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Lynch Pilson
Wicked Underground
Spitfire Records
· Produced By: george Lynch & Jeff Pilson

· Running Time: 55.06

· Release Date: Out Now

· Released: US

· Musical Style: Hard Rock

· Links: L/P
85%
Songs: 85%
Sound: 85%
There has been a lot of hype surrounding this album. I've had e-mails from the distributor, I've had e-mails from various members of the "street team", I've had e-mails too from 'interested' parties, eager to see a good review posted.
Well, I think I can accommodate these eager folk, but it does come with a caution.
There is no doubting that this is a very good album. It offers a lot for fans of both musicians and the band they once held together, Dokken.
The album's sound is impressive, with a solid production and even mix between the bare-bones instrumentation.
It also rocks quite impressively too!
But I caution, as this record isn't going to be for everyone. I'm still not sold on a few songs, although the heavy rotation of the album as a whole has helped with other tracks - getting better each listen as they unravel their melodies and become more familiar. The style is dark and heavy and relies heavily on George Lynch's love of a more modern guitar sound, a la Dokken's Shadowlife and his more recent solo work.
The album is the perfect mesh of Jeff's Underground Moon outfit and Lynch's desire to be dark and modern, but still shred a little.
But the good news is that with Jeff Pilson as his partner, the melodies and songs are far stronger and in deed are some of the best the pair have been involved in.
This is like a dark and modern Dokken record, with a twist. It has an aggressive edge, but features better songs and stronger hook/chorus definition within each song. The melodies seem to have been given a greater importance, but don't expect them all to jump out at you straight away.
This isn't an instant record, nor is it a sing-along anthem record. The pace is mainly mid-tempo, but there is still some variety.
Vaccine and Zero The End rock out, while Awaken and Ever Higher add balance from being largely acoustic based.
Breath & Scream is an ambitious album opening track, clocking in over 6 minutes.
Jeff Pilson needs to be singled out for special credit for his vocals. Supporting a very strong voice, he does an excellent job and adds a lot of melody to the tracks with his Don Dokken-esque tones.

The Bottom Line
This is an adventurous record. It pushes the boundaries more than your average hard rock record, or any previous Dokken album and certainly rocks harder than Don's last album. It's more musically friendly to those that can appreciate modern hard rock, which means it may not appeal to some fans of the more instant and commercial Dokken albums.
But it certainly achieves the goals Jeff and George set out to achieve and will impress many fans of the guys and could even bring in some new ones.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Wicked Underground

Line Up
· Jeff Pilson: Vocals, Bass
· George Lynch: Guitar
· Michael Frowein: Drums

Essential for fans of:
· Dokken
· Underground Moon
· Pilson & Lynch solo
Track Listing
· Breath & A Scream
· Beast In The Box*
· When You Bleed*
· Vaccine*
· Ever Higher
· Zero The End*
· The Evil That You Are
· Awaken*
· Cromanic
· Goodbye Utopia
· Inner View
· Closer To None
--*Best Tracks


19/02/05: Kenneth M - kennethm@sympatico.ca
Rating: 99
Pure Hard & Heavy Groove Laden Rock! Made for today's sensibilities but this will continue to remain timeless from this day forth. I completely agree with Kevin down below...if this is too hard, too loud and too in your face then you are too OLD!!! There are a number of classic tunes here in the nu/breed style of the "nu-millenium" which have a dark yet not unfriendly presence such as "Beast In The Box", Goodbye Utopia", "The Evil That You Are", "Vaccine" and personnal Fave "When You Bleed" I highly recommend this album if you like your rock with a harder, heavier edge but still want a melodic feel running throughout...you'll be dusting off your air guitar for sure and slammin' along with George & Jeff!!!

08/02/04: Craig Kuhlman - KUHLMAN1@MTS.NET
Rating: 98
Far and away, one of the best albums I have listened to in a long time. From top to bottom, bottom to top, GREAT!! While every song may not be a rocker, every song is smokin'. This won't get a lot if any airplay, and that is a tragedy, 'cause this album blows away anything out there. Forget about what's in and get this in your stereo, car, whatever A.S.A.P. Thanks to Jeff and George for an album that reaffirms my faith in music!!

28/11/03: Federico - teme@guest.net
Rating: 59
I agree with savacap, this album sound too much dark for my taste. The solos are not bad. The vocals remind me Dokken(but Don is a little better).This music don't excite me It put me down, with his dark mood.

21/09/03: sacred groove - nikeair_2333@yahoo.com
Rating: 79
The first two tracks (breath & a scream and beast in a box) are probably the best singles on the album. Just couldn't get into many of the other tracks. Fans of Lynch Mob or early Dokken won't find the raw energy in this cd. It's a different sound for Lynch but overall it's a good cd. On a side note, Lynch Mob REvolution is a great cd. Dokken fan need not waste any cash on the Dokken Live in 95 cd. Live in 95 is a watered down version of Beast From The East. George, Jeff & Mick hold their own but Don's showmanship (or lack of) & ill attempts at humor make the cd seem as if it was recorded in an half empty VFW hall.

