Sound — 8
From the offset, Cinco Diablo starts off by almost waving goodbye to Blood Stained Love Story, their previous attempt, which for most was mild and weak. Family Reunion, written for the fans support over the past 10+ years carried on this 'trying to be hard, but not managing it' vein of music Saliva seems to be producing in recent times. But nerves were put to rest with 'My Own Worst Enemy', featuring Brent Smith of Shinedown. This track has a driving rhythm and an honesty that none of the songs on the previous album had, such as 'King Of The Stereo', which felt very forced. This song also has possibly one of the best guitar solos in Saliva history, not because of it's blistering pace, but because it just fits the song so well. 'Best Of Me' continues the good work, with Josey's vocals powering out like he's suddenly remembered how to rock out like the old days. This song has a killer guitar solo, the kind of guitar work that was so missing from Blood Stained Love Story. The mood then changes, and the tempo drops. But more than that, we here Josey have a tonal quality we've not heard in a long time, since the 'Back Into Your System' days (which for me remains the best Saliva album by far). 'Hunt You Down', 'Judgment Day', and 'I'm Coming Back' are all triumphs, while they might not be wholly original, they are pure, honest, and a Saliva showing signs of getting back to form. The last two tracks on the album are by far the most interesting. 'Southern Girls' is a festival of the South, in a song. Whilst being wrongly compared to a Motley Crue song, this song puts a smile on your face and is an instant classic, maybe not for mainstream radio, but definitely in the hearts of Saliva fans. This is Saliva reaching back to it's Memphis roots, blues meets rock. Fantastic! The last song on the album is what you would get if Saliva, Coldplay, and U2 ever joined forces (what a very weird picture that paints). The edge of Saliva, the musical tone of Coldplay, with the ghosting sounds of U2. It shouldn't work, it should be a mess, and yet, it's so out of sorts for Saliva it kind of works surprisingly well. It's slow, melodic AND it has a sincere quality to it. You will either love it or hate it, but I urge you not to put it to one side like you might with 'Forever And A Day'.
Lyrics — 7
Lyrically, if you're looking for some profound meaningful message, you won't find it. What you will find however is back to basic, simple but effective lyrics, that will have you pumped up ready to go. 'Stomp you into the ground' 'tear you limb from limb' 'what happened to the world when love was king, was that so yesterday? ', lyrics which have a feeling of solid attitude behind them. Josey really uses his ability to sing with different styles, knock his voice if you want, but there aren't many artists out there that can sing, rap, and scream convincingly. This album is sung with more attitude, and a bigger belief behind the lyrics than the previous album, and probably just shy of the quality seen in 'Back Into Your System'.
Overall Impression — 8
To be honest after the first time I listened to this album, there was a sigh of relief. I fell in love with this band because they wrote songs with pure attitude, then out of no where a ballad would appear in amongst. Yes, they arn't as creative as other bands in the same genre, the lyrics arn't the best, and if you're not a fan the songs can all seem similar. But, this band have been going 10 years, and are still going strong. Why? Because if you became a fan of Saliva as a kid, their sound and style become part of you. Their songs give you the courage to speak out, be different and not care, and fight for everything. They are still totally original, and these days they write music for the fans they already have, instead of kissing mainstream ass. If you don't like Saliva, that's kewl, no one is making you listen, but for those of us who love them, fear not, Saliva are back with a click-click...