By Bob Nalbandian

Furious George
Shrapnel Records

This time around George Lynch finally got it right, and who would have guessed it would be a CD consisting exclusively of cover material? A smart move to say the least, seeing that George desperately needed to redeem his qualifications as a one of the premiere guitar heroes of the '80s after releasing such laughable rubbish as the last Lynch Mob album and a pathetic attempt at rerecording old Dokken songs and releasing it under his moniker. There is no denying that Mr. Lynch's talents as a guitar virtuoso truly shine on "Furious George," which features twelve classic rock/metal anthems that have influenced and inspired this master fret-slinger over the years. And George couldn't have selected a better repertoire of songs to pay tribute to, nor could he have picked a better vocalist than Kelly Keeling to help him recreate such masterful classics. Kelly, as I have said in the best, is truly one of the most underrated vocalists in rock music (and a helluva guitarist to boot). In fact, Kelly deserves just as much credit as Lynch for recapturing some of these all-time great classics in such a sincere manner that is surprisingly reminiscent of the original versions while giving it a certain dynamic flair without demoralizing the original artistry, which is something far too many rock/metal musicians have been guilty of. It is apparent that the songs in which Lynch pays tribute to were songs that truly inspired this guitarist in his early days. Unlike sooo many of these thrown together tribute records (that are seemingly being released on a daily basis) that are nothing more than pathetic attempts for labels (and artists) to capitalize on, there is something so pure about "Furious George" that draws the listener in a similar way when hearing the original recording for the first time. And, believe me, I was bias as hell when I first placed this disc in my player (considering Lynch's previous track record) almost preparing myself to whip the CD out of the player and shout out "how can he massacre these classics!" Instead, I listened to "Furious George" in its entirety without skipping a single track (something I seldom find myself doing).

Oh yeah, the tunes...the opening cut, Montrose's "Space Station #5," highlights Keeling's soulful vox as he even out-hagar's Sammy. Lynch's guitar tone is remarkably similar to Ronnie's, rich and vigorous! [The production on Montrose's debut is still one of the most contemporary sounding records of the early '70s courtesy of Ted Templeman]. And the lead-work is truly commendable (great extended ending). "Sins A Good Man's Brother" is a rare classic originally recorded by Grand Funk in their early days, a great version that again shines on Keeling, and one must give props to drummer Jeff Marten whose beats are flawless. A true shocker is Lynch's rendition of "All Along the Watchtower," with Lynch churning out amazing Hendrix-esque leads that even the harshest critics (Bob Dylan included) would gladly tip their hat to. Other noteworthy tracks include; Purple's "Stormbringer" (although he should have done without the gay, carnival-esque keyboards in the intro), Trower's "Bridge Of Sighs" with Lynch re-inventing one of the heaviest, and gloomiest, guitar riffs of the '70s (at times you would swear this is James Dewar on vocals!), Mountain's "Blood Of The Sun," and Vanilla Fudge's "One Way Or Another." Even the Beatles rendition of "I Want You/She's So Heavy" is flawless.

Shockwaves CD REVIEWS ISSUE 10 Page 3