Approximately three years removed from the release of their third studio album "Faceless," the boys in Godsmack are back at it again, this time with "IV" (Four). Now, while this may hardly be the most creative name for the new album (I thought the same exact thing when Earshot released "Two," Staind put out "Chapter V," and Sevendust came out with "Next," but that's not the point) , the album itself is chock-full of great tunes and is classic Godsmack. Once again, the guys prove that they are able to make powerful music on both ends of the spectrum, whether it be a soft, acoustic tune such as "Hollow" (reminiscent of their work on their EP "The Other Side, released in 2004) or a hard rocker like first single "Speak." A lot of bands today try this, and most of them fail miserably. Personally, I think Godsmack and Sevendust are the only two modern rock bands who pull it off with any degree of success.
Although "Livin' In Sin" isn't the greatest opener, it's still a decent song with a catchy vibe that grows on you after a while. Three tracks in is "The Enemy," and is it just me or does this song sound an awful lot like "Bad Religion (from the self-titled album) Part II" in terms of guitar parts? Of course that's not necessarily a bad thing and while it may just be the weakest song on the album from a lyrical standpoint, I think that may be what the guys were going for here, as it's more of a "f*ck you" type song than anything else. After that comes "Shine Down" (not in any way related to the other great band known as Shinedown), and when you hear the harmonica at the beginning of this song, at first you're like "Huh? That can't work in a Godsmack song." But it does, and the harmonica solo halfway through is amazing. This is the first track on the album where Godsmack demonstrate their more "bluesy" side that several other reviewers on here have alluded to.
The aforementioned "Hollow" may be the best acoustic song the band has done to date, and the additional vocals provided by Lisa Guyer are nothing short of amazing. As for the sequel to "Voodoo" from the self-titled album, "Voodoo Too," I wouldn't say it's as great as the original but definitely a worthy successor. I especially like the chorus line, "Have you ever wondered why in a dream you can touch a falling sky?" I don't really care to provide reviews of the rest of the songs on this album, but rest assured that they are all good in their own ways. Having bought my copy at Target, the hidden bonus track that I was treated to is called "I Thought," and what a wonderful song it is. I thought it was cool how Godsmack put one track that was exclusive to copies of this album from certain stores, i.e. "I Thought" from Target and "Safe and Sound" from Best Buy. I am currently unaware of any others. (Although I do know that you get a free Godsmack T-shirt if you buy this album from Circuit City ths week, haha.)
Now, to all of the haters out there who say that Godsmack is nothing more than an Alice in Chains clone, with all due respect, please take your heads out of your asses. Godsmack have always been strongly influenced by the music of AIC (the band members themselves admit this), but that does not mean they are "ripping them off" in any way. If you cannot tell the difference between a Godsmack song and an AIC song, I strongly suggest you get your hearing checked (this coming from a huge Alice fan). There are similarities between the two bands, yes, but then again no band today is 100% original when it comes to sound and style.
And to the guy who said that nobody can name an AC/DC album other than "Back in Black"...hmmm, let's see..."Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap," "The Razor's Edge," "For Those About To Rock...," "Highway To Hell," "Let There Be Rock," "Fly On The Wall," do you need me to go on? And if you truly believe that the only AC/DC songs played on the radio are those from their masterpiece "Back in Black," I strongly suggest you get, well, a radio. And last but certainly not least, as far as Pearl Jam is concerned, they had their heyday over a decade ago, and are merely a shell of the great band they once were. Their last album, "Riot Act," was a steaming pile of cow dung, aside from the great single that was "I Am Mine." Starting with that album, Eddie Vedder for whatever reason decided it would be a good idea to channel the spirit of Rage Against The Machine and turn PJ into, yet another, whiny political band. Pardon me for asking this, but whatever happened to rock bands just playing rock music without trying to bash people over the heads with their own sanctimonious political agendas?
Oh well, thankfully there's still at least one band we can count on not to do that. That band would be Godsmack.