KXM consist of Kings X vocalist Doug Pinnick, Korn drummer Ray Luzier and guitarist George Lynch, formerly of Dokken and Lynch Mob. They evolved from a house party jam session, the results of which went down better than expected – hence this, their debut, self-titled album.
It certainly shows how the concept of hard rock has evolved in the 21st century among its more open-eared practitioners. Opener Stars rolls in off the back of some processed, North African-style percussion, while Lynch’s guitars stab and spit in a linear, almost synth-like manner on tracks like Do It Now.
Only when Pinnick opens his mouth do you realise that this is an another addition to a heavy tradition that has lumbered on undeflected since 1972… except that he’s distinctly more New Man than some of his predecessors, as Sleep attests, a heartfelt and vivid lyric in which he describes growing up in the shadow of a violent, misogynistic stepfather. A worthy debut.