It is said that the third album is the difficult one, well nobody told KXM because their third album Circle Of Dolls has only seen them go from strength to strength. From the gritty, gravelly vocals and bombastic bass playing of Dug Pinnick to George Lynch’s phenomenal guitar work to the hard-hitting drumming of Ray Luzier, it’s plain to see that they have become more of a band than a collection of extremely talented musicians and the thirteen tracks on this album show that.
“War of Words” kicks it all off like a sledgehammer and it doesn’t really let up, blasting drums and killer riffs seem to be the order of the day as it blends seamlessly in to “Mind Swamp” which picks it up in the intensity levels. A real hard-hitting track that has more ups and downs than a rollercoaster, possibly the best track on the album. The title track “Circle of Dolls” is a funky little number that is full of groovy beats and a stylish little solo from Lynch and shows how the band can change it from straight-up hard rock to funky. “Lightning” is a mellow track with Pinnick showcasing the amazingly soulful side of his vocal range. The track has a psychedelic feel to it and with Lynch’s guitar playing you’ll feel like you have been transported back to the sixties, an instant classic.
“Time Flies” is another slow burner filled with catchy hooks, groovy riffs and an awesome solo from Lynch showcasing his unbelievable ability on the guitar. “Twice” is one of the finest tracks on the album, big drums, brilliant harmonies and Pinnick’s vocals on point big time. With a more sinister sound to it “Vessel of Destruction” plays out exactly as you would expect from its title, a grinding track but with some serious groove and none more so than the introduction of the steel drums midway through followed closely by mega distorted riffs, not forgetting the manic drumming of Luzier that ties it all together. “Wide Awake” is heavy riff-laden track with an epic solo from Lynch, it is a track filled with contradictions as goes from slow to fast, calm to frantic all the while Luzier is lulling you in with pounding drums with a hypnotic beat.
With “Shadow Lover” hushed tones are the order of the day for this eerie little number with near whispered vocals, muted guitars, and drums until Lynch decides to unleash a savage solo which in turn picks up the tempo on Luzier’s drums to give a nice finish to the song. “The Border” closes out the album with a Pink Floydesque psychedelic opening which transforms into a nice funky number with a serious kick before it mellows out to a close.
Circle of Dolls is out Friday 13th September Via Frontiers Music and is well worth getting your hands on before all the hipsters claim they we in there first!
Dug Pinnick Vocals, Bass
George Lynch Guitars
Ray Luzier Drums
Digital Preorder Information