REVIEW: Lynch Mob – Wicked Sensation (1990)

This review comes by request of reader Wardy, and Jon Wilmenius!

LYNCH MOB_0001LYNCH MOB – Wicked Sensation (1990 Elektra)

When Dokken split, everybody more or less expected George Lynch to take it a little heavier.  “Wild” Mick Brown (drums) stuck with him, and together to put together a band including newcomers Oni Logan (vocals) and Anthony Esposito (bass).  Lynch praised his name band, which had to be dubbed Lynch Mob, because it’s just too obvious not to.

George was championing his new singer Logan all over the press, “best singer I’ve ever worked with,” yada yada.  It was with slight disappointment that I finally heard Logan on the opening title track/lead single, “Wicked Sensation”.  Logan boasted a rough, unpolished bluesy voice akin to Ray Gillen.  He didn’t have a tremendous range but he was very different from the frictionless Don Dokken.  Logan relied on his bluesy, raspy wail to nail the choruses.

“Wicked Sensation” is a great introduction to Lynch Mob.  George did indeed go groovier and heavier than Dokken had been lately.  The song delivered a heavy chorus, a juggernaut groove, and Oni Logan’s sleazy howls.  It was not commercial but it was promising.  The second single “River of Love” was unfortunately more or less a generic rock track.  Where “Wicked Sensation” shook us to the core, “River of Love” merely sounded same-old, same-old to my teenage ears.

The musicianship is impeccable (especially “Street Fighting Man”), and certainly Anthony Esposito’s post-Lynch Mob discography has proved his worth.  George had the opportunity to shred as he hadn’t before, exploring different tones in his solos and rhythms.  It’s not a “guitar” album and there are no instrumentals, but it is heavy on the guitars.  The unfortunate thing is bland songwriting.  Many choruses lack hooks.  Other songs, such as “Sweet Sister Mercy” (generic title or what?) have a good chorus, but little else.

LYNCH MOB_0003

Standouts:

The aforementioned “Wicked Sensation” is an obvious highlight, a song that more or less forces you to pay attention to it.  “All I Want” has a cool, laid-back sleaze groove.  (Logan does really well on this one.)  “She’s Evil But She’s Mine” is a great little track, slinky but still heavy.  “No Bed of Roses” is a smoking hot rocker that just kicks ass.  It has probably the single best chorus on the album.  “For A Million Years” is also above par.

I don’t feel a lot of love for the rest of the album, which sort of becomes a soundalike soup of Lynch guitars and Logan wails.  Bottom line, there needed to be more focus on the songs.  While every track has its own jaw-dropping moments, there just aren’t enough hooks to stick to your ears like peanut butter in the mouth.  Even the ballad, “Through These Eyes” (obviously written in the mold of “Alone Again”) fades from the memory as soon as the song ends.

Wicked Sensation kicks ass, but it leaves me wanting.

3/5 stars

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27 comments

  1. I know nothing about these guys except they chose a terrible name. I get that it’s based on his name, but still. “Hey I’ve got a great idea for our band name! Let’s bring up a horrible thing from history because, um, it’ll make us seem edgy and besides it’s a clever play on your last name!” Ugh. Anyway, I’ll take your word for it, on the record. It seems like a fair review.

    Also: Tony Esposito played bass for them? Well, I guess he had to do something after the hockey was finished…

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    1. *Shyly* I don’t know who Tony Esposito is without googling the name…

      Regarding the name Lynch Mob: Vernon Reid of Living Color felt the same. He had a bit of a feud in the press with George Lynch over the name of the band etc.

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      1. Haha I’m just proving my age, remember Tony Esposito. What a great goalie. He helped bring the butterfly into use.

        I know Jon said he likes the name, but I agree with Vernon Reid. You do have to be aware of what you’re putting out into the world. There’s lots of band names it makes you wonder what they’re thinking beyond trying to be in your face and “edgy,” like Dying Fetus. Seriously? Grow up.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know exactly who you mean. For some reason, that one doesn’t bother me as much. People get upset about anything religious, sexual… Pisschrist, Nashville Pussy… there’s a ton. And weirdly, those don’t bother me.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Everything relative. I won’t say a band called ‘whatever’ doesn’t have a right to exist, but I can decide what like and what I don’t. Pisschrist…that’s kinda funny actually.

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      3. I agree. Usually, anything messing with children bothers me. And race issues like lynchings, or that cover of the Roots’ Things Fall Apart record (both the riots version and the young baby in the rubble version) bothered me. But something like Dead Kennedys? Butthole Surfers? No bother. Weird.

        Yeah I’m pretty sure Piss Christ were named for a fairly controversial artwork…

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piss_Christ

        It was also (apparently) a Fear Factory song title.

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  2. Back in 90 I thought it was a win win with both Don and George doing there own thing. I agree with your rating Mikey. Some good tracks but it kinda lags at some spots. Still a great read. Great Job Chap!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice review, and 3/5 ain’t too shabby all good.

    Honestly think this is one of those records that has improved with the years, can’t see it winning too many fresh ears over now but for all its samey generic sound back when, listening now the whole thing kinda makes better sense or something!?

    Was definitely the case with the sophomore too, that self titled record going further musically than Wicked Sensation did and many of its tunes have outgrown its contemporaries from back when. Wicked Sensation was the fun blast of good times, the sophomore the far more grown up record.

    Back then woulda rated Wicked Sensation a 3, these days it’s closer to a 4.

    Thanks for the review! \m/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome sir. Any others you are waiting for me to do?

      I was listening to some songs from the second album w/Mason this morning. I didn’t like them then; I like them a lot better now. I don’t have that second CD but I’ll check it out eventually.

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        1. Can do on Sonic Temple…that’s a good one I’d like to show off. I have a special one with a hologram cover. Don’t have Lynch Mob S/T yet and I kinda like to review stuff I own when I can!

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  4. Great review, Mike, even though I don’t agree with you on everything.
    First, I think Lynch Mob is a great name.
    Second, even there are a few fillers – River Of Love is clearly one of them, as you wrote and I can’t for my life understand why they chose this as a single.
    But there are some truly awesome songs here. The title track, obviously, but also All I Want, Sweet Sister Mercy, the brilliant She’s Evil But She’s Mine and No Bed Of Roses.
    I also believe that Oni Logan was (is) a fantastic singer, very bluesy, but with his own identity and a range good enough for this kind of music. Do check out his solo release, Stranger In A Foreign Land, an album in a more singer-songwriter style.
    I think this record is as good as Dokken’s Tooth And Nail, Under Lock And Key and Back For The Attack. Even as good as Dysfunctional. And way superior to Don Dokken’s disappointing solo release Up From The Ashes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Up From the Ashes…I think I might do that one next. It had some great tunes on it, but it was more or less weak sounding.

      Oni Logan vs Robert Mason — who would win?

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