Lynch Mob Smoke And Mirrors Frontiers Records
· Produced By: Lynch Mob & Bob Kulick

· Running Time: 61.52

· Release Date: September 18

· Released:

· Musical Style: Bluesy Hard Rock

· Links: Frontiers
Songs: 83%
Sound: 86%
The unfortunate thing with pre-release hype is that it can sometimes steer fans in the wrong direction – something that where I am personally involved – I take great care with.
This album was hyped as the natural follow-up to the band's critically and fan praised debut Wicked Sensation. I don't see that at all.
Besides having original vocalist Oni Logan back in the fold, I don't see the comparisons. The style is far more contemporary and features less sleaze than Wicked Sensation did and even Oni is signing a little differently these days.
Now, that said – it isn't necessary for this album to match the debut in style, just be aware, that contrary to reports, it doesn't. But Oni - the guy is a natural star and his vocals are always engaging.
The album itself is quite varied in style and still misses that certain edge that the debut had. Much of the album is very uncommercial and takes repeated listens to get anywhere close to knowing the ins and outs of each tune and just where the melodies lie.
21st Century Man is a strong opening track that sounds as close to Lynch Mob as you'll probably get in 2009.
Interestingly, the following two tracks are slower and more bluesy in style. Closer perhaps to Oni's solo record.
It then not until the slow and bluesy Let The Music Do The Talking that I get truly inspired again by the material. And this is mainly due to a fabulous slow solo during the song.
The hard rocking The Fascist is another winner and Where Do You Sleep At Night is another strong vocal track and decent chorus.
We Will Remain rolls along at a good speed with a bluesy rock base.
Before I Close My Eyes is also a good anthemic rocker that reminds me a little of Gregg Fulkerson.
The Bottom Line
The middle section lets down the album and the style isn't classic Lynch Mob, but there are still some really good moments here to appreciate – for both old and new fans. Lynch as always is an inspired guitarist, but it's Oni that closes the deal for me. That all said, I doubt I'll play this album anywhere close to what I did the debut or even the self titled follow-up.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Wicked Sensation
· Lynch Mob
· Smoke This
· Revolution
· Smoke And Mirrors

Line Up:
· Oni Logan: Vocals
· George Lynch: Guitars
· Scot Coogan: Drums
· Marco Mendoza: Bass

Essential For Fans Of:
· George Lynch
· Oni Logan
Track Listing
· 21st Century Man *
· Smoke and Mirrors *
· Lucky Man *
· My Kind Of Healer
· Time Keepers
· Revolution Hero
· Let The Music Be Your Master *
· The Fascist *
· Where Do You Sleep at Night?
· Madly Backwards
· We Will Remain
· Before I Close My Eyes *
· Mansions In The Sky

--*Best Tracks

13/01/10: Longtime Boston Fan -
Rating: 88
Took a few listens and now....the cd gets regular play and I am liking it more and more everytime I play it.
Not sure if it should be a "Lynch Mob" album or just a "George Lynch" effort. It is off the commecial path that the previous two Lynch Mob were taking but this effort is quite good...more of a raw sound. On quality sound equipment or with headphones this album is kick ass! It is a "must play loud release" and when it is...the pureness of the songs totally shine.
I hope to see these songs played live later this year; it should be amazing.

08/12/09: Blue -
Rating: 90
Why the 100% in the brackets? Well, it seems to be the trend that if a record is very good and your happy, award it 100%. However, if your going to be objective and realistic and not follow the trend, you should award it accordingly. So i'll give it 90% as there are a couple off "coasting" tracks in this.

That said, I think SMOKE AND MIRRORS is a really good record. Finally, we have Mr.Lynch writing great classic rock songs and both tearing up the fretboard and playing with melody and emotion. The return of tone and feel!

