Tuesday, January 27, 2015
SWEET & LYNCH: "Only To Rise"
Label: Frontiers 2015
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
Only To Rise? Some of these studio projects, super groups or if you prefer all-star thingy's, simply do not come out sounding as great in reality as on paper. The 'Sweet' part is indeed singer Michael of Stryper fame and the 'Lynch' fellow no other than Guitarist-George from Dokken. Sweet was pitched this idea by the record label and loved it so much he took over completely, producing the album as well as co-writing the 12 tracks with guitarist Lynch.
Okay. So far so good. But whatever happened to the hooks and choruses? The songwriting is somewhat lacking and that's nicely put to be honest. The chemistry is sadly lacking and there's hardly any spark in the dark to be found here. There's plenty of groove, top-notch guitar work, and the slow burner or two. But I can't say that I recall much of the actual melodies as it's the sadly forgettable album. You simply expect more and better from this two fine musicians and 80's heroes.
The one and only downside with Michael Sweet as lead singer, each and every hi-pitch note sound exactly like any Stryper album. What's your point dumbo, you ask, since he's clearly been their lead vocalist for the past 35 years. Well. He's got this nearly single minded approach to reaching all those high places and thus why opener, "The Wish", come out swinging like a blind fighter. Or if you prefer to read this in plain English: Too much of the Stryper-ish sound and not enough of the original project of Sweet & Lynch. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy the 'yellow and black attack' a lot, but this is second rate stuff. The next following two tracks are nice though (Dying Rose, Love Stays) as they have Sweet singing at mid-range and the guitar work of Lynch is very present.
I'm still not sure what to think of George Lynch to be honest. Not as guitarist though as we all know of him as the excellent six-string bender. However, keep in mind that the geezer torched his past and did nuthin' bout complain about his 80's hard rock records, and thought of his fans as stupid for enjoying the 80's stuff. He was also suing Don DOKKEN for the rights to the name of 'Dokken'. I mean... c'mon. Final thought: Are they going to be tossing Bibles left and right (Stryper-style). Or are they simply just a couple of tossers going at each others throats (Dokken-style). Only time will tell.