It’s been thirty years since Lynch Mob, led by rock guitar whiz George Lynch burst on to the scene following the initial demise of Dokken. The group’s debut record, Wicked Sensation spawned a few minor radio hits and although that release was a solid record, the times they were a-changin’ and Lynch Mob was just one of many victims of the transforming face of popular music that would result in the early 1990’s. Now that what’s old is new again, it seems very fitting for Lynch and company to revisit that introductory offering and present it to the masses in a different package.
Wicked Sensation Reimagined is not a power/pop metal record like its first imagining. The songs were originally produced in a very targeted way, current for the sound at the time. For this collection they have been thrown into a bag, combined with numerous other musical styles, and the entire conglomeration was shaken together to be poured out on to a new landscape and arranged with a completely different vision. Artist’s influences and sensibilities can change over time, and so too the people’s attitudes and tolerances. Lynch declared this record would be the last record ever released under the Lynch Mob name due to connotations that the phrase can elicit in a very sensitive point in history. This reimagining comes full circle if you will, and the first being the last is a somewhat apt swan song for Lynch Mob.
The first third of the record has a definite motif running through it, like they inspiration came form the members hunkering down in a Louisiana bayou sitting on the porch of a stilted creole cabin. Kicking off with a bang, Wicked Sensation begins with a heavy funk riff reminiscent of the 1970’s, but nothing back then had this kind of punch. There is a very present, Southern blues, soul kind of feel to it that is underscored by a chorus that eerily befits the title. River Of Love which may have been the most recognizable song from the predecessor has its tempo curtailed, and is conferred in a blues persuasion, in which Lynch really inhabits the melody, extracting every vibration from his strings.
Sweet Sister Mercy follows and is like a thoroughbred that wants to run being restrained, creating a tension within the tune that draws the listener in. The sounds rounding out the first portion of the album are stamped with more Southern influence with gritty slide guitar and a raunchy sounding talk-box solo. All I Want comes through with a pulsating wobble that gives it a very earthy and organic feel.
Hell Child ushers in a change of demeanor and is a more traditional hardcore rocker with a blistering guitar solo. Brian Tichy, who has played drums with so many recording and touring groups, including previous stints with Lynch Mob really stands out here. The next song is driven by a droning riff that meshes with the well harmonized vocals of the chorus. She’s So Evil really epitomizes Oni Logan’s vocal abilities. Being the only other current member to perform on the original, Logan takes his poetic license throughout this anthology to truly reimagine the vibe of each number.
More rock solid vocals from Logan are on display on Dance of the Dogs for which the tone is set from the quick drum intro for this thumping mover. Bassist Robbie Crane drives the haunting Rain, a rambling electric ballad. No Bed of Roses sparkles with the tasteful guitar from Lynch and an infectious chorus. Through These Eyes, an acoustic ballad, sucks you in with Logan’s impassioned expression of the lyrics. It would be easy to envision Lynch and Logan sitting on stools on a darkened stage treating an audience to a little break from the intensity of an electric set.
The 11 tunes of the compilation are capped off by two harder edged numbers. For a Million Years features a chilling guitar riff and a virtuoso solo from Lynch. This reimagining isn’t rampant with extensive guitar solos, which one might expect from a crew whose name derives from the guitarist’s last name. The solo on track number ten is a nice addition to a set of songs where the individual instruments are in tune to serve the song, versus highlighting one performer’s chops. The finale of Reimagined, Street Fightin’ Man reverts back to a guitar groove that keeps all members in sync throughout this stuttering funkfest, this one ratifies the entire batch to put an exclamation point on the entire listen.
Lynch Mob’s Wicked Sensation Reimagined is available now on Rat Pak Records. Not only is it worth the listen, it is a creative interpretation that gives the listener a symbolic CT scan into the minds of the musicians to hear how those three decade old songs may have been orchestrated had they been completely new ideas and not reimagined.