Sound — 9
The sound is pure punk, and really stands on a different level than most metalcore/mainstream modern bands. This is easily strung out's best release since exile into oblivion. For those of you unfamiliar with strung out, these guys combine the raw (almost tremolo picked) power chords of rise against, with insane metal esque solos, that are very impressive. They also cleverly throw in a few acoustic passages to keep things fresh. The first track 'Calling', is filled with insane harmony riffs, starting with a weird acoustic (almost surf guitar) intro and into an awesome verse riff. I also love the intro to "The King Has Left The Building", which is a little more generic than most of the guitar parts, but still cool. The band seems to have slightly matured into more of a thrashy pedal tone inspired guitar parts, and it definetly doesn't dissapoint. The drumming has always been awesome, but doesnt seem to shine any brighter in this album. Many songs on this album still reflect their older songs, but with a clearer, cleaner sound.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics arent the greatest in the world but the vocalists makes up for it with their singing. Again, think Rise Against lyrics, with a little less roughness in the voice, then drenched in vocal harmonies. The lyrics are typical punk style "is anybody out there?", and stuff like that. Mostly 'fist-pumping' lyrics if that makes sense.
Overall Impression — 8
This album compares in my mind to Rise Against's 'Sufferer And The Witness', with a little flashier riffs and awesome solos. My favorites are (not in order) 'Calling', 'The King has Left the Building', 'A War Called Home', 'Orchid'... I really could name them all except maybe dirty little secret is a little too light for me. I don't worry about anyone stealing it cause I have it downloaded on my computer, but I would definetly download it all again if my computer crashed or something. If you are unfamiliar with strung out this is a good CD (or exile into oblivion) to get hooked on.