Also back is the great Mr.Logan. Why great, with only 3 or 4 records under his belt? The guy was different to the other LA-singers. He had something of the 70's cool rock vocalist vibe and sounded unique. He still sound great, sings in a lower register most of the time, but ut suits his voice and is quite dynamic as it makes the higher parts stand out more. The lyrics are good, he sings well. Great to see the team back.

I was a little surprised by our leaders review! I wonder if he really gave this the attention he did the others he had at the time. I (and a lot of people I know) hear a way more commercially pleasing record, elements of earlier MOB than he did! I think some people may not have given this record a fair crack of the whip as a result. True, the samples do not do it a lot of justice, but this record is a serious grower and after a few weeks and repeat spins, these songs take on a great vibe. Its record in the ols sense, ie: A body of work and is best appraoched that way.

21st CENTURY MAN :: Pace, riff and structure is reminiscent of Wicked Sensation. Catchy toe-tapping song.

SMOKE AND MIRRORS :: Nice slow bluesy rock number. Some southern vibe here with 70's flavours. Great vocal from Oni, catchy chorus, good groove breakdown and Lynch-Hendrixy solo. 20 years ago a somg like this would have been a huge hit. Something a little Blaze Of Glory about this one.

LUCKY MAN :: Another slow-mid tempo 70's-ish styled number with inspired lyrics from Oni singing about the past, his new simple life and coming back for another shot at being in a Hollywood based band. Catchy song, simple and melodic. Old school Lynch solo, choppey and melodic.

MY KIND OF HEALER :: Sinilar pace to Wicked Sensation, in fact I would say it was the blue print in vibe and styling. Simple and catchy, old meets new with a contemporary take on the 70's/80's vibe. A groover.

TIME KEEPERS :: Faster paced, Maiden.Sabs-ish opening riff, then into a quieter passage like the verses in She's So Evil. Great pre-chorus, very classic Dio/Maiden/Malmsteen-ish. Great solo, love the change of pace in the rhythm section to a sort of gallop. A little Hell Child in here too.

REVOLUTION HERO :: Start is a little like Jungle Of Love with slightly altered rhythm. Not the catchiest song, but has that groove. The first of the weaker songs, but its not a dog.

LET THE MUSIC BE YOUR MASTER :: This is sneaky track! Its seems mundane at first, but it in fact has that sneaky groove that creeps up on you. Like those slow Scorpions songs like Animal Magnestism. This is a little like The Beast of Sacred Groove, but with melody and real words. I hear Ozzy in this too. Very much a album track, some phase drenched solo work from Lynch over a groove beat. Not spectacular but OK.

THE FASCIST :: Up-tempo number and great to follow the previous numbers. Some great lyrics and sounds, lots of tempo changes. Some guitar sounds from She's Evil here. It kinda has the dynamics of Street Fighting Man, that light and shade, hard and soft. Good track and nice key change with old school Lynch solo.

WHERE DO YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT :: Henrdrix-ish start that burst into a great melody drenched signature. Mid temp but uplifting when Oni sings about corruption with goverment and drugs etc. Its clear that one of this CDs winning traits is the fact Lynch underplays and doesn't smoother the music. Great guitar tones and another..yeah another old (ULAK-ish) school Lynch solo.

MADLY BACKWARDS :: Oooo, this one has devided opinions. Its has 70's glam groove, the vocal has a typical 70's production..HEY, its different, thats a dynamic with this CD. Oni sings about travelling to play in Australia. Some amusing lyrics. Its a little groovy 70-ish inspired rocker. Aero meets ZZTOP. Would be pleaser live. Nice solo from Lynch, again lots of melody, slow and fast passages but playing for the song. A real sneaky grower.

WE WILL REMAIN :: !!!This could be Dio, Rainbow, classic Maiden!!! Very Euro vibe, maybe this is what Yngwie would write if he let others write/produce him. Catchy with some great neo-classical guitar..the solo is great and sound like it could be from LMII (Cold Is The Heart vibe). Tasty playing indeed with some tips of the hat towards Blackmore.

