LYNYRD SKYNYRD
"God & Guns"

(Roadrunner)

01. Still Unbroken
02. Simple Life
03. Little Thing Called You
04. Southern Ways
05. Skynyrd Nation
06. Unwrite That Song
07. Floyd
08. That Aint My America
09. Comin Back For More
10. God & Guns
11. Storm
12. Gifted Hands

RATING: 4.5/10

Maybe I was holding out hope that on "God & Guns" LYNYRD SKYNYRD would return to a sound at least reminiscent of its '70s glory days, even with Gary Rossington as the only original surviving member of the storied act. That was probably unrealistic on my part. Even then, I didn't expect a modern country album, which is pretty much the case with "God & Guns". The bigger problem is that it is not exactly a stellar modern country (or country-rock) album either, but I'm certainly no expert in the field.

Most would be hard-pressed to call "God & Guns" a southern rock album, even though there are rock elements present on a handful of songs, although not necessarily any more so than the typical countrified rock 'n roll you might see on CMT. In all fairness (and it is not easy being fair when I'm not exactly enamored with country music, even less so the modern variety), "God & Guns" is inclusive of some relatively rockin' and fairly hooky tunes, namely "Still Unbroken", "Little Thing Called You", and the only one that approaches the '70s sound, "Southern Ways", though it is a blatant attempt at recreating a "Sweet Home Alabama" vibe, right down to the piano playing. Even the country-pop chorus of "Simple Life" saves an otherwise hokey-as-hell song.

The rest is pretty slim pickings. "Skynyrd Nation" (one of several with a writing credit from ROB ZOMBIE guitarist John 5), "Coming Back for More", and "Storm" are barely mediocre country rock tunes. The swampy/bluesy "Floyd" (featuring guest vocals from Rob Zombie) is more than tolerable, but hardly a homerun. As far as the ballads go, "Gifted Hands" is decent, the title track is at least middling, and "That Ain't My America" is horrendous, especially the right wing lyrics, such as "Now there's kids that can't pray in schools" and "Here's to the women and men, in their hands they hold a bible and a gun / and they ain't afraid of nothing when they're holding either one". Spare me.

Truth be told, there is an audience out there for this kind of stuff, but it is not the crossover audience that LYNYRD SKYNYRD commanded with its music during the group's heyday. Whether you dub it "country", "country rock" or, God forbid, "southern rock", it is something just shy of a mediocre affair.

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).