Sound — 6
What started out as the aftermath of George Lynch's departure from Dokken in 1989 has very much progressed into the mindchild of the guitarist. Although some would say that the band was initially a four piece unit that could seemingly commit no wrong following the mainstream success of their 1990 debut "Wicked Sensation," Lynch has remained the only constant member throughout the years and numerous lineup alternations. It was until recent years that the virtuoso was able to bury the hatchet with original frontman Oni Logan, which in turn brought along the rest of that defining approach.
In many respects, Lynch Mob's new studio album "Rebel" sounds as though it could have been the logical follow-up to "Wicked Sensation." George Lynch has maintained his authoritative grip on the six strings throughout his own projects over the years, from Lynch Mob to Sweet & Lynch, KXM and a few brief (and disastrous) reunions with Dokken, which has allowed Lynch to keep his distinctive phrasing and songwriting abilities in top form. As for Oni Logan, his deep operatic vocal chords sound as though they haven't aged a day and can still hit those compelling high notes without losing any of his strength. Songs like the opening "Automatic Fix" and the engaging "Between the Truth and a Lie" showcase the best features of these two musicians. There's nothing exactly groundbreaking to be found here, only more of a solid chemistry that was formulated decades ago.
Rounding out the performing lineup are drummer Brian Tichy of Whitesnake fame and bassist Jeff Pilson, who's formerly of Dokken and is currently of Foreigner. These are about as choice of a supporting cast as one could recruit and they do a fine job throughout "Rebel," but they're also little more than hired guns as there's little personality that's thrown into the end result. Supporting this point is the fact that neither Tichy and Pilson will be out on the road in support of "Rebel"; those roles will instead be maintained by drummer Jimmy D'Anda (Bulletboys) and bassist Sean McNabb (Quiet Riot, House of Lords) - again, all all-star musicians, but it makes one wonder why these talents weren't allowed a shot on the record and that Lynch Mob can hardly manage to keep four musicians in the same room for an extended period of time.
Lyrics — 8
As previously noted, Oni Logan remains one of the more well preserved frontmen in hard rock in regard to his singing style and overall tone. There are some Ronnie James Dio similarities to be found in his approach as far as his operatics and grounded overtones, which only benefits the layers of concrete guitar rock presented by Lynch. In all honesty, Logan is at times the only character in the roster that presents any real personality into the performance on "Rebel." Whether he's singing about the influence that money has in today's society or admiring the compelling power of rock and roll, Logan adds variety to an otherwise vanilla presentation.
Overall Impression — 6
The current incarnation of Lynch Mob is the closest dedicated listeners have seen to a full fledged hard rock unit in easily a decade, but on "Rebel" there clearly remains to be some room for improvement. The chemistry that comes with a four piece band nearly always overpowers that of a revolving cast of hired hands, and it's that same chemistry which is notably vacant throughout this studio effort.