Lynch mob – ‘Smoke And Mirrors’
Released through Frontiers Records
Oni Logan – vocals
George Lynch – guitars
Marco Mendoza – bass
Scott Coogan – drums
1.) “21st Century Man” –This intro opens with a simple electric rhythm guitar riff and bass line over the top of Scott playing a ride cymbal pattern. The electric rhythm and bass line are just about if not at equal volume. Starting underneath the arrangement pushing its way up to the forefront George plays a lead guitar lick. This lead guitar lick leads into the main electric guitar riff of the intro. There is a small vocal accent that connects the intro with the musical verse. Oni’s vocals for the verse were done using a vocal effect. George double-tracked a minor lead guitar solo underneath the vocal lines of the musical pre-chorus. Oni’s vocal accents on the pre-chorus reminded me a lot of Ray Gillian. There is a small musical build-up connecting the pre-chorus with the chorus. The short chorus of this track was classic Lynch Mob! There is a small minor lead guitar solo connecting the first chorus with the second verse. To Me I felt the hook of the song was very reminiscent of the hook for their song “Wicked Sensation”. After the second chorus there is a drastic musical change that consisted of a vocal line over the top of it. The lead guitar solo is actually after the third chorus. The lead guitar solo runs through the outro section of the song.
2.) “Smoke And Mirrors” – The intro to this track consists of a very simple electric picking riff over the top of a snare drum pattern. Starting on the second measure a bass line kicks-in in between the rhythm guitar and snare drum. Leading into the main intro arrangement George plays a very simple almost country music influenced minor lead guitar solo. Oni sings a couple lead vocal accents over the top of the main musical intro. This gives the intro a heavy Allman Brothers feel. The band used the same base arrangement of the intro for the musical verse. George kicks a distorted rhythm guitar in for the short chorus. There is a minor lead guitar solo double tracked underneath the second musical verse. After the second chorus there is a small breakdown section that consisted of a very cool backing harmony. After this section there is a small musical change that consisted of a snare drum fill. The guitar riffs that lead into the lead guitar solo sound like they are coming from a completely different song. Which was cool has hell and shows you that George knows how to arrange a song.
3.) “Lucky Man”- This track opens with a classic hard rock intro arrangement. There is a minor lead guitar solo over the top of the intro arrangement. There is a small drum fill and hi-hat count off that connects the intro with the musical verse. Over the top of this musical connection there is a small lyric line. The musical verse consisted of a musical change. As the musical pre-chorus progresses it builds-up to a huge musical and vocal hook for the chorus. There is a small lead guitar riff underneath the backing harmonies of the chorus. George double tracked two different rhythm guitar riffs for the second musical verse. The song has a heavy seventies influence. The lead guitar solo for this song was very well structured and fit the song perfectly! There is action small breakdown section connecting the lead guitar solo with the fourth chorus. The chorus is repeated throughout the rest of the song.
4.) “My Kind Of Healer” –The short intro of this track consisted of a rhythm guitar riff along with a hi-hat count off. There is a small snare drum fill connecting the intro with the musical verse. Over the top of the snare drum fill there is a small Oni vocal accent. The musical arrangement underneath the vocal lines of the verse had a solid groove to it. For the pre-chorus George speeded the rhythm guitar up just a little. For the second musical verse George double tracked a couple lead guitar licks. If Lynch Mob & Badland had a love child this song would be the result!
5.) “Time Keepers” –This intro arrangement consisted of two different rhythm guitar riffs. There is a small echo attached to some of Oni’s vocals. The music speeds up for the musical chorus. There was a huge reverb effect attached to Oni’s last lyric of the chorus. The reverbed effect that was attached to Oni’s vocals was also attached to George’s guitar leading into the lead guitar solo. Though abstract the song was still cool as hell.
6.) “Revolution Heroes”-This track opens with a short tom-tom fill and rhythm riff. The rhythm riff that George is playing is the same notes as the drum fill. Underneath the lyric lines of the verse George change the rhythm riff. This musical verse was taken right from Lynch Mob’s ‘Wicked Sensation’ release. George reverted back to the rhythm guitar riff that opened the musical verse for the pre-chorus. Oni’s first lyric line that opened the chorus had an echo attached to it. There is a small musical change for the chorus before the breakdown. The breakdown consisted of a small spoken vocal section over the top of it. The song had o lead guitar solo which I must say is kind of odd for Mr. Lynch.
