Sound — 10
To me, this rips all the things we hate about mordern day punk rivial. No fart jokes, no unjustified horny sex cravings and very little bouncy happy songs. Its a pity this will go down as "that guy from blinks other band" as it is a modern day classic. While being more hardcore than blink, there is an edge to this album that segregates it from being compared to "what it is to burn" or "deeply dressed and in casual conversation", but in a good way. Many emotions come through on this crunchy guitars. Or the bite of the acostic songs or the reverb on the slower ones. You could learn the parts to this in a day. But it would take years to write something of this standard.
Lyrics — 8
No songs about the usal blink topics (except my first punk song, it does refer to toms genital standing and an act with the listeners brother...) This time the lyrics mean quite a lot really. I feel so, is really a song you could listen to any time you feel like throwing stuff around in rage. Any time your pissed off. Theres suicide, feelings of worthlessness in a world full of people who change it and of course love. But the albums hugh point is definitely letters to god. A song about dying and wanting to go back. The songs acoustic drive is shattered in a creshendo you didn't see coming, as it comes out of a middle 8 piano part into deafing chords. Great stuff.
Overall Impression — 10
Buy this. It doesn't matter that you're sick of Blink being naked on MTV, this isn't the same. A dark meaningfull side to Tom Delonge. If Jimmy Eat World and Finch are the punk you prefer, this is essintal. Just a pity it was overlooked. A bloody excellent album.