Guitarist George Lynch recently claimed the following about Ultraphonix and their debut release ‘Original Human Music’ “The album sounds like a fusion of early Chili Peppers meets King Crimson meets Judas Priest! It’s a super fun band”. Throwing such an eclectic mix of names into your press release definitely creates interest, which is sure to increase when you find that the ex Dokken guitarist has partnered with Living Colour vocalist Corey Glover for this project. Add in a rhythm section that consists of bassist Pancho Tomaselli (War/PHILM) and drummer Chris Moore (Cry Wolf/Damage/DeathRiders) and you've got the majority of the musical genres hinted at covered. If the rhythm section looks familiar then you probably own the 2016 album by Project NfidelikAh a band that featured Lynch, Tomaselli, Moore and Fishbone singer Angelo Moore.
George Lynch must surely be the hardest working guitarist in rock with a seemingly never ending touring and recording schedule. Recent work has included multiple releases under his own name, touring with Lynch Mob, occasional shows with Dokken (usually when the Japanese clamour/cheque for a reunion tour becomes too tempting) or in projects such as Sweet & Lynch with Stryper singer Robert Sweet or teaming up with Ray Luzier (Korn/David Lee Roth) and Kings X frontman Dug Pinnick in KXM. He was even recently linked with a spot in the latest incarnation of RATT but surprisingly couldn’t fit that one in. The common denominator between many of these situations is that Lynch seems to enjoy working with strong vocalists that have something to say lyrically so Corey Glover doesn’t come as a surprise. I loved Living Colour back in the day and have fond memories of an incendiary show on the ‘Vivid’ tour at London’s Marquee but by the time ‘Stain’ was released my interest had waned, so I was intrigued to see how Glover would fare after all these years.
I needn’t have worried. Time has been very kind to Glover who doesn’t seem to have lost a step vocally on album opener ‘Baptism’ while Lynch continues to be one of the most consistently interesting guitarists around delivering melody, technical performance and monstrous riffs in equal measure. Co-Produced by Bob Daspit (Sammy Hagar) the album sounds amazing, especially the drums, while the clarity of the mix gives all the band members room to breathe.
The most recent single from the album ‘Another Day’ is very melodic with Tomaselli laying down a really nice Chilli Peppers style groove in support of another fine Glover vocal. Lynch flamenco taps/noodles his way through the verses before laying down a strange but beautiful solo with that trademark ability to sound melodic, despite the vagaries of the time signature or the edginess his playing always seems to exhibit. This is in marked contrast to the first single ‘Walk Run Crawl’ which featured a much tougher, almost Nu-Metal sound with Moore and Tomaselli working overtime.
‘Free’ is a stunner, a heavy funk, psych workout with Glover sounding for all the world like he’s ready to “Start a revolution” while Lynch adds terrific, effects-driven, spacey guitar work to the mid-section. A definite album highlight. ‘Wasteland’ is a hugely melodic, distorted dirge of a track over which Lynch’s crashing guitar mutates and flits in and out of the soundstage while multiple vocal tracks form an unearthly choir in the background. Elsewhere the uber funky ‘Take A Stand’ is powered by a stunning Moore drum track aided and abetted by Tomaselli’s slapped bass and Lynch’s intricate guitar lines while 'Ain’t Too Late’ finds Glover in a dense, dirty stoner rock version of Living Colour. The back end of the album features a more user-friendly, but still very heavy, Living Colour influence before concluding with ‘Power Trip’ which initially sounds like an episode of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone before that riff and those drums kick in. Tomaselli’s takes the lead here and is about to steal the MVP prize before Glover at full throttle takes the gold.
Ultraphonix isn't a band for everyone. ‘Original Human Music’ is mind-numbingly heavy on occasion, super funky when required and finds all four band members on top form. Coupled with a superb production and mix this is a no-brainer for fans of George Lynch, Living Colour and those looking for something a little more interesting than standard generic fare.
'Original Human Music' is released August 3rd via earMUSIC