Don Dokken- Dante Fox- Thor- More

Don Dokken - Solitary
Known primarily for fronting the metal band that bears his surname, here Dokken steps out with an album of mostly self-penned acoustic numbers, singing on lush and dreamy numbers like "I'll Never Forget," "In the Meadow" and "Where the Grass is Green" while being backed by a sharp band that includes drummer Vinnie Colaiuta (Sting) and bass man Tony Franklin (Whitesnake). Not only will fans get to hear a different side of Don on his own songs like the sedate "Venice" and the delicate, synth-enhanced ode to universal love that is "Sarah," but he also puts his own spin on the classic Celine Dion hit "My Heart Will Go On," Charlotte Church's "All That Love Can Be" and the Labrinth cut "Jealous." Some longtime fans will probably be wary of this release but those who take a chance will be rewarded with a fine album that teeters delightfully from folksy to progressive.

Dante Fox - The Roots of Great White 1978-1982
Here's a compilation of 17 tunes from the band that preceded the formation of Great White. Featuring Great White founders Jack Russell on vocals and Mark Kendall on guitar, this material has never been released before, probably because the songs are demos with some sound problems such as tape hiss. Still, besides being a historical document, the collection presents fun, easy to get to know melodic rockers like "In Love," "Motor Love," "Front Row Girl" and the Motley Crue-like "Stay Away." Russell and Kendall wrote all the songs here, and those familiar with Great White's self-titled debut album will hear two especially-familiar songs in "In Love" and "Money," which after a lyric rewrite appeared on the Great White debut as "On Your Knees" and "Stick It" respectively.

Thor - Rising
We've heard from Thor quite a bit lately and it's always a fun time when the metal god starts swinging his hammer. Here the big man (Jon Mikl Thor) rocks through 10 cuts backed by his three-piece band, referencing classic metal sounds of the '80s all the way through. Hints of Black Sabbath ("Wormhole") Judas Priest ("Defend or Die") and other classic hard rockers echo throughout, and "We. Will. Destroy. You." even has a couple of riffs giving a nod to Rush, perhaps in an homage to the recently-deceased Neil Peart. The boogie of "The Rut," the macho posturing of title cut "Rising" and the Doors-recalling "Son of Thunder" are other fun cuts here; the album's obligatory toned-down cut is "Power Mask" and it sounds great too. One of these days Thor will get the mass exposure he's deserved for decades; for now it's cool that his music continues to rain down from on high.

Chris Haskett and His Ongoing Dysphoria - Insufficient Necessities
Best known as guitarist for the Rollins Band, Haskett has also been a hired gun for David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Jah Wobble, Lloyd Cole and many others. Here he teases with a four song EP, an instrumental effort showcasing guitar that opens with "Dodge 'Em," a jazz fusion/rocker with a serious dose of funk featuring both Satriani-esque fluidity and buzzing punk rock riffs. Drummer Johan Jansen and percussionist Ton Maassen whip up a rhythm storm for Haskett to rock out over on "Ivy City," while the amusingly-titled "Hoof-Deee!" finds all the instruments in a playful mood as it struts down the street with a joyful swagger. Closing cut "Going Back" is also bouncy fun; the cut sounds very much like it could be a Little Feat jam.

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