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