Frontiers Records [Release Date 21.08.15]
Former Dokken guitarist George Lynch is in extremely prolific form after an up and down career. Less than a year ago came a mini album under the Lynch Mob banner, ‘Sun Red Sun’, then his collaboration with Stryper’s Michael Sweet was one of the best melodic rock albums of this calendar year.
While that album lay firmly in the melodic mainstream, ‘Rebel’ is a more organic effort that makes few concessions to commerciality. An interesting opener in ‘Automatic Fix’ does anything other than what it says on the tin, dark sounding and stripped back yet with a melodic guitar solo mid song.
The majority of the album consists of some rather plodding heavy blues workouts. There are few obvious hooks, with the groove seen as more important, but they come over as a tad repetitive and mid paced.
On the plus side the playing has a real band feel to it, unlike many of the studio only projects emanating from the Frontiers stable. The production is excellent and brings out both the strong, if somewhat dry, bluesy tones of Oni Logan’s voice and each instrument which can be heard clearly.
Surprisingly for a noted guitar hero, George is very much a team player with a low-key role, and indeed at times the sparse sound really brings the rhythm section, which interestingly includes former Dokken bandmate and current Foreigner bassist Jeff Pilson, to the forefront.
‘The Ledge’ belatedly varies the pace, a moody piece reminiscent of the Empire-era Queensryche who they supported on their first UK tour a whole quarter of a century back. After spending the whole album playing with tasteful restraint, the final song ‘War’ has a vintage extended shredding solo from George who suddenly seems to have been let off the leash. It is a tantalising glimpse of a style that for me would have improved a decent album. *** 1/2
Review by Andy Nathan
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