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Lynch Mob - "Smoke And Mirrors" (CD)

Lynch Mob - "Smoke And Mirrors" CD cover image

"Smoke And Mirrors" track listing:

1. 21st Century (4:55)
2. Smoke and Mirrors (5:00)
3. Lucky Man (4:29)
4. My Kind Of Healer (3:33)
5. Time Keepers (6:54)
6. Revolution Hero (4:00)
7. Let The Music Be Your Master (6:18)
8. The Fascist (4:09)
9. Where Do You Sleep At Night (3:50)
10. Madly Backwards (4:12)
11. We Will Remain (4:36)
12. Before I Close My Eyes (4:42)

Bonus track:
13. Mansions In The Sky (4:18)

Reviewed by on October 20, 2010

"There's not much deviation from formula on these songs, and all of them are basically bluesy, almost new country sounding tracks that are decent, but nothing to get overly excited about."

George Lynch is one of the few guitarists out of the 80's who a couple decades later is still revered for his talent. The former Dokken guitarist formed his own group Lynch Mob after parting ways with Dokken, and now after more then a decade, Lynch Mob is back with the appropriately titled "Smoke And Mirrors."

Unlike a lot of guitarists who release their own albums, Lynch isn't one to use his band as an avenue to personal glory. Lynch Mob is a true band, not just a bunch of backup players for his guitar work. Still, his guitar work can't help but stand out in these mostly 70's fashioned bluesy southern rock tracks. And though this go around Lynch solicited the help of other well-known and talented musicians, drummer Marco Mendoza of Whitesnake and Scot Cogan of Brides of Destruction, "Smoke And Mirrors" is still mainly about the guitar work.

Fans of the original Lynch Mob should be happy to note that Oni Logan has returned as lead singer for this album. Personally I've never been a fan, but his no frills vocals are pretty much the same as they've always been. "Before I Close My Eyes" finds him struggling to maintain pitch, but otherwise he plods along and manages to get the job done.

There's not much deviation from formula on these songs, and all of them are basically bluesy, almost new country sounding tracks that are decent, but nothing to get overly excited about. If you like southern rock, you'll probably like them, and if you don't, well, you won't.

The title track sounds like a cross between Saliva and Tim McGraw, and other than the guitar work is a pretty weak tune.

However, "My Kind Of Healer" and "We Will Remain" offer a couple bright spots. "My Kind Of Healer" offers some nice sleazy guitar work and is the focal point of this blues hall tune that even features a harmonica. "We Will Remain" has a more classic rock feel to it, bringing to mind early Dio works, and the breakdown here will remind fans why they loved George Lynch 25 years ago.

"Let The Music Be Your Master" would be a great tune if it was cut in half, but at over six minutes it gets monotonous in spite of the psychedelic rock guitar. Still, it's one of the better choices.

For guitar enthusiasts and fans of classic southern rock, Lynch Mob's latest is probably a decent choice. It's not a contender for any awards, nor is it the best George Lynch has to offer, but it's not terrible. But if you’re looking for something heavy and contemporary, you'll find that this release is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

Highs: George Lynch still delivers solid gritty guitar solos without pretension.

Lows: Oni Logan's vocals tear down compositions that are otherwise good listening.

Bottom line: A southern rock album that probably wouldn't be worth the price if it didn't feature former Dokken guitarist George Lynch.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)