BEFORE I CLOSE MY EYES :: The real surprise on the CD. This could be Bon Jovi song, no..not like You Give Love, but something from the Keep The Faith, These Days era. Simple intro, catchy verses, brilliant chorus. uplifting feel good song that urges you to sing along. One of the ROCK ballads of the year. Its not slushy or sappy, its just damn good. Simple melodic solo from Lynch and with some nice arpegio playing on the outro passages. Perhaps the most DOKKEN like song.

MANSIONS IN THE SKY (Bonus track) :: Good track, though I would have prefered the CD ended with track 12. Another Euro-ish sounding track, has that Rainbow / Dio / Maiden vibe. Mid tempo, its OK and has grown on me. As far as bonus tracks go, well lets just say its more worthwhile than the WINGER bonus track. Perhaps contains the most old school Lynch solo, has that typical signature style that Lynch used on parts of ULAK.

So..great performances by all involved. Has agreat production and its best factor is that it is understated and not overblown in production of playing. People say its not like classic Lynch Mob. I hear a combination of WS and LMII, plus some new sounds, southern vibes, contemporary, grooves all mapped onto a blue-print of the past. It just needs a little time. So 13 tracks, for me 8 are winners, three are growers and 2 leave me a little cold. I reckon this is a record that sadly a few will ignore, only to discover it down the line and lick themselves for not "getting it" at the time. A few of the releases from around this time have worn off of me a little, but this hasn't.

FOR THE RECORD..this is nothing like SMOKE THIS, its not like LYNCH PILSON or SOULS OF WE. Lynch and Logan are back.

04/12/09: Skip -
Rating: 80
It's good but lacks the George Lynch groove I crave. It's a good album to get but I wouldn't break my neck to get it.

04/12/09: Roberto - ROBERTOBORGES1972@HOTMAIL.COM
Rating: 90
It is amazing to see Mr. George back to the REAL business!!!
The fan are waiting for the brazilian gigs in Jan 2010.
Many Thanks.

02/12/09: DJ -
Rating: 80
Wicked Sensation this ain't but it ain't half bad.Great to hear Oni Logan again and the combination of Lynch,Mendoza and Aldridge doesn't hurt either."My Kind Of Healer" is the song you want to check out if you're looking for something similar from Wicked Sensation.

02/12/09: Tommyk -
Rating: 40
I liked the songs toward the end of the album.The rest was pretty bland for me. 40/100

05/11/09: Doug -
Rating: 65
I must be on another planet. This is not a very good album. Why? Because it isn't memorable. George Lynch is an amazing guitarist, but he insists on changing his sound and style all the time. I am definitely in the minority in liking the second Lynch Mob cd better than Wicked Sensation. It had more melody and the songs had more memorable choruses. I also like Robert Mason better as a vocalist. This one just doesn't do it for me. Oni sounds good, the songs just aren't there.

01/11/09: Tony Z -
Rating: 94
This album should of been released right after wicked sensation... I really think the cd kicks ass! Ok this might not be as good as there debut cd but come on guys...that was 19 years ago! These bacth of songs really grow on you. Oni Logan still has his killer voice and his charming charisma as back then. Totally Awesome Boys!

29/10/09: Fernando -
Rating: 80
The good the bad, the great, The phenomenal…..

This is only my opinion on the new cd. It was great to finally have george and oni hook up again. I think the two have real magic together

First off…..The good… Smoke and mirrors, Lucky man, Time keepers, The phacist, Where do you sleep at night are good songs. Some blues, some great melodies…solid songs overall. The jam/extended solo in time keepers is excellent

The bad…..My kind of healer, revolution hero, let the music be your master….I don’t understand why these tunes even made it on the cd. They are just not good enough. Whether it be the melodies or riffs or lyrics, they just don’t measure up.

The great…..21 century man, madly backwards, we will remain…..fantastic vocals with some great riffage. You can’t go wrong with these tunes.

