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Lynx - 1978 Sneak Attack

ALBUM: Sneak Attack
LABEL: Quality
YEAR: 1978
CD REISSUE: 1996, Unidisc, AGEK-2045


LINEUP: Tony Caputo - vocals, keyboards, sax * Norm Paulin - vocals, guitars, bass * Daryl Peterson - bass * 'Zippy' Jim Differ - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 I Just Wanna Love You * 02 Which Side * 03 Tell Me * 04 Ain't No Way * 05 Bye Bye * 06 Crazy Lady * 07 Better Together * 08 It Ain't Easy * 09 Old Man

Having released their sub standard debut album in 1976, Canadian AORsters Lynx actually broke up when it met with cold response. The keyboard player Tony Caputo was persuaded by their label to get a new line up together for a second Lynx album, and it's a good thing he did, otherwise we would've been deprived of some towering late 70's pomp AOR.

The Songs
The album opener 'I Just Wanna Love You' is a blueprint pomp/AOR anthem, anyone looking for a definition of 'parping keyboards' would do well to give this one a listen. Big melodies as well. 'Which Side' is more mid tempo, with a resounding snare drum sound as in the previous track. Boston-esque riffing ushers in a compelling melodic chorus, big and catchy without being too syrupy. The keyboard solo will have you reaching for your favourite Roadmaster album. 'Tell Me' slows us right down to the realms of the piano ballad, but it's done so well that it sounds quite epic and pompy anyway, once again the melodies are strong. 'Ain't No Way' is a different creature entirely - dramatic minor chord pomp with a slightly eerie feel, spiced with a decent helping of flamenco guitar reminiscent of Pepino d' Agostino or Armik. A hybrid like this could easily go wrong, but in this case the results are quite stunning. 'Bye Bye' is a throwaway and 'Crazy Lady' is a little better, perhaps redeemed by some decent keys. 'Better Together' is a big improvement bringing on the Styxian broadway/cabaret swagger and heaps of piano tinkling, before riffing it's way into a pleasant chorus. 'It Ain't Easy' is a short and frenetic piece, high on energy but low on melody. Next up is 'Old Man', a pomp/prog epic of over 11 minutes. There are some great moments in here, but not enough. They would have been better advised to keep the best four minutes and we could've had another stunner. 'Endangered Species' is much better, pomp keys all over the place and some great melodic flourishes and tempo changes. Sadly the last two tracks are utter throwaways as well, but there are more than enough highlights to make this album worthwhile.

In Summary
We must remember that in 1978, most LP's were about 30 minutes long and had about eight songs. Considering that there are twelve tracks on this 53 minute album, we can forgive the filler tracks present. More importantly, 'Sneak Attack' paved the way for their even better third album 'We Are The People', also due a review and we'll see to that shortly. All three Lynx albums are now available on CD thanks to the folk at Unidisc.

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#1 | richardb on May 05 2006 13:39:07
Never did much for me this album, the term 'dated' springs to mind...

'We are the people' on the other hand is entirely different matter!

Richard B
#2 | rkbluez on December 23 2009 20:39:49
I liked this album a lot...better than the third album "We Are The People" and certainly better than their first album...if you like 70's keyboard laced pomp rock from Canada you could do worst than check out this obscure gem.
#3 | trillion1999 on October 09 2011 21:37:10
I loved Tell Me from the first time I heard it.Bought all three albums trying to find out what song it was.Bought all three albums on CD.Liked everything on the first album.Did not remember a single note so I let it go.Liked the last one and remembered title-track and Farewell so I kept it.Found out that the song was Tell Me so will never let go of this album and will love that song love
#4 | richardb on July 24 2012 20:55:47
I seem to remember the marketing was more memorable than the album (maybe they asked David Coverdale for advice?).

They certainly wouldn't get away with the same advert in these enlightened times!
#5 | super80boy on June 15 2013 15:19:37
I enjoyed this album as well. There's a nice mix of AOR, melodic rock and pomp with that late 70's touch. 'Aint No Way' is a cool change up with the creative flamenco guitar sounds and then 'Bye Bye' satisfies the melodic rock appetite.

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