Sweet & Lynch, "Only to Rise" (Frontiers)
Is this heaven-sent hair metal, or did they just get lucky? Either way, Sweet & Lynch have hit it out of the park on the debut album by some of the '80s leading purveyors of melodic metal.
Fronted by Stryper singer Michael Sweet, whose voice can still hit notes that only dogs can hear, and Dokken guitarist George Lynch, creator of some of the tastiest and most memorable guitar riffs of the '80s, the band offers up a memorable array of hard rock candy that proves this genre has plenty of life left in it.
"Recover" is a galloping, pounding rock anthem, and "The Wish" has the trademark catchy hook that Lynch brought to so many Dokken hits throughout the years. In between are melody-drenched rockers like "Dying Rose," Love Stays" and "Me Without You," all of which stand with the best work these two have ever produced.
Bassist James Lomenzo (White Lion, Megadeth) and drummer Brian Tichy (Whitesnake, Ozzy) round out a quartet that lives up to the sum of its pedigreed parts.