Lynch Mob
Lynch Mob / George Lynch

Lynch Mob Lynch Mob - Wicked Sensation (Elektra) 1990

1.      Wicked Sensation (4:40)
2.      River of Love (4:22)
3.      Sweet Sister Mercy (3:40)
4.      All I Want (5:03)
5.      Hell Child (4:49)
6.      She's Evil But She's Mine (5:09)
7.      Dance of the Dogs (3:45)
8.      Rain (4:52)
9.      No Bed of Roses (4:20)
10.     Through These Eyes (5:15)
11.     For a Million Years (6:17)
12.     Street Fightin' Man (4:48)

With the split in Dokken, band leader Don Dokken goes off and records a fantastic solo CD titled "Up From the Ashes". Meanwhile former Dokken members George Lynch and "Wild" Mick Brown hook up with Oni Logan (vocals, harmonica) and Anthony Esposito (bass) and record a solo record of their own. The sound isn't so far removed from Dokken that it would turn away fans of the band. The music is a bit more lush, earthy and blues-inspried than Dokken but still retains those hooky choruses and simple song structures. If Lynch wasn't inspired by the success of the first Badlands album that was released a year earlier, I'd be surprised. The similarities in sound are striking. George Lynch is a shredder and makes his presence known on songs like  "Wicked Sensation", "River Of Love", "She's Evil But She's Mine" and "No Bed Of Roses". Vocalist Oni Logan has a voice that reminds me of David Coverdale and Ray Gillen at times.

Lynch Mob Lynch Mob (Elektra) 1992

1. "Jungle of Love" (3:48)
2. "Tangled in the Web" (4:39)
3. "No Good" (4:16)
4. "Dream Until Tomorrow" (6:07)
5. "Cold Is the Heart" (5:25)
6. "Tie Your Mother Down" (3:48)
7. "Heaven If Waiting" (3:52)
8. "I Want It" (4:48)
9. "When Darkness Calls" (5:25)
10. "The Secret" (5:07)

About three quarters of this album is excellent bluesy heavy metal, not unlike Badlands. The other portion is slick AOR and radio ready ballads not unlike Lynch's former band Dokken. The first three tracks are quite impressive in the aforementioned blues rock style. While Lynch's guitar playing is impressive, it's actually Robert Mason's vocal performance that steals the show. He has a slight grit to his voice that works quite well with the bluesier numbers yet he is still smooth enough to pull of the more commercial numbers as well. It's not until track four that any resemblance to Dokken is heard. "Dream Until Tomorrow" is a slow, ready made radio ballad and is one of the least impressive songs on the disc. A classy, slick cover of Queen's "Tie Your Mother Down" is also included. Overall, a surprisingly good album.

Sacred Groove George Lynch - Sacred Groove (Elektra) 1993

1. "Memory Jack" [instrumental] (1:38)
2. "Love Power from the Mama Head" [instrumental] (5:27)
3. "Flesh and Blood" (4:59)
4. "We Don't Own This World" (4:25)
5. "I Will Remember" [instrumental] (4:16)
6. "The Beast, Pt. 1" (6:52)
7. "The Beast (Pt. II, Addiction to the Friction)" (2:47)
8. "Not Necessary Evil" (5:13)
9. "Cry of the Brave" (5:06)
10. "Tierra del Fuego" [instrumental] (6:03)

Yes, I know, all those who have emailed me in the past, chastising me for not having a Dokken collection are falling over in their chairs right now. So, why would a guy who is not a huge Dokken fan care about a solo album from Dokken's guitarist? Well, to be quite honest, it's for the awesome vocalists that George uses on this disc including Ray Gillen (Badlands) and Glen Hughes. Besides, this disc absolutely annihilates from beginning to end. Some of the material is in the Satriani/Vai school of shred guitar instrumentals. The other songs would probably fall into the melodic metal/AOR label. Overall, the album is a good listen all the way through. Both the instrumental and the songs with vocals are very enjoyable. Of course having legends like Gillen and Hughes singing for you helps quite a bit, but the songwriting is quite good as well. Must also add, this disc sounds nothing like Dokken.

Smoke This Lynch Mob - Smoke This (SGR) 1999

1.      Chem-Geo (3:57)
2.      What Do You Want? (3:48)
3.      Smoke This (4:55)
4.      Hollow (6:28)
5.      Chromeplated (5:36)
6.      Hype Orgasmic (5:39)
7.      Get It Together (5:56)
8.      Playalistics (4:31)
9.      Into The Fire (7:22)
10.     When I Rise (6:16)
11.     Freak Attack (3:26)
12.     Beg (4:46)
13.     Relaxing In The Land Of Oz (6:13)

Back in '99 I had a good friend who happened to be a big Dokken and Lynch Mob fan. George Lynch had long been his favorite guitarist, so when it was announced that Lynch Mob would be releasing a new CD, he was, of course, psyched! One day we were out at a local record store and he picked up "Smoke This", plopping down his $16 for what we thought would be another Lynch Mob album. We checked it out in the car immediately after leaving the store. Needless to say, what we were expecting wasn't what was delivered. Within moments of hearing this we both had the same thought, "what the heck is this crap?"

"Smoke This" was George Lynch's attempt at the then current rap-rock/rapcore trend that was being headed up by bands like Limp Bizkit and P.O.D.. What possessed George to think that fans of Lynch Mob would like this abomination of an album is beyond comprehension. If he had released this under a different band name, it might have gone over better. As it stands, fans of Lynch Mob weren't interested in this trendy crap and younger fans that were into the current bands at the time certainly weren't interested in older band's trying to do their style of music. It's just a lose/lose situation.

