Sound — 10
It's quiet, the guitar starts to sound, in the distance you hear the galloping of a horse, and suddenly a wide-mouthed demon of screamin' grabs the microphone and bellows with sultry sleaze, "I'm back, I'm back in the saddle again!" The bass and drums slam and shift as if they're making sweet, sticky love while the inter playing guitars of Joe Perry and Brad Whitford assault your ears like screams of pleasure straight from the bedroom. And that's just the first track. Rocks delivers a punch with every turn, slamming the listener face-first into a wall of distorted, bluesy guitar and funky bass, all of them straightened and solidified by the backbone of Joey Kramer's powerful drumming. The ridiculously catchy riffs thrown down on 'Get The Lead Out', 'Rats In The Cellar' and 'Back In The Saddle' will fill your head for days. The pounding crunch of the oft-overlooked 'Nobody's Fault' or the amazing package single 'Last Child' will have you strumming an imaginary guitar before you know it. The melancholy lamenting of 'Combination' and the quiet promise of 'Home Tonight' will leave you black and blue. 'Sick As A Dog' has such an infectious chorus that you will hate yourself for listening to it.
Lyrics — 10
Steven Tyler again delivers the goods here, from the sexually explicit 'Back In The Saddle', which is about much more than cowboys, to the raging prophetic apocalypse portrayed in 'Nobody's Fault' to the crooning quiet of 'Home Tonight', he is on his top game lyrically and vocally. While there aren't any songs that deal with important controversial topics such as 'Uncle Salty' off Toys In the Attic, or any haunting ballads akin to 'Seasons of Wither', Tyler manages to squeeze himself dry of sleazy ramblings about woman and drugs here, and let me tell you, they have never sounded better.
Overall Impression — 10
Rocks is probably(along with Aerosmith's first 4 CDs) one of the most important rock records in history. There are literally no flaws, with every track delivering the goods and begging for a second listen. Every song is recommended, and if my copy was stolen I would buy it again without a doubt.