God & Guns (Roadrunner)
Just like the siege/camp/retrenchment of the damn health care debate turns into a battle something that is supposed to be boring and wonkish, well, Skynyrd are here again - relentless - to unravel the nicotine-stained credo of every goddamn last redneck clichˇ and characteristic until no stereotype is left untyped. Of course, the curse and smell of death continues, with two more fallen brothers since the last album - Billy Powell and Ean Evans - leaving only a fragile Gary as rock on the motor mount. Makes no difference, because with Johnny's voice and all that he visual stands upon and for, plus firecrackin' fuel of the flame Ricky Medlocke, plus enabler of whatever you want enabled, Bob Marlette... a record crafted by this army is going to be warmly and efficiently recorded, with no mistakes, lots of power chord heft, stadium rock drums and... man, WAY too much of one lifestyle. Still, happier than not that Skynyrd are a full-blooded hard rock band, and have been basically since reunion, and keep making studio albums - quite commendable, especially given that they keep trying very hard to keep a legitimate lineup, but keep getting killed in the process. However, one wishes for a little less of that Marlette miasma that permeates and regulates, and a little more MCA years danger.