The phenomenal…..tough to pick which is my fav between these 2. I can’t believe mansions in the sky is a bonus track. Are you kidding me. This song is strong in everyway, and it sounds modern!!!!!! The lyrics grip you along with top notch vocals. Oni owns this song. Great guitar with superior tone and a solo that says Sensei!!!! The overall tone of this song, the evilness of it, the darkness comes across so well. They nailed it. And of course Before I close my eyes is the commercial song and also amazing, but I love it for all things that MITS isn’t. The chorus beautiful and once again george delievers a beautiful solo.

This is a solid cd, and nothing to do with wicked sensation. It stands on its own, and it’s a breath of fresh air. There is some playing from george hear that I haven’t heard in a very long time. The kind of melodic wail that we were so used to. In the last number of years his playing has been more technical, more diminished stuff and less about melody. This cd really brought those characteristics back. I wish more time had been spent on the songwriting and production. I think a producer was missed. I paid $25 for this cd and in this day of stealing and itunes and all that jazz, its unheard of for someone to pay that much for a cd, but I don’t regret it one bit. I will pay $25 for the follow up. Let there be one!

28/10/09: Wardy -
Rating: 90
Brilliant return from one of the genre's most loved bands.

Gonna keep this one real short but I think we have a sensational album right here. These guys have returned strong and what's good is that much like REECE did with his solo album, Lynch Mob recognize they can't rely on old trends and while have produced music that relates to their Wicked Sensation album, have taken things into a more modern and mature direction, a move I applaud them for! Having said that there's heaps of good melodicrock of old to be found here, just dressed in new threads ;)

The title track Smoke & Mirrors is an absolute masterpiece. Think the blues of Badlands with some Lynch in there and you're in the ballpark, wonderful tune!

Let the Music be Your Master is the heaviest LM period, a wall of sound that just kicks and grooves along nicely, awesome vocal from Oni... The Fascist fires things up nicely again with an impassioned vocal by Oni particularly during those verses... We Will Remain is another speedier number this one with a kick ass chorus... Time Keepers is just wow, killer riffs another wall of sound (seriously some of Lynch's best stuff in years!)... Before I Close My Eyes would be huge if given the Bon Jovi or Mr Big name stamped on it, but alas it will probably go ignored by the masses which is nothing short of a sin... Madly Backwards is indeed mad but hell if I can't stop singing along to its groove and bounce, hell of a fun tune which reminds me of the styling of their self titled album... the swagger and grind of Revolution Hero is just sensational and bloody refreshing to hear so well done... SHIT I COULD GO ON ABOUT EVERY DARN SONG IT IS THAT GOOD! What a wonderful year it's been for this genre of music, notch this one up a must buy guys!


14/10/09: Brian -
Rating: 94
I may be in the minority here, but I'm really liking this album. As a whole, i like it better than Wicked Sensation. There were some MONSTER tracks on WS, no doubt. But there were some tracks on WS I didn't care as much for too. This album, I love it start to finish.

13/10/09: bobinnashville -
Rating: 93
I like this CD alot. It's a little more melodic, in places alomost a Bon Jovi feel to "Lucky man" but I think Andrew totally under-rated this. The Title cut is a very crafty tune.

George Lynch goes off with a great solo during "My Kind of Healer". I also like the groove of "Madly Backwards" which also has a long killer solo by George Lynch.

Oni Logan is a fun singer and Marco Mendoza and Scot Coogan keep it moving.

It's certainly better than many releases rated in the Mid 80s on here. Alot better.

13/10/09: Mark -
Rating: 87
Upon the first listen, Blue Murder comes to mind. This is not a bad thing though. Definitely has a southern draw to it, also the unique twist of Lynch's guitar prowess.

13/10/09: Feverdream -
Rating: 89
I like the new Lynch Mob! No, its nowhere close to the first two records but c'mon, they were masterpieces.
I thought it was a quality 3rd album.

ADD YOUR OWN REVIEW! (Ratings out of 100)