Lynyrd Skynyrd are Southern Rock Legends and Rock and Roll Hall of Famers. What more does Lynyrd Skynyrd have to prove? What keeps the motivation meter running with this band? In my Metal opinion, it is a combination of many things… the Skynyrd Nation and the fact that this band has never lost touch with their roots are two quick examples. Southern Music roots… family roots… old school values, these three attributes come out Southern Rockin’ loud and clear on God & Guns, (released on RoadRunner Records, September 29, 2009). My interpretation of the lyrics found on God & Guns, leads me to believe that Lynyrd Skynyrd are not about to change their beliefs, (both political and social), for no man. Lynyrd Skynyrd has never and is not about to sway or teeter on the fence with their lyrics and music, a quality that I tremendously admire of this legendary band. As the decades have passed and the Lynyrd Skynyrd lineup has unquestionably changed, none of what I have previously touched upon with this band has wavered… and the quality of the musicianship inevitably carries forward this Southern Rock icon to 2009. With God & Guns, a new Southern Rock Classic has instantly been born and I would not have expected any less from Lynyrd Skynyrd. Each of the twelve songs on this new album bestow the trademark Southern Rock shades of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s past, while combining a thrust of relevant Hard Rock vigor, making for an unforgettable listen the first time around. Johnny Van Zant sounds great on vocals and founding member and guitarist Gary Rossington, along with the entire band should be proud of this album.
Still Unbroken opens up God & Guns, it is heavy and hard, a statement that the rest of this album to follow is going to be one hell of a cool ride. Skynyrd Nation is a song overflowing with Southern Rock/Lynyrd Skynyrd pride. I am just waiting for the right moment to crank up this song to the max, with my car window down. Skynyrd Nation is the ultimate Southern Rock anthem for this band, a powerful song. Simple Life is a cry out for the way things used to be as only Lynyrd Skynyrd can convey. Here is where the old school values of life comes into play… eating dinner with your kids, not having to lock up the doors to your house, going fishing and helping out a stranger. This song may sound like preaching to some, however, the lyrics make total sense to me. Unwrite That Song is the ballad on God & Guns that provides a moment to chill, kick back and revel at the change in Southern Rock shift… this song acts as the anchor between the song list, giving me one more reason to call this album a new classic. Floyd is the song that provides the creepy moment on God & Guns. This song tells a story about a man named Floyd who mysteriously disappears after two law dogs got in his way – Southern Rock spookiness in the vein of Molly Hatchet’s classic song The Creeper.
My favorite song on God & Guns is That Ain’t My America. A patriotic song, with strong conservative views, Lynyrd Skynyrd doesn’t just add their two cents here… they reminded me once again, as to how proud I am to be an American. That Ain’t My America makes many points through it’s lyrics, yet it is done with respect and class… the Southern Rock way. Storm and Gifted Hands conclude God & Guns on a high inspirational note and there ain’t nothing wrong with that for me. The lyrics of these last two songs prove that positive lyrics incorporated with the Southern Rock sound of Lynyrd Skynyrd, can easily elevate me to the highest of cool moods. The guitar jamming in Gifted Hands could carry on for hours and I would still listen with gleeful, Southern Rock hungry ears. Aw, damn, I can easily listen to this new Lynyrd Skynyrd classic God & Guns for hours on end… and still want more.
Some extra info on this God & Guns CD:
Within the liner notes of this CD, is a cool concert photo of the late Billy Powell and Ean Evans, shown together. Lynyrd Skynyrd dedicated this new album to both of these gentlemen, along with their respective families. Complete lyrics to every song are in the liner notes. Also found within the liner notes, under the title of Additional Musicians, Rob Zombie and guitarist John 5 are credited. The liner notes do not express which songs they appear on. My Metal ears are astute to so many musicians and their style of play, (this time I am stumped), I cannot pinpoint where Rob Zombie and John 5 do appear… maybe someone out there knows for sure which songs they appear on and can drop the details in a reply.