“Great songs, great chemistry and a great vocalist are much more important than state of the art guitar playing. I hate to say it, but it’s true. The song must always come first, the guitar work is secondary”.
George Lynch said the above in the Hal Leonard guitar transcription book of the “Wicked Sensation” album from Lynch Mob.
George Lynch was huge in my guitar learning days and to be honest, he is still huge even to this day.
I devour each release and man he has made a lot of them since 2005. He is one of the hardest working musicians around on par with Myles Kennedy and Marc Tremonti. Apart from making music, he makes his own hand made guitars, does clinics and produces bands.
One thing that stood out on the “Wicked Sensation” album is Lynch’s rhythm work. It surpasses all of his previous efforts from a guitar point of view.
In between Dokken and Lynch Mob, Lynch was taking lessons at GIT and you can tell, as his use of different chord voicings is on the trigger. Another thing that also stands out is less distortion. Too much distortion can hide sloppy playing and on this album, Lynch has dialed back the distortion knob from a 10 to about 6.
It starts the album in typical Lynch fashion with a riff influenced by his Dokken days. It’s a galloping, sleazy and groovy C#m riff with a descending note pattern on the D string, which is perfect for Oni Logan to lay down his vocal melody.
In the Pre-Chorus, Lynch arpeggiates a Bsus4, then a Asus2 chord, leaving the open B and E strings shimmering in the vein of Alex Lifeson from Rush, before moving to a F#m groove.
And Oni Logan is singing about moving in and out and oh, how it feels so good.
The Chorus riff is an amalgamation of the intro riff for three bars and a F#m octave pattern for the fouth bar. And how sleazy is the foot stomping riff at the end when Oni is singing “gotta give in, gotta put it out”.
In the solo there is this tapping section which goes from 2.51 to 2.55. It’s only four fucking seconds but it’s those four seconds that showed me that Lynch had transcended the 80s and moved into some serious Maestro territory.
I’ll try to explain it the best I can.
On the high E string, Lynch taps the 14th fret, then the 15th fret and pulls off to the 14th fret and then pulls off to the 12th fret and 9th fret. Lynch repeats this legato lick and moves it up a step chromatically a few times before he descends. He hardly uses the pick here and it’s all his left hand doing the work.
It’s fast, but man it’s got melody and feeling. Play that solo section slower and you will understand what I mean. It’s like a classical masterpiece.
To show that he has transcended his Dokken days, after the solo section, there is this Jazzy and funky style breakdown which feels super loose but still played with such precision.
The song then morphs back into the Chorus with a plethora of Lynch fills to round it out.
Up and down and in and out in deed.