The first song "Sometimes I Don't Mind" has a poppy almost cure-ish feel to it. It's a solid song, but lacks a certain punch. It is the first radio releases on the album, but I think "Permanent Holiday" would have been a better choice. "Permanent Holiday" is a strong, weezer-ish number, that has a very friendly sound, and is rather upbeat. "Reasons" touches on the old hardcore style from Battle Hymns. "No Sale" is another poppy upbeat song that follows suit with the rest of the album.
The highlights of the album to me are "Permanent Holiday", "I Hate Everything"(a great parody of the new style downer rap-rock), and "Goodbye For Now". These songs all add a great deal of flavor to the album, and are songs you'll have a difficult time getting out of your head. The Lynn Anderson cover, "I Never Promised You A Rose Garden" is also featured on this album. For those of you who heard it on the SLC Punk! Soundtrack, you've heard the basis of the band's current transformation.
This album's main flaw is a lack of the signature clever bass lines. It's mostly straight root notes, instead of the signature walking bass lines we have come to expect from Royce. I feel this album is very solid, but will test the loyalty of the fans due to the drastic change. My initial impression was that after nearly 7 years of playing punk/ska, they needed a change of pace. And after speaking to Ryan V. I learned that to be the case. I recommend that you listen to this album a few time and give it a chance. It'll be worth it in the end.
Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.