7.) “Let The Music Be Your Master” – All in all this track had a very modern sixties psychedelic feel to it and is going to leave a lot of Lynch Mob scratching their heads.
8.) “The Fascist” –This intro opens with a small pick slide and leads into an early eighties Lynch rhythm guitar riff. It sounded like the opening musical verse consisted of two different rhythm guitar riffs. George changed the rhythm guitar riff after the first vocal line of the first verse. The rhythm guitar underneath Oni’s vocal lines consisted of a cross between a strumming & picking arrangement. The musical verse and chorus bleed one into another which kind of sucks. The second chorus leads right into the lead guitar solo. Though the notes of the solo doesn’t really sound like Lynch. The way he arranged them gives the notes a Lynch sound. After the lead guitar solo there is a small one or two measure breakdown section that consisted of a very abstract keyboard section. There is a small lead vocal line over the top of the breakdown section.
9.) “Where Do You Sleep At Night” – This track opens with a single blues influence rhythm riff. After maybe a measure the band kicks the main intro in. At times through the intro the music sounded as if it skipped. This does this several times and almost ruins the song. George switches to an electric picking pattern underneath the vocal lines of the verse. Every now and then he double tracked a lead guitar lick to fill-in the arrangement. For the pre-chorus George’s rhythm riff had a slide sound to it. The chorus for this track was short and sweet. I’m sorry but with the CD having 13 tracks I really did not see the point in this one being on there.
10.) “Madly Backwards” – This intro has a heavy metal shuffle groove to it. The band that most commonly used this type rhythm back in the day was L.A. Guns. For the musical verse George & Marco brought the song down and Scott switched from using the ride cymbal to using his hi-hat. Even though the band did not change the rhythm it gives the rhythm a different feel. There is a small snare fill and tom-tom fill connecting the verse with the chorus. George alters one of the rhythm guitars for the musical chorus. After the second chorus there is a small rhythm change that leads into the lead guitar solo. After the solo there is a main musical breakdown. The way this musical breakdown was arranged lets the backbone of the band shine. George plays several minor solos underneath the last three choruses of the outro.
11.) “We Will Remain” – This intro consisted of several lead licks strung together with the band backing George up. Though the intro is only four measures the way George arranged it made it sound as if this track was going to be an instrumental. The band uses the same musical arrangement for the musical verse as the musical intro. In many that I cannot explain the musical & lyrical verse reminded me heavily of early Rainbow (the Dio years). The transition from verse to chorus was so smooth that you don’t even realize it!!! George altered the riff for the second verse just a little to give it a different feel. For many reasons I can’t explain I am mesmerized by this track.
12.) “Before I Close my Eyes” – This song was perfectly written!!!
13.) “Mansions In The Sky” – The intro to this track consisted of Scott playing a ride cymbal pattern underneath George& Marco playing lead licks. The band kept the same rhythm arrangement for the musical pre-verse. The only change was Scott playing a tom-tom pattern. For the verse George plays simple chording patterns to fill-in the arrangement. For me Oni hooked me on the chorus as soon as he said the lyric, “He cares just one book of Dorian Gray”. George double tracked some of his lead guitar notes for the solo.
‘Smoke And Mirrors’ is the first Lynch Mob release that includes the original vocalist Oni Logan since the band’s freshman CD titled, ‘Wicked Sensation’. This time around the band also includes Marco Mendoza (John Sykes, Whitesnake) and Scott Coogan (Brides Of Destruction, Ace Frehely). From the opening track Oni & George’s songwriting picks up right where the last track from ‘Wicked Sensation’ left off. After a couple of tracks into the release you find yourself boarding a small psychedelic Lynch Mob train that may leave a lot of long time Lynch fans scratching their heads. Thinking, “Jane Stop This Crazy Thing!”. With that being said I don’t want those fans not to buy the CD. Just because the songs are experimental doesn’t mean their bad songs. But, can I say buy the release, or this is a must have? Well….thinking…no and the reason is, the economy and because there is so many great CD’s that has been released so far. In closing, I have to say buyer beware.