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God & Guns

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Album Review

With their classic early lineup, anchored by the swagger, grit, and heart of lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, Lynyrd Skynyrd merged Allman Brothers guitars with barrelhouse piano (courtesy of keyboardist Billy Powell, a bigger part of Skynyrd's classic sound than most people realize), then tossed in a big dose of hard rock attitude and gave it all credence with a kind of blustering and cocky honky tonk sensibility. The original band just sounded so, well, right, and if its legacy in most casual listeners' minds is just "Sweet Home Alabama" and the ubiquitous "Free Bird," that's not a bad legacy to have, really. Skynyrd's story is also a gothic Southern tragedy, haunted by fatal plane crashes and death, and if the 21st century version of the band (current membership includes ex-Blackfoot guitarist Rickey Medlocke, drummer Michael Cartellone, vocalist Johnny Van Zant, and guitarist Gary Rossington, who is the only member left from the original version of Skynyrd) seems more like a facsimile than a continuation, one could chalk it up to pure attrition. So what to make of God & Guns, the group's new album from Roadrunner Records? It certainly sounds like Lynyrd Skynyrd, maybe with a little more contemporary Nashville on board, and there's plenty of that Southern redneck rocker attitude on display. The lead single, "Still Unbroken," is a fine song, "Southern Ways" has a certain charm (maybe because it's essentially a slowed-down rewrite of "Sweet Home Alabama" using the same riff as an anchor), and "Floyd" has some ragged atmosphere going for it, but there's nothing as memorable as "Free Bird" here, but then it's probably not fair to ask this version of the band to compete with its own past. This is Skynyrd in the 21st century, nothing more, nothing less, and they still rock hard. That part of the legacy is still intact.

Biography

Formed: 1965 in Jacksonville, FL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Lynyrd Skynyrd was the definitive Southern rock band, fusing the overdriven power of blues-rock with a rebellious Southern image and a hard rock swagger. Skynyrd never relied on the jazzy improvisations of the Allman Brothers. Instead, they were a hard-living, hard-driving rock & roll band — they may have jammed endlessly on-stage, but their music remained firmly entrenched in blues, rock, and country. For many, Lynyrd Skynyrd's redneck image tended to obscure the songwriting skills of...
Full bio
God & Guns, Lynyrd Skynyrd
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  • 11,88 €
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Southern Rock, Arena Rock, Blues-Rock, Hard Rock
  • Released: 25 September 2009

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