To my great surprise this isn’t DOKKEN. Well, maybe I should clarify something. Don Dokken and Wild Mick are in the band as I remember it and the name on the CD is DOKKEN. But where is Jeff and Reb? Present band members include: Don Dokken – vocals, Jon Levin – guitar, Barry Sparks – bass, Mick Brown – drums.
However, I have always been a big fan of DOKKEN and George Lynch was always one of my most favourite guitar players so I couldn’t help myself when I saw a new CD come out by DOKKEN….I had to buy it.
First impression of this CD? I’ve heard this somewhere before....The first song, “Sunless Days” completely kicked my ass. Great riff, cool hook, tasteful solo. Did he tune down to C in this song?!? Anyway, Jon Levin is notably a great guitar player in his own rite and is a busy man. Not only does he lead the pack with his own version of the long standing DOKKEN songs on guitar, he is their lawyer. What a combination that is...I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Barry Sparks is their chauffeur (no offence Barry)
From beginning to end I hear many of the influences that I too hold dear. In that group I heard, LED ZEPPELIN, MOTT THE HOOPLE, THIN LIZZY and THE BEATLES. The old hooks in songs like “Under The Gun” and “Little Girl” are very reminiscent of a time that musicians were noted for their musicianship instead of their silly gimmicks onstage... However, if you would like to hear one song that takes you back to the “cool” 80’s guitar “shredding” era then you must check out “Under The Gun”. That is one very cool song that really spotlights Jon Norum (of EUROPE and NORUM) and what he is capable of as a guitar player.
As many bands that have survived the Grunge and Nu-Metal and wanna-be-Punk 90’s and 2000’s I see DOKKEN beginning to slow down and write music for the music not to maintain a standing in teen magazines. It is great to see bands like DOKKEN still working, although Don has been known to be hard to work with one thing that can be said about him is, he always makes sure he is surrounded by really great musicians whereby giving his music the quality that it demands.
Some long time DOKKEN fans may be a little shocked to listen to this CD for the first time but give it a moment and you will hear the old Wild Mick Brown drumming and great harmonies that made DOKKEN unique in the 80’s. As everything else I have reviewed thus far this CD is on my iPOD and I listen to it often now that I found the gems in this very cool DOKKEN addition. (Online March 8, 2004)