When Dokken broke up back in 1988, guitarist George Lynch had already been sketching on a new band and he decided early on that it was going to be called Lynch Mob. So George took drummer Mick Brown with him, recruited singer Oni Logan and bass player Anthony Esposito and recorded Wicked Sensation, released in 1990, an album that now is regarded as one of the big arena rock classics from that time – and rightfully so. Apart from a couple of fillers, the album is a monster. But it was all downhill after that. Logan left the band and was replaced by Robert Mason (ex- Cry Of Love, now in Warrant) and the band released a self titled follow-up in 1992. The album failed to match the debut both in quality and sold items and the band fell apart. Lynch recorded a great solo album in 1993 called Sacred Groove and it was pretty quiet around Lynch until the original line-up reunited for an ill-fated E.P. called Syzygy in 1998 and the band called it quits again. But just one year after, Lynch Mob were resurrected once more although this time with a completely new line-up. And a completely different musical style. The horrible Smoke This was a nu-metal album and it was clear that Lynch had gone band-wagon jumping. For me, I saw Lynch Mob as a finished chapter in my life and I didn’t even bother with the live releases and the REvolution (2003) album, a record made of rerecorded Lynch Mob and Dokken songs that featured both Mason and Esposito again.
But when George re-hired Logan for the third time and released the album Smoke And Mirrors in 2009, I got the interest back. Not a masterpiece by any means, it was an ok album that at least proved that George had gone back to the melodic hard rock he’s known for and since then, Lynch Mob have been active with Logan as the singer and an ever flowing stream of rhythm sections. Both Sun Red Sun (2014) and Rebel (2015, which also featured Dokken bass player Jeff Pilson, now in Foreigner) were good hard rock albums that kept the Lynch Mob tradition intact without being able to hold a candle to the brilliant debut. Now Lynch and Logan are back with yet another effort, this time with bass player Sean McNabb (Great White, House Of Lords, Quiet Riot) and drummer Jimmy D’Anda (Bulletboys) as the rhythm section and once again, it would be interesting to find out whether Lynch and co. would be able to match the debut.
They open the album with the leading single “Main Offender”, a pretty heavy and ballsy rocker with Lynch’s fretboard work intact, great riffs that are unmistakably George Lynch. It holds a tough groove and even though not a masterpiece, it’s a good enough tune. Single # 2 “Mr Jekyll And Hyde” follows and it is a riff fest with an intense groove that reminds med of the second self-titled Lynch Mob album. It’s a melodic and rocking number that sports a slightly alternative touch. The verses are really good but the chorus falters some but not enough to bring the song down. A good tune, no more no less. “I’ll Take Miami” is great, though. The tune breaks loose with a heavy groove and a killer melody. The chorus is very memorable and sticks right away but it’s not hit-catchy, more of a very good album track with a live feel. Lynch Mobs goes total pop-rock with “Last Call Lady”, a melodic rock tune with a catchy refrain and some gritty guitars. The best tune so far.
“Where We Started” is a hard rock groover in mid pace that holds a steady beat and a striking melody. It’s not a very direct song but it grows on you while playing. It’s a bit on the darker side but the melody etches itself to the brain. Still, the tune is just ok and not one of the stronger tunes so far. “The Forgotten Maiden’s Pearl” is more laid-back, based on acoustic guitars and percussion. It’s somewhat hippie-laden and a bit on the folky side, reminiscent of late 60’s Beatles and also holds a Led Zep vibe. A very calming tune that gives you a sense of comfort and it reminds me of Oni Logan’s solo album Stranger In A Foreign Land (2005). I love that album and I think this song is bloody awesome. Darkness roams around “Until The Sky Comes Down”. The groove and beat are steady and rhythmic and the whole arr is quite robust and rough and the melody is catchy. The chorus is massive and it makes the tune a real winner – great!
“Black Heart Days” is reminiscent of Lynch’s project Souls Of We, sleazy, half-psychedelic and hard rocking. But it is a tune that really don’t go anywhere and even though it’s not bad, it’s a clear filler with a skip-button alert. “Black Mountain” is heavier and slower and it comes across as The Beatles meets Blind Melon while picking up some Zep riffs that’s gone metal. It’s a cool tune and I quite like it even though it doesn’t rock my socks off. The same goes for “Dog Town Mystics”, a long, heavy, slow and doomy number with a big 70’s vibe and a Black Sabbath influence, mainly within the riffs. While all that sounds cool, the song just doesn’t score a goal. “Miles Away” is better, though. It’s a ballad based on the acoustic guitar with a big 70’s touch, a 60’s feel and a Zeppelin influence. It’s far from a power ballad and it’s authentic, stripped and very atmospheric – very good. The closing track is also a bonus track but “Until I Get My Gold” is actually better than many of the songs on the album. It’s a raunchy, groovy and earthy blues tune with a big rock vibe. Complete with a stomping rhythm and a stripped sound, gritty guitars and a fat harmonica, it’s one of the real winners of this record. Very good!
No, this album isn’t even remotely close to match Wicked Sensation, but just like the last two albums, it’s a good album with a step away from being great. It’s well-produced, Lynch is a bloody great guitarist, I think Logan is a killer singer and the rhythm section is flawless without a doubt. The songs are often well-written and I can’t find one bad tune on the record. That said, too few tunes are actually great, most of them are “only” good or fillers which isn’t enough to make a brilliant album. I dunno, maybe Lynch needs a side-kick songwriter that could help him reach greatness, like Michael Sweet did on the debut Sweet & Lynch album, or on Dokken’s albums. Still, it’s good enough to place itself on the upper half of the 1 – 10 rating scale.
More Lynch Mob reviews:
1. Main Offender
2. Mr. Jekyll And Hyde
3. I’ll Take Miami
4. Last Call Lady
5. Where We Started
6. The Forgotten Maiden’s Pearl
7. Until The Sky Comes Down
8. Black Heart Days
9. Black Mountain
10. Dog Town Mystics
11. Miles Away
12. Until I Get My Gold (bonus track)