Another instalment in the catalogue of Mr. Scary is here. The last we heard anything full-length from George Lynch was last year with Heavy Hitters alongside ex-Dokken bandmate Jeff Pilson and the “reimagined” re-recording of Lynch Mob’s Wicked Sensation. Now we get Seamless, a new 12-song cornucopia of shreddery from one of the most prominent and enduring axemen to come off the Sunset Strip. It’s also his first instrumental album, which is surprising considering the amount of instrumental output ‘80s contemporaries such as Michael Angelo Batio and Joe Satriani have put out in comparison. Nevertheless, Lynch is here now to partake in this sacred shredder’s tradition, putting a spotlight on his guitar skills and nothing else.
Right out the gate you get heavy riffing (“Quiver”) and thick groove (“Cola”) all the while with trademark Lynch lead stylings sprinkled over top. By his own admission, there’s a whole lot of stylistic jumping going on, as evidenced from the progression from blues to wah-wah funk on “Quiver” and “Cola” to straight-ahead melodic metal on “Tj69”. The title “Death by a Thousand Licks” perfectly encapsulates the chaos of the next track, much like “IThink” suits its machine-like essence. “Sharks with Laser Beams” doesn’t conjure up any Austin Powers vibes (though it still rocks), but “Octavia” fits like a glove for its acoustic beginning and reprieve in between slick blocks of harmonic-infused guitar.
Lynch then packs a whole bunch of styles into one on “Supersonic Hypnotic Groove Thing”, doubling right down on groove and texture on “Falling Apart” soon after. Then there’s the three bonus cuts: “Blue Light Effect” is essentially in the same vein as “Tj69” with a bit more Hendrix thrown in here and there, but “House of Eternal Return” stands out on its own with no parallel and is probably the most interesting track out of the 12. At last there’s “The Weight”, not to be confused at all with the The Band song; it falls closer to a lost cut from a Slash’s Snakepit album if anything. On that (bluesy) note, the dynamic free-for-all of Seamless comes to a satisfying close.
Usually when an album is loosely organized, the coherence of the whole thing falls apart and it doesn’t sound like anything. In this case there’s a magic to the screw-it-ness of Seamless; perhaps it’s the sequencing, perhaps it’s the lack of vocals that reorients the focus elsewhere or perhaps it’s just George Lynch’s clear, proven talent that makes this guitar record what it is. Many of his previous releases with a singer have been great, of course, but now that he’s entered this long-travelled lane he should absolutely keep driving in it. This offers a whole new opportunity for continuous re-invention; when you’ve been ahead of the pack for so long one of the worst things you can do is get bored or comfortable. Better to keep blazing down the road you’ve paved, carve out new paths, and let the rest who follow try to figure out the way.