Urgh. Don’t you hardcore death/black metal-heads out there ever get a headache sometimes from rocking out to too many of our favourite extreme music doomsayers everyday? Well, I may love death and black metal as much as my dogs, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t know how to kick back and relax to some good ol’ hard rock/heavy metal every now and then (albeit trying my best not to nod off to such soothing tunes).
George Lynch, one of the veterans of the ‘80s and ‘90s hard rock/heavy metal scene (he turns 57 this year!) is back with his god-knows-number-what album, and this is not very surprising when you examine his instrumental proficiency. Yes, he only plays the guitar. Shows how much the dude loves that instrument. Unlike many of the younger musicians of today, George belongs to that traditional class of musicians whom have a sharpshooter’s sights trained on what they love to do and do best in life; an exaggerated and imaginative (but pretty redundant) analogy would be like taking all of the sun’s light and heat energy and focusing it into a 0.5mm laser beam targeted at, er, the North Pole maybe (and watch it burn its way through the Earth and out of the South Pole). No delving into starting up a clothesline or writing a book or retiring to start his own chain of guitar repair shops. No way. This cool attitude is what he has and what I admire in him. As a result of such passion, the guitar hero lives up to his reputation as one of the most enduring icons of classic hard rock/heavy metal and doesn’t disappoint on this fifth full-length studio album under his self-titled project.
With that said, this is exactly why Kill All Control is merely a good album and nothing more. This album is pretty ordinary hard rock/heavy metal fare in the sense that you hear plenty of classical guitar influences, and the kind of clean singing that reminds you of Led Zeppelin and Van Halen (especially on the acoustic rock ballad “Wicked Witch”, which really reminds one of “Stairway To Heaven” … or do all acoustic rock ballads sound like that?!). The riffs and solos are frozen in that nostalgic state of ‘80s and ‘90s glam metal/hair metal/hard rock/heavy metal/call-it-what-you-will-I-am-sticking-with-hard rock/heavy metal, as can be clearly and excellently heard in the pretty lengthy guitar wanking session called “Son Of Scary” (which is the best track on the entire album in my opinion). Oh yeah, don’t you just love the LGS (Lead Guitarist Syndrome)? In this case, the LGS actually works to the advantage of the album instead of against it, simply because of the plain fact that the project is titled “George Lynch”, and not “Dokken” or “Lynch Mob” or “Souls Of We”; which hence gives Georgey every right and excuse to flaunt his fretboard displays of finger athleticism and rack up merit points unabashedly.
Apart from that virtuosic and catchy instrumental single, the rest of the album consists of mainly soulful rock anthems built around crotch-grabbing vocal hooks in between the alto and soprano range, as can be heard in tracks like “Rattlesnake”, “Resurrect Your Soul”, “Fly On The Wall” and “Kill All Control”. Nothing really new or surprising here, George is a survivor of that golden era of bushy hair and skin-tight frilly costumes after all!
This is more a backtracking journey through George’s early days or, dare I even say, exactly similar to what the guy wants to do with the newly reformed Lynch Mob, which is still probably going to hark back to his playing style from his Dokken days anyway. Every decibel of this 56 minutes long therapy session for an extreme metal bangover is easily digestible and great background music to send you off to a retrofied dreamland. What’s modern about this album? The album cover.
- Multiple songs MySpace