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Lynch, George & Pilson, Jeff: Heavy Hitters

Even as a long time fan of George Lynch and Jeff Pilson and the many and varied musical adventures they’ve taken over the years, I must admit that I wasn’t really too excited by the prospect of Heavy Hitters. Not only is this latest endeavour from the ex-Dokken duo a covers album, but in this case, it isn’t even filled with tracks that have meant that much to me over the years. In fact, in all honesty, if there was a selection of artists who would be less likely than Prince, Madonna, Oasis and REM to excite me, then I’m not sure who they’d be.

Hence, I’m as surprised as you that I’ve found Heavy Hitters to be a huge amount of fun and an album I keep going back to. The tracks by those artists mentioned in the hands of “Pynch” as the listing on the digital CD display itself calls this duo (just the once, mind) suddenly invigorate as Lynch expands his approach while still sounding like the guitarist he has always been. “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” (REM), for example, is barely recognisable until it hits the chorus, a completely different texture provided to this cut that adds a new and unexpected energy. “Kiss”, originally by Prince, is more immediate as coming from that source and yet aided by the drums of Brian Tichy and vocals of Will Martin it’s still turned on its head in a most agreeable fashion.

Everywhere you turn songs that should make no sense in this setting prove thoroughly exciting, Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World” reasonably true to the original, while being thoroughly beefed up in terms of arrangement, if not so much the ‘hard rock’. Whereas “You Got The Love” (Rufus & Chaka Khan) is now a funk metal monster where Bulletboys frontman Marq Torien channels Terence Trent D’Arby at his very finest. Add in a cunning romp through “Nowhere To Run” (Martha Reeves And The Vandellas) and believable, if bonkers rendition of “I Feel The Earth” (Carole King) and it’s not just the breadth of song selection that keeps you engaged but the masterful arrangements and the pair's connection with the tracks themselves.

OK, I can still live without “Champagne Supernova” by the wildly overrated Oasis, even if I’ll take this version any day of the week, but really from “One Of Us” (Joan Osborne) right through to “Lucille”, originally by Little Richard - and yes, even “Music” by Madonna (did anyone say overrated???) - Heavy Hitters really is a surprise of the best kind.

Track Listing
1. One Of Us
2. You Got The Love
3. I Feel The Earth
4. Ordinary World
5. Music
6. Apologize
7. Nowhere To Run
8. Kiss
9. It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
10. Champagne Supernova
11. Lucille

Added: June 6th 2021
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Heavy Hitters @ Cleopatra Records
Hits: 703
Language: english

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