Sound — 8
Imagine reggae, hip hop, and pop/rock are put in a blender. Add about two ounces of weed, and you've got an OPM album. In general, the songs on the album combine relaxed ska-like guitar parts with hip-hop style sound effects and sampling. The music isn't heavy, and the sound is what you would expect from an album almost exclusively about pot. Unlike their other albums (particularly California Poppy), this one is actually fun to listen to without any kind of, uh, "help". As for the songs, the album starts out with the pretty intense, fast-paced "Stash Up", then proceeds into the skater anthem "Halfpipe In Heaven", which has a nice feel-good sound to it, you really don't want to do anything while this song is on but sit back and enjoy. Eventually you get to the song "Better Daze", with it's guitar riff which is slighly reminiscent of "Sweet Home Alabama", but a lot more relaxed. "Reality Check" is a more hip-hop style song that's also extremely anthemic. After that you get the most intense track on the album: "Interlude: Rage Against The Coke Machine," a track consisting of a band member beating up and swearing at a coke machine. Things don't stay this loud, as the poppy, happy "Unda" follows it. This is another feel-good song that makes you just want to sing along.
Lyrics — 8
There are the songs written about drugs ("Dealerman", "Stash Up"), the ones that are anthems of life in So Cal ("Trucha", "Reality Check") and, well, not much else. The drug songs include the type of lyrics you would expect from them: "I don't give a f--k and let me tell you why / I woke up this morning and I got high /The day passed and the stars went up /I made my mark and I heard pop pop" from "Better Daze". Not exactly the most inspired of lyrics, but they keep from drastically irrelevant references and grotesque rhyming. It's really amazing how well written these songs are, considering the state of the writers. Then you've got the anthems, songs like "Halfpipe In Heaven" that you can't help but sing along to. Songs that make you hate authority and the situation that you're in. Telling you to hope for something better and reject the pressures that society places you in, such as "If I die before I wake / at least in heaven I can skate / cause right now on Earth I can't do shit / without the Man f--kin' with it". Possibly the best written song on the album, though, is "Brighter Side". This song isn't some generic song about getting high, it's a song written about a dead friend, about Brad Nowell from Sublime. It describes how Nowell was a friend of the band's and how his death affected them. "I wish the world wouldn't be so cold / As to take such a beautiful soul / But despite it all I know we gotta carry on".
Overall Impression — 8
This song is one of those albums that you won't go crazy about, not a wonderful work of art, just a laid back fun-loving album of ska and hip hop. Whenever you need something to pick you up, just pop in Menace To Sobriety, take out your drug/drink of choice, and sit back /and relax. The best songs on this are "Dealerman", "Brighter Side", "Better Daze", and "El Capitan". "El Capitan" is really an OPM masterpiece, as they successfully describe the idea of partying way too hard, and it describes how the album got to be how it is: "some like gin, some like tonic / I like the Captain with a half ounce of chronic".