Picks and Pans Review: Under Lock and Key
This LA.-based quartet transposes the good cop-bad cop ploy to rock music. Singer Don Dokken embodies the forces of light: melody and sensitivity. He is opposed by guitarist George Lynch, a bashing power-chorder. On the group's third album, the tension between their vastly different approaches produces interesting contrasts even though the music turns out to be disappointing. Don's vocals are bland. But most of the lyrics show a romantic, sensitive streak rather than the usual night-prowler mating cries that are endemic to the genre. Will the Sun Rise even expresses fear of nuclear annihilation, not a standard heavy metal concern. The best songs are still the ones in which Lynch displays his heavy chops, such as In My Dreams and Unchain the Night. Dokken's unvaried guitar-bass-drums sound could use some enhancing studio trickery, which is lacking from producers Neil Kernon and Michael Wagener. Even though Under Lock and Key is not the group's best effort, it proves that Dokken belongs with Ratt and Bon Jovi as one of the better new hard rock bands. (Elektra)
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