Review by Westsidedave.com
Heavy Metal from The Heartland! You KNOW the music industry is in dire straights when a guy with this much talent labors in almost total obscurity! But labor he does, and one would be sorely pressed to find anybody who works harder at their craft than Kansas City`s own Johnny Lokke!
On his first album, “Early Warning”, Johnny lays down 12 lethal Metallic masterpieces that are are obviously and unapologetically [is that a real word?] rooted in Eighties` Euro Metal. Not in the Primal Fall/Hammerfear cookie-cutter style that currently pollutes much of the European Metal scene; more of a homage than outright plagiarism.
In addition to the vocals, Lokke also plays all guitars, bass, as well as recording the whole thing; definitely not the work of a slacker! Drums were provided by long-time associate Damien Scott. The album kicks yer face right from the get-go with the Priestly “Fast Strike”, and then follows that opening salvo with the ultra heavy “Don`t Forget About Me” [with a riff like that, how COULD you forget?!].
Johnny knows his craft, and has a genuine love and respect for our favorite genre, as evinced by the super low end crunch of “Horses And Angels” and “Prayer For The Dying”, an Accept-like stomper, the Maiden-esque guitar harmonies in “I`ll Be Alright”, and the KILLER title track. Lokke`s performance throughout is flawless, in both the vocal AND 6-string departments! And while hints of major influences like Dickinson and Halford abound, tracks like “In My Skin” and “Me The Freak” remind me a little of ex-Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell, proof that Johnny is hardly stuck in the past.
High marks also go to Scott, whose drum pyrotechnics on this album show him to be a major tub smasher of the highest order! Closing out the disc is “Starman”, my personal favorite. Why? Hey, got to Johnny`s website, get the album and find out for yourself! Metal just got one HELLUVA wake up call, and his name is Johnny Lokke! We will be hearing MORE from this gentleman soon…..