LYNCH MOB

"Smoke and Mirrors" (Frontiers; 2009)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Lynch Mob got its start way back in 1990 after the band’s namesake, George Lynch, exited Dokken. Lynch Mob’s first effort, featuring vocalist Oni Logan, was the exciting “Wicked Sensation.” After that, each new Lynch Mob album featured a new vocalist – not counting the relatively obscure “SyGyZy” demo which included Oni Logan on vocals once again; this is not the best situation for continuity -- not to mention the rise of grunge and rap in the early to mid-‘90s -- that put this particular style of music on its virtual and near-literal deathbed.

There’s a lot to be said for nearly two decades of maturity strictly in the musical sense. Over the intervening two decades, Lynch has fought creative battles with his muse and attempts to incorporate contemporary sounds into his music. Lynch Mob albums, with one notable exception, strove to incorporate more grit and blues into the music as compared to Dokken. Lynch’s solo efforts, especially the covers album “Furious George,” probably did more than any other musical endeavor that has led him to this point of his musical life. As such, Lynch Mob skips over some of the pop-metal leanings of the late-80’s Dokken albums and early-90s Lynch efforts for a more traditional rock sounds and styles.

On “Smoke and Mirrors,” Lynch’s playing is solid and his lead work sounds energetic and inspired. There’s no doubting Lynch’s expertise on the six-string – he’s proved it time and time again and “Smoke and Mirrors” is no exception. Lynch, as the main songwriter, blends metal, hard rock, and blues in his own indomitable manner. Logan’s voice is strong and prominently (and proudly) bears the scars of a weathered life. I can’t believe it’s been nearly twenty years, but it’s nice to hear Logan’s rich voice again. Veteran bassist Marco Mendoza and relatively unknown drummer Soct Coogan make a formidable rhythm section that keeps it simple and
direct without losing sight of flourishes that make the songs stronger.

Standout tracks include disc opener “21st Century Man,” shred-fest “Time Keepers,” and the numerous slow-burning tracks that show more soul than metal histrionics. That said, Lynch Mob is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea – my rating reflects my general appreciation for Lynch’s skills and specifically the band’s successful approach on “Smoke and Mirrors.”

“Smoke and Mirrors” was produced by Lynch Mob with assistance from Bob Kulick and Brett Chassen.

Lynch Mob is Oni Logan on vocals, George Lynch on guitars, Mark Mendoza on bass, and Scot Coogan on drums.

For more information visit http://www.myspace.com/lynchmobrocks.

"Smoke This" (Koch Records; 1999)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Whoo-hooo! Lynch Mob is back. Well, kinda, sorta.

When I first heard that George Lynch and his new band were going to write and perform "rap-metal," my heart sunk. Despite the success of Limp Bizkit and Korn, this particular genre of music has never really appealed to me. So when I finally got a copy of "Smoke This," the new Lynch Mob CD, I wasn't expecting the thing to sound like Dokken or even earlier Lynch. I was expecting a Limp Bizkit/Korn vibe with the awesome fretwork of George Lynch thrown in for good measure.

But that isn't exactly what I got.

Instead, "Smoke This" comes off as a fresh combination of modern rap/metal, classic metal and a selection of other music genres that make for some pretty entertaining listening. No, it's not "Breakin' the Chains," or "Wicked Sensation" but it ain't bad.

The CD starts out briskly with "World Spinning Away," a guitar-heavy tune with lyrics and vocals that aren't quite hip-hop, aren't quite straightforward rock'n'roll. It's a truly balanced blend of styles that still rock the house. "Hype-O," the second track starts off with a tribal beat and heavy guitar chunk that brings to mind Soulfly, but then fades in with pure rock vocals.

Interestingly, about half the tracks on "Smoke This" lean toward this type of sound, the remainder lean heavily toward rap and hip-hop.

"Playalistics" could have come off any rap record out there, while "Relaxin' in the Land of AZ" comes very close to sounding like the bastard child of Pink Floyd, Santana and Snoop Doggy Dogg. "When I Rize" sounds like vintage Beastie Boys and "Smoke This" could have been on the last Coolio CD.

