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LYNYRD SKYNYRD – Last Of A Dyin’ Breed

| 18 September 2012 | Reply

Label: Loud & Proud/Roadrunner, August 2012
By Shane Pinnegar

Lynyrd Skynyrd 2012 is nothing if not a dichotomy – self proclaimed flagbearers for The Glory Of Southern Rock and keepers of the torch for the original band, whose members suffered such tragedy in the pursuit of their dreams, the current line-up have eased into a middle age with grizzled dignity that eschews the whiskey snortin’, fists-a-flyin’ demeanour that the band so proudly proclaimed in the seventies.


Johnny Van Zant is out front of the band now, where his bare-footed elder brother used to stand, and has made good on the promise of 2009’s God & Guns with fine performances from start to finish here.


Gary Rossington is the only original member left, and carries with him the weight of haunted sadness from losing his best friends in THAT 1977 plane crash, and the pain of his own laborious recovery from shattered bones and broken heart.


Leader of the less-lauded Southern rockers Blackfoot, native Indian and arguably the spiritual heart of the band, Rickey Medlocke meshes his guitar seamlessly with Rossington and Mark Matejka’s, and the addition of original Black Crowe bassist Johnny Colt is a boon to the band’s sound.


Skynyrd today may be more about Jesus and cups of tea than the band in Ronnie Van Zant’s day, but they fly the flag proudly and this is without question the finest album they have released since those long gone (but never forgotten) days, thanks in part to Bob Marlette’s excellent production.


The title track tells you all you need to know, really:  Skynyrd believe in God, guns, the United States and the brotherhood of their band.  It’s great to have them still with us and delivering an album so uniquely pitched across the divide between a purist Southern sound and a modern hard rock band, revelling in what makes them unique, and bowed not in spirit nor potency despite seemingly endless tragedies that would have broken most, and certainly kept them in the minor leagues for too long.

Category: CD Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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