George Lynch-Kill All Control
When I first heard that George Lynch’s new CD, Kill All Control was supposed to be the sophomore effort from Souls of We, I was somewhat curious about this disc. I am one of the few that liked the Souls of We CD. I thought there was some pretty good songs there.
When I heard George had the guest vocalists Marc Torien and Keith St. John on a few tracks, I did something I rarely do. I pre-ordered the CD.
I can happily say I made the right choice, as Kill All Control is every bit as good as I expected it to be.
To me, the tracks with Marc Torien alone are well worth the price of admission. I never would have guessed that Marc Torien and George Lynch would have sounded so good together. This is a collaboration that I would like to see happen again. London LeGrand, Will Martin, and Keith St. John all turn in solid vocal performances.
The first four songs on this CD, “Kill All Control”, “Done”, “Fly on the Wall”, and “Brand New Day” all have that classic George Lynch sound. George absolutely brings it on these songs, and many others. The modern sounds of the first Souls of We album are still present on some tunes, but Lynch’s guitar work is the shining star on most tracks.
The CD slows down for the song “Wicked Witch”, which to me sounds like a left over Alice in Chains song, albeit a very good one. (You can listen to “Wicked Witch” at this link.)
“Son of Scary” is a derivative of the 1987 classic instrumental “Mr. Scary” from the Dokken album, Back for the Attack. This song features Fred Coury from Cinderella on drums. If you liked “Mr. Scary” you will probably like “Son of Scary” too. While this version doesn’t quite have the teeth of the original, it is a fun listen, and worth checking out.
Some other good tunes worth checking out are “Resurrect Your Soul”, the cheesy, but fun “Rattlesnake”, “Man on Fire” and the upbeat rocker “Go It Alone”.
Overall, Kill All Control is a good CD, and one of the better solo efforts from George Lynch. Every time I listen to this CD, I like it a little more. If you are a George Lynch fan, you need to pick this up now! I Recommend it!!
-Rob Rockitt, Hard Rock Hideout
George Lynch-Orchestral Mayhem
Sometimes an album comes across my desk that makes me forget everything else that I am doing. It doesn’t happen very often after all the music that I have digested but when it does there is little doubt we have something special. Such is the case with this surprising effort by one of the great guitarists of our time; George Lynch. While you might blow it off and say here is yet another attempt to electrify classical music, you would be very, very wrong. Instead of taking the Malmsteen approach, Lynch uses the classics and a few modern day works as the background for his interpretation of the music. Most of the songs on here are unrecognizable except for an intro to let you know what it is and some brief moments here and there that remind you of what song he is reworking to make it something of his very own.
I have to think that he approached this with the thought in mind, what would I have done if I wrote this music myself. With each song on here there is a sense of that as he takes such work as “Fur Elise” and turns it into a glorious bit of guitar magic. It is one of my wife’s favorite songs and she could not recognize it as George’s use of the original melody is very subtle and only acts as the catalyst for the extraordinary guitar compositions that Lynch has devised.
With many of the songs on here he uses the familiar melody as an intro and then unleashes his shredding ability upon those who are fortunate enough to get their hands on this disc. His unique way of Lynching this collection has to go down as one of the best crossover discs you will hear. The way that he brings some of most powerful music ever created into the modern era is a treat that will bear many repeat trips to the CD player. The way he handles “Carmina Burana”, “William Tell Overture” and “Clair de Lune” are magnificent examples how classical music and metal are really not that far apart. Lynch blends them into a tasty musical stew where each morsel should be savored time and time again.
He also revamps a few newer pieces. The Verve Pipe’s “Bittersweet Symphony” gets testosterone filled electrification with some very superior guitar mayhem from Lynch. He then takes on two of Trans Siberian Orchestra’s most beloved staples. “Wizards In Winter” and “Christmas Eve/ Sarajevo 12/24” to new heights with his abilities. This pair of songs is the most recognizable on the disc with most of them still intact but he does inject some serious metal moments into both. It almost sounds like he was auditioning for TSO and these were the demos of what he might bring to the table as they are the only examples of him playing over or in conjunction with the original melody. Still, the moment he sets fingers to the fretboard everything seems to stop and all senses become attuned to the sound emanating from the speakers, not only on these songs but the whole album.
