Sound — 9
If you are a fan of the Dead Kennedys, the guitar work will sound familiar here. Tracks "Raising The Stakes" and "Its Broken" sound like they could very well have been new Dead Kennedys songs, however vocalist Skip McSkipster provides a different vocal performance as well as lyrics as the DK's notorious Jello Biafra offered. The rhythm section of The Killer Smiles is composed of Steve Wilson and Greg Reeves, two outstanding musicians who have sat in on several Dead Kennedys tours after their reformation. However, this record is not simply the sound of the Dead Kennedys with a different vocalist. There are some songs that sound very East Bay Ray-ish, but sound absolutely nothing like the Dead Kennedys. Tracks like "Lipstick Cherry Red" and "Area 51" show a different type of punk rock then DK. Also, tracks like "The Heart Is Something" show a pop-rockabilly side not previously seen with East Bay Rays discography.
Lyrics — 8
Vocalist Skip McSkipster is certainly no Jello Biafra, as he is often accused of being, because of his status as touring vocalist for the Dead Kennedys. His approach is more towards Pop-Punk vocals and has a good unique style that complements the new music East Bay Ray has created rather exceptionally. The lyrics are somewhat political, and nowhere near as in-your-face as Jello Biafras. Overall, he is a strong vocalist that writes meaningful, not brainless, lyrics. "Your Such A Fake" is a good example of this, and its hard not to think those lyrics aren't referencing Jello Biafra at all.
Overall Impression — 9
If you are a fan of the Dead Kennedys musical style, you certainly ought to check this record out. That said, don't expect another "Fresh Fruit" or "Frankenchrist" (My personal favorite record musically). The sound is familiar, but completely new and adds a good alternative to some of the newer punk rock music that has been released lately.