“Lynch Mob” Wicked Sensation – CD REVIEW by Adam McCann

Record: Elektra Records 1990

Wicked Sensation sums up a genre at its pinnacle

Sometimes Heavy Metal is so incestuous that it makes the Game of Thrones franchise blush. In the grand scheme of Heavy Metal family trees, it is so easy to get lost within who is in what, who was in where, who is playing with who and who has fallen with who. In fact, it’s all a little soap opera when you boil it down to that. When Don Dokken and George Lynch realised that they could no longer tolerate each other, it called time on Dokken in 1989.

Lynch, never wanting to be outdone by his former bandmate jumped straight back into work forming his own band, Lynch Mob with former Dokken drummer Mick Brown recruiting then relatively unknown vocalist, Oni Logan. With Lynch Mob, Lynch decided to increase Dokken’s already highly melodic music whilst pushing the heavier side of Dokken towards the more Melodic Hard Rock route already being explored by the likes of fellow American band, Mr. Big.

As the decade ticked over from 1989 into 1990, Lynch Mob released their debut album, Wicked Sensation to a relatively successful response with its Melodic Hard Rock hooks coupled with that big stadium style chorus expected from the MTV rotation of the day. That is certainly not a criticism, as Wicked Sensation stands out amongst its peers with albums from Winger, Great White, Night Ranger and Danger Danger unable to keep up.

Just like Dokken, Lynch managed to bag a deal with Elektra Records who coupled the recording of Wicked Sensation with acclaimed producer Max Norman, a man comfortable with the music scene with plenty of years under his belt. Besides the big releases that Norman worked on, he also worked on similar sounding releases by bands such as Lizzy Borden, Roughhouse, Dangerous Toys and Dirty Looks. Therefore, Norman and Lynch were like a match made in heaven and this would certainly play to Lynch Mob’s advantage.

The band itself sound hungry on this album, Lynch and Logan fire out of the traps, almost vying for supremacy as a slinky riff from Lynch is attacked by an almost Steven Tyler type scream from Logan signalling the start of the title track of Wicked Sensation. Wicked Sensation has that late 80’s Rock nightclub feel to it with its funky Mr. Big style breakdown and flashy guitar solo that just goes to show that George Lynch is probably one of the most under-rated and best guitarists of the 1980’s. How do you follow Wicked Sensation? Well, you pick the first single from Wicked Sensation, which is River of Love. River of Love is a fantastic slice of Melodic Hard Rock that if you had to sum up the genre with one track, then River of Love would be a good call to demonstrate to someone as an example.

Unfortunately for Lynch Mob, Wicked Sensation came out at a time when the tides of music began to turn that would ultimately put the pressure on Lynch Mob, but Wicked Sensation is full fantastic Melodic Hard Rock defining songs such as Sweet Sister Mercy and No Bed of Roses to the raucous Hell Child and the very of its time misogyny of Dance of the Dogs. All of these band together to form an album that was the pinnacle of Lynch Mob’s career with an album which still holds up well today. 8/10

Adam McCann / MHF Magazine

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