Michael Sweet (STRYPER) and George Lynch (LYNCH MOB/KXM) are back for Round Two of SWEET & LYNCH with Unified (out now, Frontiers Music), and who can blame them? The last album Only to Rise was a runaway hit here at A&GS HQ, so obviously these men had to get together for another record, DUH!! Joining the fray once again are James Lomenzo on bass and one of my biggest man-crushes, Brian Tichy on drums. The results are pretty damn awesome, as one would expect, right? So let’s dig in, shall we?
“Promised Land” opens the record with a nasty-ass riff and the song has a fast-paced groove that will have you grabbing the door handles with a quickness, and Lynch lays down a ripping solo that will knock your fillings loose. “Walk” is the type of song where you have no idea what just hit you, but on the chorus you will stand up and cheer, it’s just THAT good! Plus, there is a little bit of a QUEEN thing going on towards the end, so count me in.There’s a dark ambiance surrounding “Afterlife”, and as the song moves forward you can’t help but get sucked in. Meanwhile “Make Your Mark” kicks ass in all the right places, and Sweet destroys, I mean DESTROYS vocally. “Tried & True” is a slow burner, one of the album’s best tracks, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bring a tear to my eye.
Title track “Unified” has a STRYPER-like feel to it, especially on the hook. It reminded me of something we might have heard from that band’s 1990 Against the Law album, honestly, and I love it. “Heart of Fire” is one of those tunes where you’re like, “Holy Shit! I need to hear this one again!” as you play it over and over again. This is one of those moments where the band just clicks, and you can feel it. Then comes “Bridge of Broken Lies”, a song that is guaranteed to get the hair on everyone’s arms standing up. Holy wow, this one is strong! Between Sweet’s amazing vocal delivery and Lynch’s burning guitar work this song is a homer for sure.
Michael Sweet is an unbelievable singer, that’s not exactly news. But when he lets fly on “Better Man” you simply HAVE to sit up and take notice. Oh, and then the one and only George Lynch lays down a guitar solo that will shave your eyebrows off while you thank him for it. Closer “Live to Die” is thick and meaty, with Lomenzo and Tichy leading the charge towards greatness. Quite frankly, this rhythm section could anchor ANY band and make them better, I’m just sayin’. At the end of the day SWEET & LYNCH knock it out of the park with Unified and there is absolutely no doubt that this record will be on many year end Top Albums lists, mine included. Get your copy today, and play it LOUD, the way real rock records were meant to be played!!
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM