Lynch Mob – Rebel (Frontiers Records)

Genre: Hard Rock/Hair Metal

Initially Rebel sounds ridiculously dated. It’s the sound of the heavier end of the hair metal scale, the sound of vintage 80s MTV and the sound of so many Sunset Strip hopes and dreams.

Dig deeper into this slick exercise in radio-friendly US rock and what it really sounds like is classic Lynch Mob. It’s not so much dated as up-dated: an album that harks back to a glorious past but a record that’s far from redundant where retro-loving 21st century audiences are concerned.

George Lynch is in remarkably good form. At times Rebel veers towards Malmsteen-esque self-indulgence with a series gigantic, angular solos hewn from the coalface of cock rock. But in defence of Don Dokken’s former right hand man, Lynch has always had the licks to justify the odd six string blow-out.

Singles Testify and Automatic Fix are meticulously produced with vocalist Oni Logan perfectly manoeuvred into a mix that’s clearer than a Highland spring. The latter bears a striking resemblance to Mr Big’s most recent work – and that’s the biggest compliment we can pay to Lynch’s mob.

The intro. to The Hollow Queen might be a little too metal for long-time Lynch-ites but stick with it – Logan rises to the fore as Pearl Jam meets Def Leppard on Rebel‘s standout track. And of course there’s a crazy Satch-esque solo…

Lynch Mob have nailed the tricky transition from past to present with aplomb. Simon Rushworth