CD Review: Lynyrd Skynyrd “Last of a Dyin’ Breed”

Lynyrd Skynyrd
Last of a Dyin’ Breed
Release Date: August 21, 2012
Label: Roadrunner Records/Loud & Proud Records
Tracks: 11
Running Time: 43 minutes

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Pronounced “leh-nerd skin nerd”, I have been a member of the Skynyrd Nation for the last 20 years. When I was approached to review this album, I got a wave of terror since they are in fact of my favorite bands. When you are reviewing one of your favorite band, you most importanting don’t want it to suck. Well luckily this album doesn’t and in fact is one of the bands most amped up records to date. If you go from the country-backed “Gods and Guns” to this Southern rock-infused “Last of a Dyin’ Breed”, it is like two different bands. Compared to the political edge to “Gods”, you can just feel that boys of Skynyrd are in the studio just having fun and delivering some good ‘ole southern rock! Skynyrd is still at the top of their game and show no signs of slowing down.

“Guns” producer Bob Marlette is back on board for “Last Of A Dyin’ Breed” and really re-ignites and even improves on the magic they had last go-round. The sound of the album is traditional Skynyrd blended very well with what is going on right now in the world. It is an album for the fans and definitely made for the fans. If you are looking for instantly memorable songs and some ridiculous three-guitar attacks, look no further! I do not think that there is a Skynyrd fan out there that will disagree with me that Skynyrd is on fire with this album.

Longtime members Gary Rossington (guitar), Johnny Van Zant (vocals) and Rickey Medlocke (guitar) and drummer Michael Cartellone are leading the pack on this album. The last time they recorded an album was 2009, which was a rough year for the band with the loss of Billy Powell and Ean Evans. Joining them is their newest bassist Johnny Colt (The Black Crowes, Train), guitarist Mark “Sparky” Matejka and keyboardist Peter Keys. Van Zant has honestly never sounded better vocally. With Medlocke and Rossington, you can just tell that they are literally tearing the shit out of their guitars. Skynyrd is a band that will never be put down and will just keep on coming.

If I had to choose a favorite song, I would have a very hard time for sure. Some notable tracks are “One Day at a Time”, “Something to Live For” and definitely “Ready to Fly” (shit, I guess I do have a favorite). Other notable tracks are “Homegrown”, which uses some cool vocal distortion and “Honey Hole”. They are probably two of the most unique tracks and just plain fun. Of course props needs to also be given to the title track “Last Of A Dyin’ Breed”. Johnny’s vocals are honestly the best they have ever been.  Also keep an ear out for “Mississippi Blood” featuring rare vocals from Medlock.  I have seen Skynyrd perform live probably 10 or more times and that track can easily open every show and get the crowd going.  I can just see Johnny getting up there and raising that microphone up like he always does! Woo hoo hoo!

If you are a die-hard Skynyrd fan, be sure to pick up the special edition of this record because you get not one but four bonus tracks, including “Poor Man’s Dream”, “Do It Up Right”, “Sad Song” and “Low Down Dirty”. After listening these tracks together as whole, this album isn’t complete without them personally. I can’t stress more that these are a must for all Skynyrd fans.

Track Listing:
1. Last Of A Dyin’ Breed
2. One Day At A Time
3. Homegrown
4. Ready To Fly
5. Mississippi Blood
6. Good Teacher
7. Something To Live For
8. Life’s Twisted
9. Nothing Comes Easy
10. Honey Hole
11. Start Livin’ Life Again

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