Dug Pinnick

REVIEW: We Wish You A Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year – Various Artists (2008)


Yep, It’s another Bob Kulick album with various guests.  You know what you’re going to get.  Let’s not dilly-dally; let’s crack open the cranberry sauce and see what a Metal Xmas sounds like.

Generic!  A truly ordinary title track features the amazing Jeff Scott Soto on lead vocals, but it’s a purely cookie-cutter arrangement with all the cheesy adornments you expect.  Ray Luzier fans will enjoy the busy drums, but this does not bode well for the album.

Fortunately it’s Lemmy to the rescue, with “Run Rudolph Run”, an utterly classic performance with Billy Gibbons and Dave Grohl.  All spit n’ vinegar with no apologies and nary a mistletoe in sight.  I remember playing this for my sister Dr. Kathryn Ladano in the car one Christmas.

When Lemmy opened his yap, she proclaimed “This is bullshit!  How come they get to make albums and not me?”

Lemmy Kilmister, pissing people off since day one, has done it again.  You can buy the CD for “Run Rudolph Run” even if the rest is utter shit.

A silly “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by Alice Cooper echoes “The Black Widow”, but novelty value aside, is not very good.  A joke song can only take you so far, and Alice is usually far more clever.  (At least John 5’s soloing is quite delicious.)  And even though Dio is next, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” comes across as a joke, too.  Which is a shame because the lineup is a Dio/Sabbath hybrid:  Tony Iommi, Rudy Sarzo, and Simon Wright.  Dio’s joyless, dead serious interpretation is amusing only because of its unintentional dry humour.

Funny enough, Geoff Tate’s “Silver Bells” has the right attitude.  Even though Geoff is perpetually flat, his spirited version (with Carlos Cavazo, James Lomenzo and Ray Luzier) kicks up some snow.  That makes me happy, but it pains me to say that Dug Pinnick’s “Little Drummer Boy” (with George Lynch, Billy Sheehan and Simon Phillips) doesn’t jingle.  Ripper Owens, Steve More & pals team up next on “Santa Claus is Back in Town”, so bad that it borders on parody.

The most bizarre track is Chuck Billy’s “Silent Night”, with thrash buddies like Scott Ian.  Chuck performs it in his death metal growl, and it’s pure comedy.  Oni Logan can’t follow that with “Deck the Halls”, though it’s pretty inoffensive.  Stephen Pearcy’s “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” adapts the riff from “Tie Your Mother Down” and succeeds in creating a listenable track.  “Rockin’ Around the Xmas Tree” is ably performed by Joe Lynn Turner, sounding a lot like a Christmas party jam.

The final artist is Tommy Shaw with John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War is Over)”.  It’s an authentic version and while not a replacement for the original, will be enjoyable to Styx fans.

Christmas albums by rock artists are, let’s be honest, rarely worthwhile.  This one has only a handful of keepers so spend wisely.

2/5 stars

VHS Archives #66: King’s X and the Dogman – Full band interview! (1994)

Join King’s X in the MuchMusic studios with Power 30 host Teresa Roncon!  All three members – Doug Pinnick, Ty Tabor, and Jerry Gaskill – sat for this live interview on the Dogman tour.

Lots of interesting subject matter is discussed.  Doug Pinnick had 4000 CDs in his collection in 1994 — I have just managed to catch up with him! Hear about influences, religion, and their hardcore following.


REVIEW: King’s X – Dogman (1994)


Complete studio albums (and more!), part 7


KING’S X – Dogman (1994 Atlantic)

I remember getting this for Christmas of 1994.  “Blown away” about sums it up.

Is Dogman their best album?  No, but it sure was a shock to my system when I first heard it.  Back in the 1990’s, I skipped the previous (self-titled) album and picked this up based solely on the strength of the killer first single “Dogman”. I could not believe the song — groovy, basic, heavy, angry but loaded with soul and melody. Just like King’s X in general, but “Dogman” upped the heavy and downplayed some of King’s X whimsy.

When I got the album Dogman, one thing surprised me — not one song was sung by Ty Tabor! Except for the bridge on “Dogman”, all lead vocals were handled by Doug Pinnick. This was disappointing to me as I like bands with two lead singers. I never heard why Ty doesn’t sing on it, but I adjusted.  Truthfully every song on Dogman is a winner, and are suited to Doug’s vocals.  In hindsight, it fits the direction.

I mean, this band is so freakin’ talented!  From the sheer unique sound of this band, mixing progressive rock with heavy metal and soul, mixed with the Beatles and so much more…you can’t see enough good things about King’s X.  I love Doug’s bass, I think he’s playing 8 or 12 string in spots.  But what makes this band unique is Doug’s voice.  Nobody else has that.

Doug’s lyrics are quite obtuse (I don’t know what “Tide, underside my pillow, willow, whoa-oh, thundering” means) but the way he sings it sure sounds like he has something to get off his chest. “Passionate” might be one way to describe these songs.  At the same time there are slower songs like “Flies and Blue Skies” that I won’t call a ballad, but have that ballady vibe.

Highlights: The title track, “Shoes”, “Cigarettes”, “Pillow”, “Pretend”, “Fool You”, “Go To Hell”, “Complain”, and…hell.  All the rest.

I really like “Cigarettes”…it’s just mournful.  “Shoes” is more upbeat and grooving, although still with dark undertones.  Really, the whole album has darker undertones than previous King’s X releases.  And that’s just fine.  It was 1994.  What are you gonna do?

Lowlights: None. There are no weak songs.  Maybe just the live version of “Manic Depression” (Hendrix).  I liked that they tacked on a live cover at the end of the album, it’s just not my favourite Hendrix tune by a good margin.

Notably, this is King’s X first album without Sam Taylor producing.  It was crushingly produced for the 1990’s by Brendan O’Brien.

4.9999~/5 stars

Part 1 – Out of the Silent Planet (1988)
Part 2 – Gretchen Goes to Nebraska (1989)
Part 3 – Kings of the Absurd (split bootleg with Faith No More)
Part 4 – Faith Hope Love by King’s X (1990)
Part 5 – “Junior’s Gone Wild” (from 1991’s Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey soundtrack)
Part 6 – King’s X (1992)