Sound — 10
Scary Kids Scary Kids really outdid themselves on their latest self-titled album. This isn't negative at all negative; in fact, they have shown immense growth from their past two cds. Pushing away from the screech-screams on "After Dark" and the overall cliche/sophomoric (but genius) feel of "The City Sleeps In Flames", they have found a way to mix melody, intricate guitar riffs and heavy drums to keep their fans coming back for more. I saw them live prior to the release of this CD and they introduced the audience to "Degenerates" and "Free Again", if I remember right. Even though no one knew the words at the time, the crowd was responding to the songs more than when they played songs from their previous albums. It could just be the thrill of hearing something new, but seeing as the album has a harder sound to begin with, I'd assume that that's what made people go crazy. Their live perfomance is very engaging and always entertaining: just like the CD. Though having more slow songs and intermissions than we've seen before, these songs give us a break from the power of the other 10 tracks. The setup of the entire thing gives it balance. It almost leads you through a story, though I'm not entirely positive how everything connects.
Lyrics — 9
Overall, the lyrics are fantastic. There isn't a time that Tyson's lyrics do not fit the mood of a particular song. His tone and delivery, even if the lyrics seem overrated and cheesy, make them believable. The range from weak groans, heavy screams and melodic choruses are essentially what makes every song vary from the next.
Overall Impression — 10
Here's breakdown of each song: 01. Prelude - pretty neat. I really like how it introduces us to the theme of the next song as if it's setting up a story. 02. Degenerates - one of my favorite songs for the whole album. Full of energy, great lyrics, the muted sequence of the verse is extremely engaging and different and do I even have to mention the screaming before the chorus? Amazing. 03. Holding On - open-feeling track. The incorporation of the keyboard in the verse is fantastic: shows that the keys haven't lost their place in bands like these. The end guitar "solo", if you will, adds a lot of depth to the end of the song. 04. The Deep End - the opening riff is what first caught my attention. A toned-down track, though it has a very cliche sounding chorus, the lyrics prior to the chorus and in the breakdown make it all worth-while. 05. Faces - expecting a very hard-hitting song just from the intro riff, I was rather disappointed with the chorus. Of course, the design of this song appeals to more than just one crowd, so you can't hate it too much. If you hate the chorus, just listen to the guitar work throughout: it's fantastic. 06. A Pistol To My Temple - the fast-paced verse is genius and suits the lyrics well. As always, the guitars are awesome. 07. Star Crossed - if there is one song on this album that does not belong, it is most definitely this one. This isn't to say that it's bad, but compared to the rest it's not quite up to par. 08. Derailed - not your average acoustic song. I'm glad it was kept short and to the point. It can unveil a lot of emotion in a listener, and the guitar is just beautiful. A good quick listen. 09. Breathe - a step aside to think about the last song. 10. Set Sail - the intro is undeniably catchy. The lyrics are creative, and the vocals are projected very well. 11. Free Again - perfect all around. The guitar riffs, the rolling drums, the desperate screams. The breakdown showing off the keys is top notch! 12. Snake Devil - southern style, partially screamed lyrics, what more can you ask for? Oh right, a face-melting solo! There is nothing about the song that doesn't work. 13. Watch Me Bleed - a recovery song. Good to listen to on a rainy day, but if you're in a great mood, don't lessen it with this. The lyrics are great, however very depressing. I really like that the song showed the keys off some more. 14. Goes Without Saying - another slow song. Unlike the others the guitar riff is instantly catchy, and even though the lyrics are simple, it keeps you interested. 15. Blood Runs Forever - one of the best songs on the entire album. Just when you think the album is winding down the song blasts in. The guitars are perfect from start to finish. 16. The Power Of Resolution - I don't listen to this song that often. It's fairly repetitive in the guitars, probably because it's purpose is to serve as an outro, but I respect that they tried something different. Anytime I listen to it I can see it appearing in some sort of murder-mystery kind of film. Someday perhaps? This album was a great change from the past. It didn't really exceed the other two, just capitalized on their true style. Flows well.