Album review: LYNCH MOB – The Elektra Years 1990-92 (2 CDs w/bonus tracks)

Cherry Red [Release date 27.08.21]

A 2 CD Lynch Mob package. Wicked Sensation (1990) and Lynch Mob (1992).  All that’s missing is the “best before 1989” label.

And that problem undermined any notion of commercial success.

Either one of these driven, hard rock albums would have sold out everywhere if they’d been released a few years earlier.

They’re chock full of perfectly tailored hard rock. George (Dokken) Lynch’s taut, wiry, torqued up guitar is always played with purpose. There might well be fret melting flurries in among the riffola, but there are no extraneous notes. Everything’s there for a reason.

On Wicked Sensation, the album, Oni Logan’s vocals sits atop the electrifying dynamic shifts created by Lynch, drummer Mick Brown (Lynch’s erstwhile Dokken bandmate) and bass man Anthony Esposito. In that company, it’s hard for a vocalist not to over emote, just to compete.

‘Wicked Sensation’, the track, and ‘River Of Love’ are 4 minute epics of hard rock brilliance, full of tough but buoyant melodies. ‘All I Want’ has something of an unconventional rock swagger, drawing inspiration from the blues, though maybe the best offering here is ‘No Bed Of Roses’, where a simple riff and a basic arrangement undercut the tension and aggression elsewhere.

A tightly edited version of the title track is added to the album as a bonus, slicing half a minute off the original.

Sometimes less is more. ***1/2

Lynch Mob, the album, came two years later. It was more of a band effort, with all members collaborating on the songwriting. Oni Logan had gone, and the superb Robert Mason was upfront.

Like its predecessor, it racked up several complimentary reviews in the music press, but was criminally overlooked by the record buying public, whose attention was fast being diverted toward the USA’s Pacific Northwest.

Still, there are some shrewdly crafted songs here. ‘Jungle Of Love’ and ‘Tangled In the Web’ … the two opening tracks, are huge improvements over most of the debut’s content. It’s fair to say (like a lot of Lynch Mob material) that they are not immediately lovable, but the effort required to get there is part of the payoff.

At times, Logan’s lyrics on ‘Wicked Sensation’ pursued an anguished complexity, aiming to match Lynch’s shadowy guitar phrasings. Here on the follow up, the Brown/Esposito/ Mason lyric writing team try to distance themselves from the over-familiarity of love and lust tropes. Or at least leaven them with the realities of the pain and suffering of life on the street (‘Secret’ and ‘Cold Is The Heart’ are especially effective).

Lynch, of course, is a huge presence. He’s clearly self aware, and works hard to light up the music with the kind of calm intensity that stops short of overloading the band’s musical circuits. It’s impressive.

Bonus tracks ‘Love In Your Eyes’ and ‘Love Finds A Way’ were the original “bonus tracks for Japan”, and could easily have found a place anywhere on the album.  ****

Review by Brian McGowan

Josh Taerk’s latest Sunday Session was streamed on Sunday 17 July.

Check out previous videos here:

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 GMT, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 31 July 2022.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 GMT as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 2 August 2022.

How to Listen Live?

Click the programming image at the top of the page (top right of page if using desktop)

Listen via Windows Media Player. Click or tap here and “open file”
Listen via other media player (eg. VLC) Click or tap here and “open file”

Get Ready to ROCK! Radio is also in iTunes under Internet Radio/Classic Rock
Listen in via the Tunein app and search for “Get Ready to ROCK!” and save as favourite.

More information and links at our radio website where you can listen again to shows via the presenter pages:

Power Plays w/c 8 August 2022 (Mon-Fri)
BORN LOST Take Time (Mouthpiece) (Revolver Records)
JAIME KYLE Driving With The Brakes On (Conquest Music)
SCARLET DORN Born To Suffer (SPV Recordings)
HOLDING ABSENCE Coffin (Sharptone Records)
TYRANNOSAURUS NEBULOUS Get Some (Echoed Past Records)
KROOKED TONGUE When The Beaches Bleed (indie)
SKYPILOT Knifed On The Beach (The Distortion Project)

Featured Albums w/c 8 August (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 LESSMAN VOSS Rock Is Our Religion (Atomic Fire Records)
12:00-13:00 H.E.A.T. Force Majeure (earMUSIC)
14:00-16:00 THE SLAMBOVIAN CIRCUS OF DREAMS A Very Unusual Head (indie)

Popular (last 30 days)

This entry was posted in ALBUM REVIEWS, ALBUM REVIEWS (Mobile), ALL POSTS and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply