Wednesday, September 26, 2012

LYNCH MOB "Sound Mountain Sessions"

(c) 2012 Rat Pak Records

  1. Slow Drag
  2. World Of Chance
  3. City Of Freedom
  4. Sucka
George Lynch--Guitars
Oni Logan--Vocals
Robbie Crane--Bass, Backing Vocals
Scott Coogan--Drums

I don't know what it is with George Lynch and EP releases.  Following up his own solo release a few months ago, George dusts off the Lynch Mob monicker, calls up his buddies Oni Logan, Scott Coogan, and Robbie Crane, and treats fans to one of the most satisfying mini-releases of 2012 so far.  Sound Mountain Sessions is a logical follow-up to the last full-length record, 2009's Smoke And Mirrors, but I think this EP is actually superior despite its brevity.  Oni Logan is in top form vocally, absolutely nailing the 70's-tinged bluesy, gritty feel of the four tracks included here, and the groove that is locked in by Coogan and Crane provides a solid framework for Lynch to work his magic upon.  In fact, I would say that this is Lynch's most inspired sounding (albeit not most technical) work in quite some time, relying on soul and feel more than flash and speed and tricks.

"Slow Drag" opens things off with a very Lynch-esque riff, but a much blusier vocal approach than Logan has used in past efforts.  In fact, I don't recall Logan spending this much time in his lower register for an entire song, let alone for an entire release.  That's a shame, as I feel this is the best Logan has ever sounded, tackling the 70's styled approach, a la Badlands, Red Sea, or other similar bands, with power and confidence.  As one would expect, there is a very nice Lynch solo on this track, but it's a cleaner-sounding, more understated type of solo that enhances, rather than dominates, the track.   

"World Of Chance" has another big vocal effort from Logan, especially on the chorus, but the dirty sound of the guitars on this mid-tempo groove-heavy rocker is what grabbed me the most.  Again, a perfectly-fit solo really connects this song which also features some excellent rhythm guitar and bass work.

"City Of Freedom" is probably the closest the album comes to an "anthem", if you will.  It still never reaches break-neck speed or anything like that, but the power of this track is impossible to deny, and the positive lyrics, propelled by Logan's powerhouse approach and Crane's adept backing vocals, really drive this track home.  Lynch takes a bit of a southern rock styled approach to the guitars here while still utilizing the bluesy style that is prevalent throughout the disc.       

For me, the real treat on this effort is the EP's closing track, "Sucka".  Featuring a scorching solo, "Sucka" also incorporates some rather unique tribal rhythms from Coogan during the chorus, and some pretty intense double-bass work near the end of the track.  I can imagine that this track will instantly find its way onto Lynch Mob mixes on iPods and mp3 players across the country, as it has that definitive Lynch Mob feel that I think has been at least partially absent since Wicked Sensation.  As such, this is probably the most "familiar" feeling of the tracks here, especially from Lynch, and really sets the stage for the next Lynch Mob effort, which I hope is next up after the T And A project Lynch and his former Dokken bandmates Jeff Pilson and "Wild" Mick Brown are completing.  I'm also hoping that Lynch keeps this particular version of the band intact, as Crane and Coogan are the perfect bottom end for this style of hard rock and the band sounds like a BAND, and not just a George Lynch backing vehicle, for the first time in a long time.  Perhaps this is due to the fact that every member of the band had a hand in writing the music on this disc, with Logan writing or co-writing all of the lyrics.

For those who care, the album comes in a digi-pack of sorts, with no lyrics, but a couple of nice photos and full credits.  Don't let that hold you back, however; get Sound Mountain Sessions as soon as you possibly can.  Just jump over to Rat Pak Records to snag your copy! 

Rating:  Crank this little gem to 8!

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