09/09/03: Lynchomaniac - lynchomaniac@hotmail.com
Rating: 75
This is clearly the best possible compromise we could have hoped for, by that I mean that it sounds fresh and modern in sound but the "more oldfashioned" songstructure and arranging that we know from the mighty Dokken is kept intact! This is by all means so much better than the re-recorded Dokken and Lynch Mob tracks on the latter one's latset album! At it's best it's rockin' great, but not all over I'm afraid to say!

03/07/03: Jareth Grealish - rawkerdude@comcast.net
Rating: 93
This album is a real achievement for George and Jeff. They've managed to stay true to their melodic roots while modernizing their sound and vibe and pushing their boundries a bit. George's tone is monstrously huge and heavy. His riffs just assault you. Yet there are some beautiful acoustic moments on Ever Higher and Closer to None. Jeff lays it down on vocals and bass. His voice is reminescent of Don Dokken's, but Jeff's got more balls and soul not to mention a great sense of melody. There are one or two songs that didn't grab me, but overall this is the strongest Lynch effort since Wicked Sensation. A must have for Lynch and Dokken fans that have an open mind.

30/06/03: DAVE E - dave5150@tpg.com.au
Rating: 98
THIS IS THE SHIT I LOVE IT MAKES ME WANT TO PLAY MY GUITAR ALL NIGHT.
JUST BUY IT .

30/06/03: savacap - ka1912@otenet.gr
Rating: 35
A Dokken style cd with much more darker sound and few modern elements does not consist a good choice for me. Lynch and Pilson might be a great musicians but writing of the songs needs much more than this. A boring album that offers nothing to many Dokken's friends.

22/06/03: Kevin - kg664@aol.com
Rating: 95
Lynch / Pilson - Wicked Underground

This ambitious outing by the songwriting team of Jeff Pilson and George Lynch both ex-members of the 80's rock band Dokken makes for great hard rock listening. Not only have they taken what was the quintessential element of Dokken's greatest tunes, namely infectious guitar work and soaring melodies, but also they've brought that sound forward into the new millennium. This is not a re-hash of old Dokken ideas by any stretch of the imagination, they've taken it many steps further by integrating modern production ideas, sounds and grooves into all 12 of the CD's tracks.

The opening track "Breath & A Scream" teases you with about 30sec of incidental grooves, then hits you full in the chest with the main meat of this CD - searing guitar work and emotionally seasoned in-your-face vocals. The CD continues on with songs like "Beast in the Box", "When You Bleed" and "Awaken" which rock and groove in ways Dokken could never attempt.
Jeff's voice is better rounded for music like this than Don Dokken's ever could be. Not to downplay Don as I think he's a great singer, but his voice just isn't made for music like this.
For me the standout track here is "The Evil That You Are" which has every element a rock song should have - namely a great groove, soaring vocals and guitar hooks galore.
The sweetest track here is "Ever Higher" which blends Eastern musical influences with intricate vocal melodies, proving just how mature the songwriting has gotten with these guys.
Therein lies the genius of this recording; fusing so many textures and layers to each track, the listener is never bored as each takes you somewhere new. Laying aside the vocals or guitar work, the lyrics written here make for great reading. Filled with imagery and imagination the words take you places today rock groups just can't go intellectually. Jeff's vocals can be delicate and positive to all-out screaming balls, lending a sense of emotional desperation to it all while George offers probably some his finest guitar work to date.

The CD contains so many gems is amazing they all found their way onto this recording and were not saved for some future project. Every track should have you singing along right from the outset and if you don't end up playing air guitar to some of these tunes, you're probably too old and should be borrowing your parents Burt Bacharach LP's to listen to. Hands down the best hard rock release so far this year.

16/06/03: Afonso Sousa - afcasousa@hotmail.com
Rating: 40
I think that George Lynch does not make a hard rock album anymore!!! where are the solos? the riffs? the melody??...As I big fan of George and Dokken i recommend listen 'Under Lock and Key' or "Sacred Groove" his solo effort....a big big disappointment.....

13/06/03: jay gilbert - gilbertajg@aol.com
Rating: 90
To start... This is a very good album. I think as fans, we have to try to appreciate what our favorite artists create. We must understand that George and Jeff, along with all other bands and artists some of us grew up with, are going to create the music they want to. It is for that reason and that reason alone we have such classic albums, such as Toot and Nail. These guys aren't going to create music for the sole purpose of pleasing you and I. But, hopefully, we'll join them on their journey as they create the music that they feel in their hearts.

