I have to admit it – I’m a child of the Eighties. I mean that in that is when I got into metal: it was the formative years of that historic decade in rock history that, as a lanky-haired rebellious private school-attending teenager that I first discovered bands such as Motorhead, Rose Tattoo, Iron Maiden… the 1982 release of ‘Needle In The Groove’ by Norn Iron’s own Mama’s Boys was truly a defining moment for this particular fan…
And then came the American invasion… glam bands and sunburned heroes such as Motley Crue, Ratt, Poison, WASP, Y&T – they were all over the burgeoning MTV that suddenly was bringing this hot new shit not only into our living rooms but also into our nightclubs (historical note: I was the DJ on the opening night of the first ever specialist rock club night to be held in Belfast)….
Among the bands regularly featured on playlists in those formative years were the dynamic Dokken… their first three albums (‘Breaking The Chains’, ‘Tooth And Nail’ and ‘Under Lock And Key’) remain essential elements of any true ‘80s rocker’s record collection…
Unfortunately, almost three decades on, the same cannot be said of this latest offering, recorded in mainman Don Dokken’s personal studio and highly pumped as a return to the old school…
Things start well with the relatively exciting ‘Empire’, but the pursuant title track is so bland that it wouldn’t sound out of place on a Nickelback album – and, unfortunately, the same comparator can be applied to most of what follows… only ‘Victim Of The Crime’ can partially hold its head up amid the sheer awfulness of the likes of ‘Best Of Me’, ‘Blind’ and the truly vomit-inducing coupling of ‘Today’ and ‘For The Last Time’.
Things pick up a little at the end, with the reasonable ‘Fade Away’ and the initially impressive ‘Tonight’, but the latter quickly descends into the mediocrity that blights what should have been a great album… under the circumstances, it has the rather unfortunate chorus of “we’ll keep these memories alive when I close my eyes tonight”… I think I’ll preserve my memories of when Dokken were a relevant force, and hope that this latest offering doesn’t give me nightmares when I close my eyes…
2. Broken Bones
3. Best Of Me
6. Victim Of The Crime
7. Burning Tears
9. For The Last Time
10. Fade Away
‘Broken Bones’ is out now on Frontiers Records and can be bought by clicking on the banner below.