T & N (ex-Dokken)- Incubus- EndAnd- Hopewell
T & N
Slave to the Empire
Ex-Dokken guitarist George Lynch is the main man behind T & N, a band that also features ex-Dokken singer Jeff Pilson and current Dokken member "Wild" Mick Brown. That means there's some serious Dokken love going on here including with the band's moniker; T & N is a reference to the Dokken album Tooth and Nail. Then there's the fact that about half the tracks presented are old Dokken tunes, two of which come from Tooth & Nail. T & N doesn't just rehash the songs though; instead they enlist a slew of famous throats for the covers: Doug Pinnick of Kings X sings "Tooth and Nail," Sebastian Bach lends his voice to "Alone Again," Tim "Ripper" Owens belts out "Kiss of Death" and Robert Mason of Warrant turns in a fine reading of "It's Not Love." Don't get the idea either that the guys are resting on past glories; new cut "Slave to the Empire" is a melodic metal classic-in-waiting and the most radio-friendly tune on the album while "Mind Control," "Access Denied" and the boogie blues of "Jesus Train" will also keep the faithful happy.
The Essential Incubus
This 2-CD set delivers exactly what the title indicates --- a career-spanning retrospective drawn from all of the band's full albums and E.P.s along with a couple of oddities like "Monuments and Melodies" from the Japanese version of A Crow Left of Murder… and "Black Heart Inertia," a song recorded especially for the previous Incubus compilation, 2009's Monuments and Melodies. Among the 26 other included tunes are early cuts like "Version," "Redefine" and "New Skin" along with hits "Stellar," "Drive," "Wish You Were Here," "Adolescents" and "Megalomaniac."
Adventures of Hi-Fi in Space
The band splits this album into two parts, the first being Adventures of Hi-Fi in Space where the Brooklyn-based punk-edged rockers tune into the sound of early Police for "Labor Force" and then go a little Hendrix with the guitar maelstrom "Commando." The second half of the album is called Adventures of Lo-Fi in Space and features songs that live up to the "in space" descriptor, including the (again Police-influenced) "Legend" and the trippy and understated "Sweet." Preview and buy it here.
Pounding piano, psychedelic guitar barrages and super-sweet vocals from Ride's Mark Gardener make Hopewell's cover of Eno's "Needle in the Camel's Eye" this 5-song E.P.'s highlight but the White Stripes-go-psych of "The King & Canary" isn't far behind. "This is This" opens with a delightfully twisted take on the riff from Fleetwood Mac's "World Turning" but ends up sounding more like angsty Pink Floyd and it's the band's penchant for surprising changes that holds the listener hopelessly but happily rapt here.