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Lynch Mob - Smoke And Mirrors (2009)

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Lynch Mob - Smoke And Mirrors (2009)

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1 	21st Century Man 	4:55
2 	Smoke & Mirrors 	5:00
3 	Lucky Man 	4:29
4 	My Kind Of Healer 	3:33
5 	Time Keepers 	6:54
6 	Revolution 	4:00
7 	Let The Music Be Your Master 	6:18
8 	The Fascist 	4:09
9 	Where Do You Sleep At Night? 	3:50
10 	Madly Backwards 	4:11
11 	We Will Remain 	4:36
12 	Before I Close My Eyes 	4:42
13 	Mansions In The Sky 	4:18

Backing Vocals – Brett Chassen, Marco Mendoza, Oni Logan, Scot Coogan
Bass Guitar, Vocals – Marco Mendoza
Drums, Vocals – Scot Coogan
Guitar – George Lynch
Percussion – Oni Logan (tracks: 5), Scot Coogan (tracks: 1, 2, 4, 12)
Vocals – Oni Logan 

 

It seems like every Hard Rock/Metal band that has broken up at some point has gotten back together in the past few years. Some, like TESTAMENT, were a welcome return to the Metal scene. Others, like CREED and LIMP BIZKIT should never have happened. Unfortunately, this LYNCH MOB reunion tends to lean towards the latter category; I'll explain why in a minute.

LYNCH MOB was formed by former DOKKEN guitarist-extraordinaire George Lynch after his departure from the band. Their first album, Wicked Sensation was a decent success, but subsequent albums had them fading into relative obscurity. Lynch reunited with original vocalist Oni Logan a couple of years ago and Smoke and Mirrors is their first album back together.

Luckily, even though Logan's voice does not have the range that it once had, it has matured nicely and is very soulful. At times, when he uses his lower register, he almost sounds like departed THIN LIZZY frontman Phil Lynott! The downside is that I found some of the vocal lines lacking, and there's nothing that sticks in my head like some of the choruses of songs on Wicked Sensation did. Overall his performance is decent, but not excellent.

The real detriment to this album is Lynch himself. My relatively high hopes for this album came from LYNCH MOB's previous album, REvolution in which Lynch re-recorded a bunch of DOKKEN and LYNCH MOB songs with tighter arrangements and most importantly a baritone guitar, which added some sorely needed muscle to many of the songs. I was hoping this greater focus on guitar riffs would carry over to this album. Sadly, with the return of the old singer comes the return of the old style of writing music.

The riffs are typical 80s hair metal fare, with the barely distorted guitars pushed to the back of the sound. Also, surprisingly, many of the solos are pretty bad as well! I mean, that's the main draw behind this band, isn't it? We want to hear George Lynch shred it up just like the good old days! Yet, I can't think of a single solo that stuck out to me at all. What a disappointment.

However, it should be mentioned that 21st Century Man and the title track are enjoyable enough songs. You know how you hear an annoying song on the radio or wherever, and it sticks in your head for days afterwards and after a while you realize that you sort of enjoy it? That is how Time Keepers was for me, take that as you will. There really are not any songs that are absolutely terrible, it's just that many of the songs are not good enough for me to want to listen to them again.

Hard-core fans of DOKKEN and Lynch Mob will generally be pleased with this album. Other Metal fans, however, should probably pass because this will most likely not win them over. ---Mike Novak, metal-temple.com

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