This one kind of took me by surprise as I was one of those that underestimated the skill of Mr. Lynch. In both his playing and his composition ability he has surpassed anything that he has ever done before. This one is an easy add to the best of 2010 and will never stray far from where I can easily hear it. As good as he has been in the past, this one cements his place in the hall of the guitar gods! The sense of melody he has is as good anyone. He can dazzle you with fretboard magic that rivals all the names that have been placed on guitar pedestals such as Vai, Malmsteen, Petrucci and Satriani. He does so in a way that never sounds like he is just showing off his prowess either. Lynch manages to grab and hold your attention simply because he pays more consideration to the melody than showing off how fast he can run the fretboard. George has come up with a dazzler here and I am going to finish this so that I can go throw the headphones on for another listen to Mr. Scary!
-Scott Ward, Sea Of Tranquility
Lynch Mob-Smoke and Mirrors
Ever since the 1980s, George Lynch has been considered one of heavy metal’s top shredder guitarists. But unlike many other flashy six-stringers from the era, Lynch has often put the importance of songwriting over merely just shredding the night away — all the way back to his Dokken days — and he continues to focus on the “the song” over “the solo” on the 2010 release from the Lynch Mob, Smoke and Mirrors. The big story here for longtime Lynch admirers is that Smoke and Mirrors is the first Lynch Mob release to feature singer Oni Logan since their most successful outing, 1990’s debut, Wicked Sensation. And as expected, quite a few of the tunes are certainly of the headbanging variety — tops being such noggin-pummelers as “Time Keepers.” But Lynch and company avoid the one-dimensional trap by breaking things up with bluesy rockers (“Smoke & Mirrors,” “My Kind of Healer”), a tune that starts off like an Alice in Chains-esque grinder (the album-opening “21st Century Man”), and even a few tunes that would have sounded oh-so-sweet blasting from a Camaro in a local heavy metal parking lot circa 1986 (“The Fascist,” “We Will Remain”). And while many of Lynch’s fans will agree that Don Dokken is his best-suited vocalist, Logan certainly makes a case for himself here, with a strong vocal performance throughout, being able to handle whatever Lynch throws at him. If you’re looking for an album chock-full of George Lynch’s six-string technique, you’ll have to look elsewhere (namely, his solo releases). But for fans of Lynch’s work with Dokken and the Lynch Mob’s early material, Smoke and Mirrors is a welcome addition to the guitarist’s ever-growing discography.
-Greg Prato, AllMusic.com
George Lynch-Scorpion Tales
There’s no denying the Scorpions’ influence on ’80s heavy metal — and particularly, on hair metal bands. And this point is certainly proven on 2008’s Scorpion Tales, by former Dokken guitarist George Lynch. This 12-track release sees Lynch paired with a gaggle of singers who were consistently splashed across the pages of Hit Parade and Circus Magazine during the late ’80s, all of which cover tunes from Klaus Meine and company. As with all “tribute” releases, it’s a mixed bag of the good, the bad, and the ugly, as you’ll find Hurricane/Foreigner singer Kelly Hansen sounding quite Don Dokken-ish on “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” Quiet Riot’s Kevin DuBrow warbling through “Big City Nights” (on one of his last-ever recordings), and Kix’s Steve Whiteman simply slaying (and not in a good way) “Still Loving You.” While Scorpion Tales is certainly not the biggest “must hear” of Lynch’s career, it does succeed on shining the spotlight on an oft-overlooked metal act.
-Greg Prato, AllMusic.com
Dokken-Live: From Conception
Dokken’s 1979 demo, Back in the Streets (available for free download here), is worth hearing, as it’s quite unlike what the name Dokken typically evokes. It’s a short set of fairly raw glam rock that’s bouncy and decidedly ’70s. Dokken’s first album, 1983’s Breaking the Chains, was almost completely different – slick, polished, very ’80s LA. From Conception: Live 1981, culled from long-forgotten West Coast dates, captures Dokken’s sound in between.
