by John Kindred
– Publisher —
Lynch Mob follows up its 2009 studio album Smoke and Mirrors with this year’s EP release, titled Sound Mountain Sessions. George Lynch continues his renewed partnership with vocalist Oni Logan. Scott Coogan returns to man the drums, and Robbie Crane takes over as the band’s bassist. The EP was recorded at Sound Mountain Studios in California over the course of one week with engineer Chris “The Wizard” Collier.
Sound Mountain Sessions is a continuation of the band’s signature sound that was founded back on 1991’s Wicked Sensation. The music is gritty, bluesy, hard rock and infused with Lynch’s use of exotic scales and legato phrasing, which provides the perfect springboard for Logan’s vocals and lyrical jaunts. While the EP features only four new songs, it is a more satisfying listen than George Lynch’s recent instrumental EP titled Legacy.
As a follow up to Smoke and Mirrors, Sound Mountain Sessions maintains the same continuity, and the songs sound like they could have been on the ’09 studio album. Even though the album’s production is crisp and energized, the grit of Logan’s voice and snarl of Lynch’s guitar give the band its bite, and the rhythm section of Crane and Coogan give the songs their groove. The addition of Crane on backup vocals gives more weight and depth to Logan’s vocal melodies, especially during the choruses.
The music on Sound Mountain Sessions is bold and adventurous. Each song is built around a variety of progressions that, in a lesser band’s hands, would fall apart. Lynch Mob handles these transitions smoothly, weaving in and out of this musical traffic much like a Porsche would handle itself on the open road. “Slow Drag” opens the EP with a very Lynch-ish tritone rhythmic progression. The guitar starts off with full-on screaming distortion, and when Logan enters during the verse, Lynch rolls the volume pot back and produces a dirty-clean-tone that is panned to the left. As the song progresses, Lynch brings back the distortion, raging from both speakers. The song takes the approach of quieting down and then surging back to full intensity. The solo is smooth and melodic. The tone is pure Lynch, and it builds up to the return of the vocal. Lynch solos again with a more spastic lead over the closing bars of the song.
“World of Chance” is molded in a similar fashion. The music is allowed to breath as the guitars come at you either maxed to 11, as clean arppegiated melodies or subtly as dirty electric tones. The chorus here is huge vocally, and the underneath guitar rhythm features Lynch playing octaves that end on a chord and then move into a distorted arpeggiated melody. All the different approaches Lynch takes with his rhythm playing makes these songs sound like swirling waters in an ocean. “City of Freedom” hits with a real solid groove. Logan, who has been on fire so far, continues to deliver a stellar vocal performance. Managing to gives us grit as well melodic vocal melodies, his voice is the perfect complement to Lynch’s guitar. “Sucka” opens with a heavier guitar and brisk tempo. Here, Lynch unleashes with a blistering solo. The chorus has some tribal beats that are provided by Coogan, and he makes use of the double base as the song ends.
Years of living, whether on or off the road, has built Lynch Mob into mature and seasoned veteran group of musicians who have found their identity as a band. If Sound Mountain Sessions is a teaser to what we may get from the next full-length studio release, then fans definitely will be licking their chops to get the next CD.
Oni Logan – vocals
George Lynch – guitar
Robbie Crane – bass
Scott Coogan – drums
1. Slow Drag
2. World of Chance
3. City of Freedom
Label: Rat Pak Records
Hardrock Haven rating: 9/10