I have been listening to Dokken for over 30 years now, and I have to admit that I have some extremely strong opinions about the band. I chose not to review Broken Bones when it first came out, as I didn’t want to deter or sway those fans that would purchase Broken Bones. I didn’t like the band’s last album Lightning Strikes Again very much, and I didn’t expect Broken Bones to be much better. The video for “Empire” was released, and I have to admit that I had a glimpse of hope for the new album. Jon Levin’s guitar is shredding, “Wild” Mick Brown is sounding great on the skins, and Don Dokken surprisingly pushes his voice in this song. With that being said, I decided to spin Broken Bones, and give the band another chance.
Broken Bones starts off strong enough. The first three songs, “Empire”, “Broken Bones” and “Best of Me” have that classic Dokken feel. It certainly isn’t Back For The Attack era stuff, but it is solid enough to keep me interested.
At this point the album shifts into a bunch of mid tempo songs that honestly work a lot better with Don Dokken’s voice. Don’s voice hasn’t aged well, but the songs were smartly crafted to take advantage of his diminished range. Some of the songs have a more modern approach, but Jon Levin keeps it very Dokken like with his Lynch style noodling.
One song that I typically won’t expect to like at all, “Victim of the Crime” has grown on me the most. The song has a little middle eastern flair, mixed with a little Sabbath like heaviness. Levin throws in a little Dokken style flash to keep the song honest. I think this might be the most creative song on Broken Bones.
The album closes out in good fashion with a flashy rocker “Tonight” that is more in the classic Dokken style. I thought this song helped to bring the whole album together. It is a very smartly mixed album in my opinion. Heavy rockers up front, mid tempo stuff in the middle, and a classic Dokken style rocker to close it out.
Overall, I didn’t expect to like Broken Bones at all, and after giving it a few spins, I have really enjoyed this album. I think it is Dokken’s strongest album since 1999’s Erase The Slate. If you go in expecting Under Lock and Key, or Back For The Attack you may be disappointed. If you listen with an open mind, you might be greatly surprised.
Give Broken Bones a chance! I they can win over this Dokken critic, they can certainly win you over too!
Rating: Out of 10
02. Broken Bones
03. Best of Me
06. Victim Of The Crime
07. Burning Tears
09. For The Last Time
10. Fade Away
Don Dokken – vocals
Mick Brown – drums
Jon Levin – guitar
Sean McNabb – bass
Frontiers Records is proud to announce the return of melodic hard rockers, Dokken; the band’s 11th studio album (and their first in North America for the Frontiers Records label), BROKEN BONES, has been confirmed for a September 25th North American street date. The album will be released in two configurations: standard CD and limited edition CD in digipak with a bonus DVD, which features a comprehensive “Making Of The Album” documentary. BROKEN BONES is produced by Dokken frontman and namesake, Don Dokken, and is mixed Bob St. John (Extreme, Duran Duran, Collective Soul) and Wyn Davis (Black Sabbath, Dio, Whitesnake) and mastered by famed engineer Maor Appelbaum (Halford, Yngwie Malmsteen, Sepultura). The new set features a return to the band’s signature sound of catchy melodies, hot riffs and monster production. Don Dokken commented, “We’ve never had a #1 hit; we’ve just kept touring winning fans over one by one.” The first single from the album will be “Empire”; click here to check out a sample of the song. Please see below for the track listing for BROKEN BONES.
Dokken exploded out of the hotbed that was the hard rock and heavy metal scene in Los Angeles in the early ’80s. Such classic albums as TOOTH AND NAIL, UNDER LOCK AND KEY and BACK FOR THE ATTACK were all certified multi-platinum, with songs like “Alone Again,” “Just Got Lucky,” “Into the Fire,” “It’s Not Love” and “Dream Warriors” still being regarded as amongst the genre’s finest. Dokken was one of the first groups to sell a million copies of their DVD “Unchain The Night.” The group continues to tour the world extensively and has shared the stage with AC/DC, Metallica, Aerosmith, Judas Priest, Van Halen, Kiss, Scorpions, Bon Jovi and many more. To date, the band has sold upwards of 10 million albums worldwide. The group has been nominated for a Grammy as well as an American Music Award. In 1988, Don was awarded the keys to the city of Los Angeles by Mayor Tom Bradley declaring January 27th as “Dokken Day” for his charity contributions to the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital. Dokken is: Don Dokken (vocals), Mick Brown (drums), Jon Levin (guitar) and Sean McNabb (bass).
BROKEN BONES track listing:
2. Broken Bones
3. Best Of Me
6. Victim Of The Crime
7. Burning Tears
9. For The Last Time
10. Fade Away
Multi-Platinum Rockers Dokken have officially released a 30 second sample of the song Burning Empire from their forthcoming release Broken Bones. The snippet is a rough mix designed to give fans a first taste of what’s in store for the new album. “Burning Empire” continues the “throwback” vibe Dokken undertook with their last release, the highly acclaimed Lightning Strikes Again.
Broken Bones is scheduled for release after the summer on Frontiers Records.
Current Dokken tour dates:
6/1 – Cubby Bear, Chicago, IL
6/2 – Midwest Bikefest / Off Road Ranch, Norfolk, NE
6/8 – The Dome, Bakersfield, CA
6/9 – Thunder On The Lot, Lancaster, CA
6/15 – Awesome Biker Nights, Sioux City, IA
6/16 – Wingstock / Fifth Third Ballpark, Comstock Park, MI
6/23 – Rock the Falls 2012, Idaho Falls, ID
6/30 – Buffalo Valley Music Festival, Duluth, MN
7/14 – Kavarna Rock Festival, Kavarna, Bulgaria
8/4 – Asylum, Portland, ME
8/10 – Surf Ballroom, Clear Lake, IA
8/11 – Sycuan Casino, El Cajon, CA
Dokken 2012 Consists Of: Don Dokken – Vocals; Jon Levin – Guitars; Sean McNabb – Bass, “Wild” Mick Brown – Drums.