Dokken in September of 1984 release Tooth And Nail and this is my first purchase of there’s. There debut album Breaking The Chains was already out there and even though I seen the video of Breaking The Chains a few times on MuchMusic it just floated by me. Nothing personal Don Dokken it’s just I had to stretch my $$$$ and well,acts like Van Halen/Iron Maiden/Kiss/ACDC dictated what in my wallet was being spent! So I guess you could say that Dokken was a second tier band at my home as far as dollars went but still when I seen the cover of the claw coming out of the ocean to grab at the slick Dokken logo ahhhh hell I was in!
If you know anything about these guys is that the two main guys Don Dokken(singer) and George Lynch(guitar) Ummm dislike could be the word used here! They did not see eye to eye on a matter of things but they made it work until late 1988 when Don bolted!
Anyways you gotta hand it to Mick Brown(drums) and Jeff Pilson(bass) they hung around as well Til the end but I guess when the party’s raging year after year who the hell wants to leave right?
And to introduce my review of Tooth And Nail I will say DOKKEN RYHMES WITH ROCKIN…(yeah that was brutal,don’t blame me,in the 80s they used this in there adds!)
WITHOUT WARNING-a quick little musical opener (loud synth,loud guitar)featuring no vocals and sets the table for ….
TOOTH AND NAIL-Brown goes double bass drumming off the hop and Pilson and Lynch smash down the guitar and bass. Now heerrrreeeee’sssss Donnie taking the vocals and what a slick calculated move by starting off the album with a jack rabbit of a number and Lynch nails down all the 80s trappings of guitaring! Quick notes,hammer ons,whammy bar dive bombs! I’m fucking hooked yeah man Dokken is Rocking with Deke! Ha!
JUST GOT LUCKY- Brown kicks off the proceedings and Lynch does what Lynch does well and he keeps himself in check on this tune and this is catchy happy Dokken. The chorus is pretty good and yeah I guess you could say HOOK! Good on them they got some video spins out of this track as well!
HEARTLESS HEART-you know the drill ‘You got a Heartless Heart” that’s it kids! This song is 80s Dokken to the T! Brown and his drums drive this tune and it’s one of the few Dokken tunes that Lynch doesn’t have a rip of a solo he contains himself on this track or maybe he was busy dying his hair that day! I recall one day back in Highschool there was a copy of Circus Magazine kicking around and there was a pic of Lynch and man he had the fruitest hair colour going half yellow half black kinda looked like a banana that’s starting to turn colour! We howled called him Curious George and Banana Man..we were young and stoooopid! This song features the ritzy glitzy pre chorus vocals and gang vocals. Dokken tries to pull a Leppard vocally that way
DONT CLOSE YOUR EYES- big Lynch riffing and this song is one of the better tracks. Lynch plays guitar hero flexing and bending them strings and flinging lick after lick! Brown and Pilson keep the rhythms moving along and Don lays down a cool chill vocal! Cool song all around!
WHEN HEAVEN COMES DOWN-Dokken comes close with this track! As in this could have been track 11 on Kiss Lick It Up Album easily! This is big dumbo Kiss arena power building rock n roll! Lynch opens this and this tune kinda sludges forward like Kiss All Hells Breaking Loose. Dokken just plays it a little quicker just the pace of it really! It’s all here,big guitar,big backing vocals,loud drums but man when I listen to the opening riff is George playing his guitar in a tunnel? Man it sounds echoey! Ahh that’s right Tom Werman produced this!
INTO THE FIRE- bam bam bam…do ..do…do..bam bam bam. That’s me making the drum noises to the beginning of this track! This is a great rock track! One of there better known songs! I won’t say much more just watch the video posted as it features Banana George! Fire! Smoke! Helicopters and my favourite the chick who eats fire and slams a gong! Bravo !!
BULLETS TO SPARE- just a straight ahead Rockin with Dokken tune! Once again a song with big vocals! 1984 and everyone is slammim around looking for hits! I’m sure record company executives always had there eyes on the charts “Boys,we need hits!” Bullets To Spare though is not of them. It’s a solid rock track. Dokken are not rocket scientists but they did have a good knack for writing straight ahead rockers!
ALONE AGAIN-woooooowzers! Here’s the track that put these guys on the charts,in the magazines,on tour(opening for Kiss). Don and the boys go right to Power Ballad Formula Chapter 1 …insert acoustic guitar to drive the verse’s along with a bit of drums to push it a little and than FUCKIN BOOM …the chorus with big time electric guitar power chords/ Don weeping in his voice about lost love/ cue into big guitar solo. Bam!! Mission Accomplished!
TURN ON THE ACTION-Lynch begins the surge on his guitar and Brown once again rocks the double bass on his drums and boom this is the end of the album blowout. Riff rock into the night!
IN CONCLUSION-Dokken sets the plate for Deke to buy another 4 Dokken albums after Tooth And Mail so I guess I bought in to the Dokkens business model which was hook em when there young! Actually I remember taping this album for my buddy Chico as he just turned 16 at the time and had his first car and like I explained in my review of ACDC’s Back In Black he wanted fast Rockin tunes! The song Tooth And Nail delivered …..