There’s a wonderful feeling that sweeps over you when you hear opening track ‘Main Offender’ – it’s a song that just instantly transports you back to the glorious Wicked Sensation album from 1990. There’s that surefooted groove and swagger that just captures the feeling you had 27 years ago when you tore the shrink-wrap off that wonderful debut.
Over the last few years of course we’ve been spoiled with a rather decent string of albums starting with the 2009 ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ which saw original vocalist Oni Logan back on board, then after a short break it got even better with 2014’s ‘Sun Red Sun’ and 2015’s ‘Rebel’ starting to really hit the spot.
With ‘The Brotherhood’ things get ever better – this feels like a band, and the chemistry between Lynch and Logan at this point is starting to really smoke, and even if the rhythm section has been refreshed with each release it still feels we’re not just fluid but really connecting. It feels good, it sounds great and it just may well be the best thing you’ve heard from Lynch Mob since that first slice.
The album starts off with a pair of rock solid offerings the two singles ‘Main Offender’ and ‘Mr Jekyll and Hyde’ the latter of which just turns out to be one of both my and George’s favourites alongside the wonderful almost Pink Floyd-like ‘Miles Away’ which closes out this mighty fine 12 track offering (check out our interview with George Lynch here).
If you thought 2015’s ‘Rebel’ was impressive then I’ll wager that this time round is even better. From the off it’s musical fireworks, and to be honest there’s not a dull moment here amongst the impressive eleven album proper tracks and the bonus bare-bone blues track ‘Until I Get My Gold’.
Along the way we get it all, and after those storming singles next track ‘I’ll Take Miami’ adds a light 70’s almost Van Halen-like hard rock feel to the mix, before ‘Last Call Lady’ adds some smooth pop-infused and uber-catchy modern rock, it may sound like a contrast but like most things the quality overrides any concerns and Lynch and Logan add their distinctive mark to both.
‘Where We Started’ comes with riff-foot forward and a stuttering guitar sits under Logan’s opening lyrics. There’s a more progressive feel here and a harder edge which is a nice contrast to the previous track. The enticing Eastern-flavoured mildly psychedelic ‘The Forgotten Maiden’s Pearl’ sees Logan’s poetic lyrics backed beautifully by the band as the tale twists and turns, but it’s far more than a mere oddity or an interlude and it’s one of the real ear-worms for me after repeated listens.
‘Until the Sky Comes Down’ is another highlight, and a song that exemplifies the power of this brand of hard rock – it’s sure-footed, assured, swaggering and I love that killer descending chorus, it’s killer. ‘Black Heart Days’ is right up there too – a mid-tempo brooding tour-de-force that allows Logan to shine and Lynch to let rip as the song rides one of the biggest grooves here.
And that same high bar continues to be hit: ‘Black Mountain’ is the sort of song which allows the band to breathe and expand the sound, its chunky,heavy and Logan works it well at a low smoulder before the groove of the chorus kicks in. ‘Dog Town Mystics’ which kicks in directly after continues the darker feel of the album, it’s a biting lyric and a wonderful song.
Closer ‘Miles Away’ may well be our favourite track here, it’s an expansive, slower song with an almost Pink Floyd-like feel to it and it’s melody just sticks and stays. Bonus Track ‘Until I Get My Gold’ strips it all back to the bare bones of the Blues and is just as rewarding.Man this is a great album.
Produced by Chris “The Wizard” Collier (Lynch Mob; Flotsam And Jetsam; Prong; KXM), ‘The Brotherhood’ sounds great. It’s and album that’s full and rich without feeling overworked, and the band sound fluid yet tight. As far as songs go the goods are well and truly delivered on an album that could well equal their best. I’d certainly be booking my tickets to upcoming shows if tracks from ‘The Brotherhood’ get a good outing. This has to be up there with the best Hard Rock releases of the year.