That Doug Pinnick is one busy man, as 2005 saw him appear on a new King's X release (Ogre Tones), issue his third solo album (Emotional Animal), and also have time for the self-titled debut by an all-star '80s hard rock/metal collaboration, the Mob. Although Pinnick handles both vocal and bass duties in King's X, Pinnick focuses solely on singing here -- and is joined by with ex-Winger bassist Kip Winger and guitarist Reb Beach, Night Ranger drummer Kelly Keagy, and keyboardist Timothy Drury (who has played with everyone from the Eagles to Whitesnake). Latter-day King's X releases have gotten increasingly darker and artier, and with the Mob, Pinnick is reeled back toward melodic, straight-ahead compositions. But the material is certainly hard-edged -- producer Winger keeps things surprisingly heavy (no chance of this being mistaken for a new Poison album), as evidenced by such tracks as "Wait" and "Never Get Enough." That said, there are still unmistakable bits that scream "'80s metal." Tops would be the inclusion of an accompanied guitar solo by Beach (titled "Guitar Solo"), the road-racing instrumental "Spaghetti Western," and the Keagy-sung "The Magic," which sounds custom-made for hoisting lighters in arenas -- if you time-traveled back to 1988. If you're a fan of early King's X (especially 1988's Out of the Silent Planet and 1989's Gretchen Goes to Nebraska), you're sure to enjoy the Mob's self-titled debut.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Prato