Unplugged: Live From Sugarhill Studios
Rat Pak Records, 2013
Some people say “unplugged” albums are hit-or-miss, but Lynch Mob proves that statement wrong with Unplugged: Live From Sugarhill Studios. There is nothing earth-shattering about this EP at all, but at the same time there is nothing wrong with it either (other than its brevity).
With only four songs, it is difficult to get into the groove before it’s over. Three songs come from the band’s 1990 debut album Wicked Sensation, while one from 2009’s Smoke & Mirrors is given the acoustic treatment. The songs are arranged and performed well for the most part; singer Oni Logan does go a little over-the-top in his delivery at times, but George Lynch’s guitar mastery balances it out. Veteran musicians Robbie Crane (bass), Brian Tichy (drums), and Tyson Sheth (percussion) provide a solid backdrop to the superstar guitarist and his vocalist.
There are few complaints that can be lodged against this release. With two full releases and the excellent Sound Mountan Sessions EP from 2012, the song selection could have been widened. Given the short set, however, these songs were well-chosen and wonderfully lent themselves to acoustic renditions. Don’t let the 34-minute runtime fool you on this release; 14 minutes are dedicated to an interview with the band, so you really only get 20 minutes worth of music.
Despite the conciseness of the disc, George Lynch fans will be pleased with Unplugged: Live From Sugarhill Studios.
Watch the video for “River of Love” below:
1. River of Love
2. Where Do You Sleep At Night
3. All I Want
4. Wicked Sensation
5. Bonus Interview Track
Rat Pak Records, 2012
Hard rock vocalist John Corabi has released his first solo recording, an acoustic collection of new songs and classics from his former bands. Corabi treats listeners to three songs originally recorded by The Scream (“Father, Mother, Son,” “Man In The Moon,” “I Never Loved Her Anyway”), two Mötley Crüe songs (“Hooligan’s Holiday,” “Loveshine”), and two Union tracks (“Love (I Don’t Need It Anymore),” “Everything’s Alright”) in addition to five new compositions.
Corabi’s voice has never sounded better as he attacks these songs with a vengeance, and his gritty tone sounds fantastic on top of the acoustic guitars. Joining him are D.A. Karkos (guitar), Topher Nolen (bass), Cheney Brannon (percussion), and Matt Farley (percussion). The chemistry these five musicians possess is evident in every song. Corabi’s Union bandmate and former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick also contributes his abilities to two songs on the album, but not the songs you might expect. Rather than playing lead on the Union songs, Kulick is featured on “Man In The Moon” and “Hooligan’s Holiday.”
All in all, John Corabi’s Unplugged is a fresh take on some great songs, and the new tunes fit right in with the same vibe. The best of the new tracks is “If I Had A Dime,” with “If I Never Get To Say Goodbye” a close second. It’s great to hear a few Corabi classics again as well, and the band truly shines on “Father, Mother, Son” and “I Never Loved Her Anyway.” Fans of acoustic rock and “unplugged” versions of familiar songs will love this record.
1. Love (I Don’t Need It Anymore)
2. If I Never Get To Say Goodbye
3. Are You Waiting
5. Everything’s Alright
6. Father, Mother, Son
7. Hooligan’s Holiday
8. If I Had A Dime
10. Man In The Moon
11. Open Your Eyes
12. I Never Loved Her Anyway
13. Bonus Interview Track
Sound Mountain Sessions
Rat Pak Records, 2012
Throughout their on-again, off-again relationship, guitarist George Lynch and singer Oni Logan have made some amazing music in the group Lynch Mob. The original vocalist for the band, Logan and Lynch split up after 1990’s Wicked Sensation, finally reconciling and reuniting for 2009’s Smoke and Mirrors. More problems arose, and the group has used several different singers over the past year and a half, but last week a new 4-song CD surfaced featuring Logan behind the mic once again. As with Wicked Sensation and Smoke and Mirrors, Sound Mountain Sessions is impressive at every turn.
Bass player Robbie Crane (Ratt, Vince Neil) and drummer Scot Coogan (Brides of Destruction) join Lynch and Logan on this release, providing the foundation on which the songs are built. Logan’s voice sounds as good as it ever did, and Lynch is still at the top of his game on his ESP guitar (as already evidenced by his excellent solo release Legacy, reviewed yesterday). From the snarling “Slow Drag” to the earworm-chorus of “City of Freedom,” Lynch Mob has released a strong but short record that will leave the listener begging for more.
1. Slow Drag
2. World Of Chance
3. City Of Freedom
Watch the video for “Slow Drag” below:
Rat Pak Records, 2012
The list of great guitarists from the “hair metal” era is long, but there are a handful of names that rise to the top. George Lynch is among the greatest of those who achieved enormous popularity in the heyday of hard rock on MTV. He is best known as the former lead guitarist of Dokken, and later Lynch Mob. What many do not realize is that Lynch is still very active today with Lynch Mob and several side projects.
Legacy is a solo record, a showcase of the axeman’s skill. Backed by bassist Rev Jones and drummer Michael Frowen, Lynch blazes through four tracks of unrelenting sound, pulling no punches as he announces to the hard rock world that he still has the ability to shred with the best of them. Instrumental albums can at times be a double-edged sword; while the focus and spotlight is on the fretwork, there is no lyrical component with which to sing along. As such, the listener can be more easily distracted and miss some of the intricate guitar passages that Lynch weaves into his compositions.
There can be no denying the talent that resides in his fingertips, and fans of instrumental hard rock should appreciate and enjoy Legacy from George Lynch. For those who are more inclined to listen to music with vocals, come back tomorrow for a review of another Lynch project.
1. Blood Drive
2. Circulo Del Fuego
4. The Road Ahead