"Indra's Net" is a weird little instrumental number with the sampled phrase, "When's that old guy coming back from outer space" repeating over and over and over...

When it's all said and done, "Smoke This" is, at the very least, an interesting listen. According to his publicist, this is the music that Lynch has wanted to record for years and his comfort here would tend to prove that statement. It seems unlikely that Dokken and/or Lynch Mob fans will find "Smoke This" irresistible, but it will be interesting to see what the fans of Korn, Kid Rock et al will think of the CD.

For more information, please visit George's Lynch's site at http://www.georgelynch.com or visit Koch Records at http://www.kochentertainment.com

"Lynch Mob" (Elektra; 1992)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

The first Lynch Mob album came out just in time for George Lynch to show he still had staying power in the metal community. Two years later, grunge (and, no, I will not capitalize that word), came out and Lynch's guitar sound was considered as archaic as dial-up is today. Props for Lynch Mob to continue on but even a three legged dog can only run so far. This disc probably got moved from the main stay section to the dollar bin without hesitation.

Since George Lynch was the guitar player for Dokken it's too hard for him to change his style and this disc sounds like a Dokken recording. The voice changed from Oni Logan to Robert Mason who has gone on to become a hired voice for Ratt and Warrant. The guitar playing is not as raw as "Wicked Sensation" offered but it's still good. Lynch shows a softer side on the track "Dream Until Tomorrow." The guitar sounds a bit like something he would release on his solo disc "Sacred Groove."

Lynch Mob does a cover of Queen's "Tie Your Mother Down" here: not something you'd expect from a guy who's trying to distance himself from his old band. Cover songs are usually reserved for disc three or four but Lynch does it up right. I had to go back and listen to the original because I forgot what it actually sounded like.

This disc is probably buried in the memory of music because at the time it was out with the old and in with the useless. Fans of Lynch should champion him on this sophomore effort, considering it's taken him more than twenty years to graduate to a chartable release.

Best tracks are, "Jungle of Love," "Tangled in the Web," "Cold is the Heart," and "I Want It."

Lynch Mob: Robert Mason - vocals; George Lynch - guitar; Anthony Esposito - bass guitar; Mick Brown - drums.

For more information, check out http://www.georgelynch.com.

"Wicked Sensation" (Elektra; 1990)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Fans of Dokken probably knew that when George Lynch left his gravy train it was because the lumps were too much to handle. Lynch, who battled with Don Dokken for years, eventually split the band but he didn’t wallow in misery at all. Instead, Lynch’s hiatus allowed him to form a band, place his last name on the marquee, and flex his guitar muscles.

Although grunge came in around the time Lynch released this guitar-driven snub to rival Don Dokken, there were still a few fans that cared about heavy metal music. Even though Lynch had staying power from his years of axe-slinging many thought he couldn’t find the backing he needed with new bandmembers, even though Mick Brown was behind the drum kit to help him out.

I usually follow a guitar player I admire even when they leave a band or spark up a side project because I’m loyal to their music. Lynch Mob was a welcomed listen. Lynch is in my top ten of guitar players so when he recorded and released this disc, I picked it up and wore a groove in a few songs.

The guitar playing is a lot nastier than I expected. I knew that Lynch could squeal each string past its point of rescue but having Oni Logan belt out tunes gave Lynch a much needed confidence to blister each solo even more. 

When I get sick of all the music I have at my disposal, I dust off my guitar and cue up Mr. Lynch. It usually takes an afternoon to get my fill, but bloody fingers need to heal.

Lynch Mob: George Lynch – guitar; Oni Logan – vocals; Anthony Esposito – bass; Mick Brown – drums.

For more information, check out http://www.georgelynch.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

 

Back to CD Reviews Home

Back to RoughEdge.com Home

Copyright © 2010 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 12 Feb 2017 13:05:52 -0500 .