classic lineup bandmates going on without him and not attempting to stick to a half-assed Dokken reunion (no disrespect intended towards his classic 80s work with these three, though, when he could sing with the best of ‘em).

All of these musicians have worthy resumes of their own apart from the Dokken name, with “Wild” Mick Brown’s work with Ted Nugent, George Lynch’s Lynch Mob material, and Jeff Pilson playing with Foreigner and numerous other projects. Robert Mason himself is a criminally underrated singer who breathed new life into Warrant over the last few years, and to see him reuniting with George Lynch is a welcomed surprise.

So, how does the first album from The End Machine actually sound? Is this just Dokken with a replacement singer? Does it sound more like Lynch Mob? Is it more of a new sound altogether? And, perhaps most importantly, will long-time fans of these musicians be impressed with what they hear on the new record?

Any doubts or skepticism you’ve got about the debut album from The End Machine will be shattered within just a few moments of your first listen. As far as the sound on the album goes, it’s definitely a far cry from classic Dokken, yet still superb despite that. The harder-edged, less glam-style sound is more reminiscent of the first two Lynch Mob albums (not surprising considering three of the four were on the 1992 sophomore Lynch Mob record), yet the album also manages to serve as its own unique product, and doesn’t simply “retread” older efforts these musicians have played on.

Unlike many other classic hard rock/metal artists, this quartet of musicians does a superb job joining the modern world. There are definitely shades of their classic bands in here and a few retro/throwback moments, but at large, this is a unique product which doesn’t sound derivative. The record is more modern than the respective musicians’ previous bands, yet I don’t think it’s one which will alienate the classic fanbase either. Honestly, there are tracks on here which wouldn’t have been out of place on 90s rock radio.

George Lynch has long been one of the best guitarists in the business, and you’ll be pleased to know he gets plenty of moments to shine on the new release. Mr. Scary is still at the top of his game, and this may be the best outlet for his work in recent years, following a number of mediocre Lynch Mob/solo releases. Hell, he even gets in a few acoustic moments! All the more reason I hope The End Machine will be a full-time gig for the muscle-bound axeman.

The whole band sounds great, but the true standout member of the group on the release would have to be vocalist Robert Mason. This guy rises to the occasion, and gives the listener what they want on every single track. The guy adapts to what each track requires, be it hard, bluesy, melodic, or slow. I love listening to this guy no matter who he’s singing for, and in The End Machine, he’s found a promising new home.

It’s called The End Machine, but for this quartet of classic hard rockers, I hope it’s only the beginning. Robert Mason, George Lynch, Mick Brown, and Jeff Pilson unite for what’s one of the best albums of 2019 so far, with tour dates on the horizon. Here’s hoping for more music in the years to come as well. When the self-titled effort from The End Machine hits stores on March 22, it comes strongly recommended for any fan of these musicians, or classic hard rock/metal in general.

By Taylor T Carlson

Taylor T Carlson Assistant Editor/Senior Staff Writer Taylor T. Carlson was born August 17, 1984, and has called the Vegas Valley home his entire life. A die-hard fan of classic rock and metal music, Taylor has been writing album and concert reviews since he was 16 years old, and continues to do so, having done well over 1,000 reviews. He is also a fan of video gaming and cinema, and has reviewed a number of games and films as well, old and new alike. His thorough and honest (some would say brutally honest) reviewing style has won him the respect of hundreds of music fans and musicians alike, both local and abroad, and the ire of just as many others. Despite being one of the youngest attendees at classic hard rock/metal shows around Vegas, he is also one of the most knowledgeable, having gained the unofficial nickname of “The Eddie Trunk of Las Vegas.” In addition to reviews, Taylor has written and self-published three books on classic hard rock bands, and is a regular participant in rock and roll trivia contests. Taylor also holds a masters degree in special education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and has appeared on the hit History Channel television series Pawn Stars. His dream is to be able to one day make a living from writing music books and reviews.

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