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Lynch/Pilson Wicked Underground

By Mick Stingley, Contributor
Wednesday, April 16, 2003 @ 11:22 AM


(Spitfire)

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The simple genius in naming this project underscores the dynamite music created here: this is NOT “Dokken”. The two singles going to radio do not even scratch the surface of this vibrant collaboration between the former axe-men of the infamous ‘80s band -- this is an excellent CD!

With drummer Michael Frowein in tow, George Lynch and Jeff Pilson are Good-Cop/Bad-Coppin’ it through the 12 aggressive and beautiful cuts on this killer, and long-overdue album.

While Mr. Lynch lays down some of the finest guitar riffs he’s ever cooked up since Wicked Sensation, Mr. Pilson meets him head-on with gentle, lilting vocals and rich, evocative melodies which create some damn fine music.

The first track starts things rocking after about 30 seconds of teasing. “Breath & A Scream” is all George: heavy and aggressive, until you hear Jeff Pilson’s mature, neo-Jon Anderson, “Yes”–like harmonies. Bassist Pilson has become a confident singer who etches out his own place in rock -- his voice is at-once desperate and beautiful, then braying and raw.

It’s a theme that permeates the disc: a clever tune, mixed in a new style -- “the old familiar” with “new production sound” -- ‘80s music-gone-Post-Millenium. But the first track, and the heavy, radio-bound “When You Bleed” are NOTHING compared to stand-outs like “Vaccine,” “Ever Higher,” “The Evil That You Are,” “Goodbye Utopia” and “Closer To None”-- all of which showcase the absolute best of both men. If “The Evil…” and “Utopia” don’t have you playing air guitar and singing in the shower, then you just don’t like rock! And, as an added treat, there is “Chromanic,” a killer instrumental to remind the listener that these two journeymen can let it rip with some nice give ‘n take when it comes to their signature instruments…

Opposites attract: this CD is the union of maximum George and the finely-textured Pilson. The only disappointment is that these guys didn’t do it sooner. All the time and all the fractured projects later, it is satisfying to hear that George Lynch and Jeff Pilson are still “Rokken”…

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