The band has had a number of live albums (Beast from the East, One Live Night, Live from the Sun). This one, though, is interesting because the band hadn’t “lost its innocence” yet. Dokken hadn’t yet signed to a US label, and multiplatinum success was years away.
Thus, the sound is an intriguing combination of raw glam rock and slick hair metal. Although 60% of Breaking the Chains is on here (as well as three previously unreleased songs and a guitar solo by George Lynch), the band has a hungry edge lacking on its later, more mature live recordings.
Even though Don Dokken was one of the best singers in hair metal, and Lynch was one of its most technically accomplished guitarists, Dokken didn’t have the personality that peers like Ratt and Poison had. Its songs were too perfect, and their execution was too clean.
However, these complaints vanish here, as this disc captures an energetic club date in great, natural sound. Lynch’s tone is ripping, although his unaccompanied solo is a boring mishmash of two-handed tapping and whammy bar divebombs; he’s every bit the technical equal of Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhoads, but without the soul.
The real stars here are the songs, which are maddeningly catchy. “Paris is Burning” kicks things off strongly, “Live to Rock (Rock to Live)” lives up to its name, and “Young Girls” is about, well, young girls. “Nightrider” becomes an eight-minute jam due to a rather silly call-and-response section that shows off Dokken’s powerful voice. No live disc would be complete without inane stage banter, and this one has it in spades – lots of “I can’t hear you!” and such. At one point, Dokken congratulates the crowd on making some noise: “That’s the LA attitude!” Ah, those were the days.
For those who see Dokken as mere corporate rock or an ironic T-shirt, this disc should be a pleasant surprise. In a way, it lives up to the promise of hair metal more than the era’s studio albums ever did: hot, sweaty rock ‘n’ roll.
Lynch Mob-REvolution Live
George Lynch-The Lost Anthology
Buyer beware: this is not a George Lynch best-of or anthology. This is a two-disc collection of outtakes, demos, collaborations, and other assorted goodies designed to appease the most die-hard of Lynch fans. Selections from Dokken and Lynch Mob as well as his earlier bands like A, the Boyz, and Xciter are all here, but the second disc is where the metal gems truly lie. Collaborations with vocalists Stephen Pearcy (Ratt), Vince Neil (Mötley Crüe), and John Corabi (also formerly of Mötley Crüe) are all fun little sessions and definitely add to the quality of the set. At two discs, The Lost Anthologywould be a bit much to handle for those who aren’t true Lynch fanatics, but those who are will be pleasantly surprised at how well this maps out Lynch’s evolution as a guitarist over three decades.
George Lynch-Furious George
One of the most heralded hard rock guitarists of the mid- to late ’80s was George Lynch. And while Lynch could easily keep pace with all the shredders of the era (Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, etc.), his roots lay largely in ’70s era classic rock. With the Shrapnel label encouraging veteran rock guitarists to revisit their past in the form of all-covers albums (Jake E. Lee’s Retraced, Leslie West’s Got Blooze, etc.), Lynch also got the nod, resulting in 2004’s Furious George. Unlike his work with Dokken, Lynch’s playing takes a decidedly bluesy turn here — especially on renditions of Robin Trower’s “Bridge of Sighs,” ZZ Top’s “Precious and Grace” (quite possibly the album’s highlight), and even the Beatles “I Want You/She’s So Heavy.” But Lynch is known first and foremost as a metal guitarist, and he certainly gets to flex his muscles on covers of Deep Purple’s “Stormbringer,” Grand Funk Railroad’s “Sin’s a Good Man’s Brother,” and Montrose’s “Space Station #5” (which sees singer Kelly Keeling do a spot-on impersonation of Sammy Hagar). While newcomers would be best introduced to Lynch’s playing via his Dokken or Lynch Mob releases, for longtime admirers curious to hear Lynch’s influences, Furious George is recommended.
-Greg Prato, AllMusic.com