Going back to Wicked Underground, George and Jeff have created a strong album. This is definitely a push forward... and a good one at that. I feel that the sign of a true artist is that he/she can recreate themselves while staying true to where they come from. George and Jeff did just that. If you did not know that these guys had released this album and by some freak accident some radio stations were smart enough to play songs from this album on the air, you would say to yourself as you were driving down the road, "this sounds like that old '80's band Dokken I listened to as a kid". I believe you would truly do that, but that being said, it is not a repeat of anything they have ever done. It is a progression... a superb progression.

If we could stop for a minute and not listen for the album WE want our favorite artists to record, but rather listen to the album that THEY wanted to record, we could acheive a higher level of appreciation and enjoyment.

If you don't find yourself captivated by the album opener, Breath and a Scream, I don't understand how you can call yourself a true fan. These guys created some strong tunes and if you have $15 to spare and you were a fan way back when, then go buy this album. I warn you, do not expect Dokken; do not expect Lynch Mob. Expect the unexpected and revel in it. To be a true fan, one must be able to join our artists for thier creative journey. Their will be lows, but there will be highs. Give this album a few turns of the head and I believe that you will find that you are a true fan.

12/06/03: Dab - DJNeal111@msn.com
Rating: 93
Any Dokken fan or Lynch fan has got to buy this CD! Great production and very good songs. Ever since I heard Jeff Pilson sing "Just Got Lucky" on their live acoustic CD, part of me thought that he was a better vocalist than Don. Well after hearing this album I really do think he is. The only downside to this CD is I wish George had ripped our heads off with some incredible solos, but he and Jeff had stated that they wanted to leave the fans wanting more, and they did just that. We can all now go and place our copies of "Shadowlife" in the garbage, because this is what should have come next.

12/06/03: John Romanelli - john.r.romanelli@verizon.net
Rating: 90
Excellent album! Granted, this isn't Dokken. But it doesn't have to be to be a good record. Lynch can still shred - when he wants to - and Pilson's vocals are every bit as strong as Don Dokken's. Fro plays a solid drums, and the mix and sound are top notch. Highlights include "Ever Higher" and "The Evil That You Are". Solid record, should be considered by all Dokken/Lynch fans.

12/06/03: DJ Mad Maxx - djmadmaxx@adelphia.net
Rating: 90
This is a great album that almost sounds like a dokken reunion. Jeff Pilson handled the vocals wonderfully, at times he sounds like Don and other times like lnch mobs singers which make this album comfortable. the production is top notch and the songs are very memorable. I liked this better than the new Lynch mob album which had poor production (in my opinion). good job on this one George!!

12/06/03: frytzsdmf - frytzsdmf@gmx.net
Rating: 88
I can only agree.......the production is awesome, Jeff's singing is killer and George is smokin'.....but there could have been a few stronger hooklines (choruses)....if you like george's playing you got to listen to this album!! he blows away every doubt that he's one of the greatest and his unique tone males this album well worth buying.......if you're not into guitarists it's worth checking out.....but with the lack of one or two "hits" I guess it will disappoint a bit......JEFF ROCKS!!!

12/06/03: Erik - erik-soren@hotmail.com
Rating: 93
The first Dokken album I bought was "Tooth and Nail". I remember sitting in front of my stereo, cursing my recent ex-girlfriend, and being soothed by Dokken's F-you attitude. Dokken pulled me through a tough time, and I have liked them ever since (at least I liked everything they released up to 1988).

Lynch/Pilson Wicked Underground is not the album that pulled me through almost 20 years ago; it is more mature, and arguably better. The songs are tighter, and the mix is excellent. I always expect Lynch to ensure his guitars sound great, but this album is mixed well from top to bottom. Almost as if Wicked Underground is begging you to crank the volume.

I must admit the first time I listened to Wicked Underground I struggled (wanted) to hear Don’s voice, but after a few listens he was not missed at all. Pilson’s vocals are excellent and he demonstrates an admirable range. Lynch is Lynch, awesome as usual. At times he sounds like an inspired Satriani, but at his best he sounds like himself. This album really is loaded with excellent tracks from top to bottom. The lyrics, at times, seem repetitive and weak, but with repeated play all of the tunes tend to grow on you. I especially like the driving intro to “Vaccine”, the haunting mood of “The Evil That You Are”, and everything about “Goodbye Utopia”. Actually, the only album I want to hear when I finish this one is this one again. Wicked Underground is definitely one of this year’s top five rock albums.

Point of Reference: I believe three of the other four best rock albums released since this time last year were: Foo Fighters One by One, Audioslave, and Jerry Cantrell Degradation Trip Volume 1 & 2.

12/06/03: Ron Jeremy - ron@hedgehog.com
Rating: 69
Too Nu-Metal sounding for me. They're trying to cross over to reach the "kidz", but they must understand that the "kidz" don't care about a couple of 40 something 80s rockers. But unfortunately, they're also alienating their core 80s fans by putting out thir type of nu-metal radio type product.


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