Review Summary: Renowned axe-wielder George Lynch updates his sound and style from the '80s to give us something even more dynamic.
There is a plague circulating the metal community these days; it is an affliction that forces the musicians to over-write songs, often to the point where they become tedious and soul-less. We now live in a world where simplicity is often regarded as incompetent, while technicality and uniqueness (no matter how dumb) are blindly hailed as king by many delusional critics. The result- music that all too often doesn’t have the same passion and sincerity our parents were able to relish via bands like Priest and Sabbath.
Lynch Mob is the brainchild of famed guitarist George Lynch, who first made a name for himself during the ‘80s as the driving force behind the popular hair metal band Dokken. Lynch then created a side project that extended throughout the ‘90s and has even reunited in recent years. The group’s 1990 debut Wicked Sensation
doesn’t entirely deviate from the hair metal formula, but it does add in more hard rock and classic heavy metal flare to form what I would argue is the highlight album of Lynch’s illustrious career. Complete with catchy hooks, groovy riffs, smooth guitar tones, and endless solos of the melodic-yet-technical variety that made Lynch a legend, Wicked Sensation
is the type of album that is virtually effortless to jam to.
So, it is worthwhile to flashback and listen to Wicked Sensation
which is a crash course in well-made music that manages to retain personality and plenty of subtleties that will keep the listener engaged for many listens to come without the directionless use of virtuosity, signature changes, and technicality. Of course, there is nothing wrong with any of the aforementioned, but they all quickly become cheap attempts at stardom when not used sparingly. Rather, George Lynch has a knack at being able to father simple riffs and melodies that get the job done. Add in driving drumbeats, superb production (especially for its time), and the vocals of Oni Logan and you’ve got yourself a recipe for Rock n’ Roll success that pays homage to decades worth of hard rock while moving forward into the ‘90s alongside the new guard.
Speaking of Oni Logan, he was basically an unknown at the national level at the time of this release; but Lynch found a gem, because one could’ve easily been tricked into thinking Logan was a hair metal superstar from prior years. Much in the same way that Lynch still utilizes tons of power chords but transcends beyond the one-dimensional guitar playing characterized in the ‘80s, Oni Logan can hit the high notes but doesn’t sound like he has a rod up his tail the way his counterparts from the hair metal scene did. Lynch Mob successfully straddles the line between hair metal and the 1990s, and creates an album that should’ve appealed to a wider audience.
The majority of this record emits positivity & upbeat-ness, and is guaranteed to get some craniums rocking. For those of you worried about the hair metal cheese factor, fear not; Wicked Sensation
has far less than what you’re expecting. In simplest terms possible, Lynch and crew put out a noteworthy album that is more along the lines of early Zakk Wylde-era Ozzy Osbourne than anything Dokken ever did. Lynch Mob never achieved the same level of commercial success as Dokken, but that is just a testament to American culture in general because Wicked Sensation
would’ve been a worthy recipient.