It had been years since that day in the car and I never again bothered to pick up or listen to this album until a beautiful snowy day in December 2011 when this CD arrived in my mailbox. Perhaps this album is better than I remember it being? Perhaps my memory of this album being a complete abomination was wrong? May be there are some redeeming values to "Smoke This" that I missed the first time? I forced myself to listen to this CD several times looking for those possible redeeming values. For the most part, I still think this is just a horrendous, sell-out, abomination along the line of Limp Bizcrap. However, if I had to point out something redeeming from this CD, "Hollow" is a dark, ominous alternative rock track that I didn't hate as much as the rest. As well, the over seven minute long "Into the Fire" features an extended funky jazz-fusion guitar jam that Lynch fans might enjoy. Still, there is a whole lot of crap to wade through to get to a couple moments of interest. Thankfully, it didn't take long for Mr. Scary to abandon this sound.

Wicked Underground Lynch/Pilson - Wicked Underground (Spitfire Records) 2003

1. "Breath and a Scream" (6:10)
2. "Beast in the Box" (4:10)
3. "When You Bleed" (4:27)
4. "Vaccine" (4:48)
5. "Ever Higher" (5:34)
6. "Zero the End" (4:17)
7. "The Evil that You Are" (4:19)
8. "Awaken" (3:59)
9. "Cromanic" [instrumental] (5:01)
10. "Goodbye Utopia" (4:33)
11. "Inner View" (2:48)
12. "Closer to None" (4:56)

Well, this CD is almost more of a Dokken CD than some of the more modern Dokken CDs themselves. "Wicked Underground" reunited two of Dokken's founding members, who also happen to be two of the band's songwriters as well. I am sure at the announcement of this formation that Dokken fans were foaming at the mouth. I certainly remember reading all the hype on-line about it. Unforunately you aren't going to find any songs like "In My Dreams", "Into the Fire" or "Alone Again" on here. What this CD succeeds in doing is marrying the classic melodic rock sound with some modern leanings. Several times when listening to this CD I was reminded of some of John Sykes solo material, mixing suberb guitar solos over melodic hard rock. Even Pilson's vocals reminded me of Sykes from time to time. I know the man can sing. I've seen Dokken several times over the years and a few of those times Pilson was outsinging Don. Unfortunately, however, his vocals don't save this disc as the songs are almost forgettable. It's not that this is a bad disc, but that it just doesn't have the hooks or even come close to matching up to those classic Dokken CDs, or even the first two Lynch Mob albums for that matter. One other slight disappointment was the drums sound which is either triggered or programmed. It's very noticable in the snare fills, especially in the instrumental when the drums stand out a bit more. This isn't a real big deal, but I thought it worth mentioning since it only added to my disappointment. George Lynch and Jeff Pilson are very talented musicians and songwriters, and they certainly are given plenty of room to show off here, but unfortunately this disc is more a collector's item for Dokken die-hards than anything that will see serious spin time.

Smoke & Mirrors Lynch Mob - Smoke and Mirrors (Frontiers Records) 2009

1.      21st Century Man (4:55)
2.      Smoke and Mirrors (5:00)
3.      Lucky Man (4:29)
4.      My Kind of Healer (3:33)
5.      Time Keepers (6:54)
6.      Revolution Heroes (4:01)
7.      Let the Music Be Your Master (6:19)
8.      The Phacist (4:10)
9.      Where Do You Sleep at Night (3:50)
10.     Madly Backwards (4:12)
11.     We Will Remain (4:37)
12.     Before I Close My Eyes (4:43)
13.     Mansions in the Sky (4:19)

"Smoke and Mirrors" was released a decade after George Lynch's horrific abomination titled Lynch Mob - Smoke This. That album was such a joke and blight to the Lynch Mob name, I really had little desire to hear anything further from the band. The band did release another album titled "Revolution" in 2003 but it was mostly made up of re-recorded Dokken and Lynch Mob songs. So, "Smoke and Mirrors" is really the first all-new album from Lynch since 1999. As has always been the case with Lynch Mob, George Lynch is the only stable member of 'the band'. However, original Lynch Mob vocalist Oni Logan returns. On bass is the phenomenal Marco Mendoza, who has also recorded with Ted Nugent, among others. Scott Googan takes over the drum position from longtime Dokken/Lynch Mob drummer "Wild" Mick Brown who was off touring with Ted Nugent at the time.

Musically, the band drops all signs of nu-metal and rap-rock and returns to their heavy-edged rock and roll. Though the production standards are much different, the music here could have followed-up the band's heralded self-titled album. The songs are fairly heavy, though the band focuses more on melody and songwriting than trying to be ultra-heavy. The title track and "Revolution Hero" have a big, heavy, bluesy swagger while "My Kind of Healer" sounds like it could have been written for "Wicked Sensation". The nearly seven-minute long "Time Keepers" is one of my favorite tracks on the CD. It has a killer, infectious groove driven by a simple heavy riff. The song also has some nice lead work. However, despite George Lynch's well-earned reputation for being a guitar shredder, he focuses his strengths on making his guitar work flow with the song rather than the songs themselves just being exercises in showmanship and guitar wankery. That's not to say the George doesn't let loose here and there. As a matter of fact, the upbeat "We Will Remain" has a neo-classic heavy metal sound with a blazing guitar solo. "Smoke and Mirrors" is a welcome return to form.

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