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Retiring my Motley Crue t-shirt

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Well, it’s had a good 10 year run, but it’s time that I retire my Motley Crue shirt that I picked up on the band’s Carnival of Sin tour back in 2005. Over the years, the shirt became one of my favorite shirts to sleep in but it’s become too ripped and ratty to continue on. It’s become pretty faded as well but that doesn’t bother me as much as the large holes in the armpits!

Motley Crue – All Bad Things [Single Review]

motleyMotley Crue – All Bad Things [single]
2015, Eleven Seven Music
Buy the song

1. All Bad Things

Band:
Vince Neil – Vocals
Mick Mars – Guitar
Nikki Sixx – Bass
Tommy Lee – Drums

While I’ve never truly believed Motley Crue’s “final” tour is really the final tour (comments from band members have now stated they’ll still occasionally record or do live performances), I was hoping a new tour might bring about some new music. It’s been too long since the band released a follow-up album to Saints of Los Angeles. I think the idea for any future new Motley music is so to either attach the songs to soundtracks, EPs or release them as singles, but it’s been announced that some type of Motley Crue release is in the works that will include the band’s latest single and the one new track they are playing on their farewell tour, “All Bad Things”.

Whatever the project is, it’s being called “the ultimate collector’s album package” (by Motley’s press release). I’m guessing either another greatest hits collection or another box set. I’d rather get a whole new album.

To the music at hand, when snippets of this song first appeared online in the form of a teaser for the tour, I liked what I heard. Live recordings popping up on YouTube weren’t that great so I’ve been impatiently waiting for MONTHS for a proper release of this song.

Personally, I’m a big fan of the new music Motley Crue has made since 2005. It’s the perfect marriage of the Motley Crue sound and modern hard rock. I loved the few new tracks they did for Red, White & CrueSaints of Los Angeles was good and I liked the band’s previous single, “Sex”. If you’re a fan of their newer stuff, you’ll like “All Bad Things”. It sounds like something that could’ve been on SOLA and it’s a step up from “Sex”. I would love to see both of those songs get a proper physical release so I’m hoping whatever album is in the pipeline, both of these songs will appear on it.

It’s Crue, it’s good, check it out.

Sixx:AM – Modern Vintage [Review]

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 Sixx:A.M. – Modern Vintage
2014, Eleven Seven Music
Buy the album

1. “Stars”
2. “Gotta Get It Right”
3. “Relief”
4. “Get Ya Some”
5. “Let’s Go”
6. “Drive”
7. “Give Me a Love”
8. “Hyperventilate”
9. “High on the Music”
10. “Miracle”
11. “Before It’s Over”

Band:
James Michael – Vocals, Keyboards
DJ Ashba – Guitar
Nikki Sixx – Bass

Additional Musicians:
Jeff Fabb – Drums

Producer: James Michael

This is the third release from what was originally intended to be a Nikki Sixx side-project that I now hope will become a full blown touring/recording band once Motley Crue finally wraps up their concert days. Going back to the band’s debut, they always had a knack for writing big choruses and catchy melodies although given the nature of lyrical content, the music was a bit more ugly and harder edged. This Is Gonna Hurt featured the band spreading their wings and writing hook after hook and chorus after chorus. It’s one of my favorite albums of all time and still receives play from me to this day.

With Modern Vintage, it seems like the band is experimenting with styles a bit. This Is Gonna Hurt definitely had some pop moments that would’ve have sounded out of place on a Kelly Clarkson album but now it seems like the band is trying out what I basically think is dance rock with a song like “Miracle”. Then there’s “High on the Music” which comes across as a reworking of Imagine Dragon’s “Ready to Rock You”. Then there’s a pretty straightforward cover of The Car’s “Drive” that seems pretty pointless.

“Before It’s Over” is kind of an odd one in that it’s a bouncy tune featuring trumpets. It’s strange and sounds like something that could’ve been from The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack. I hated it when I first heard it but it’s growing on me just because it’s quirky. I’m glad it closes the album though. It would’ve completely ruined the album had it been stuck somewhere in the middle.”Get Ya Some” sounds like it could’ve come from the debut as well.

Sixx:A.M. has always written catchy music but it seems like they are making an effort with some songs to become a bit more mainstream. This isn’t necessarily bad but songs like “Miracle” and “High on the Music” seem to get their inspiration from music scenes I couldn’t care less about. On the flip side, “Stars” and “Gotta Get It Right” are stone-cold classics and sound like they could’ve come from This Is Gonna Hurt, which was a great album from top to bottom with zero filler.

Modern Vintage is a good release that’s better than their debut but a step down from This Is Gonna Hurt. Perhaps the band would’ve been better off releasing an EP as I’m finding half the album to essentially be filler.

Highlights: “Stars”, “Gotta Get It Right”, “Relief”, “Give Me a Love”, “Hyperventilate”, “Before It’s Over”

Metal Excess Awards 2012

Despite 2012 being a year where a number of major classic rock acts reappeared with new albums (KISS, Van Halen, Aerosmith), I was slightly disappointed with the rock scene overall. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that I’ve listened to less music in 2012 than I have compared to the previous 5 years or so. Whether it’s because I’m getting too old or getting too busy, I didn’t sit down and listen to or write about as much music as I have since I started this blog a few years back. I haven’t been paying attention to the world of hard rock & heavy metal as I should have. Forgive me. Maybe I can make up for it in 2013.
Anyway, here’s my contribution to the millions of “Best of 2012” lists that are already all over the internet!
Best Albums of 2012
As I said, 2012 didn’t seem like an incredibly bright year for rock releases but that doesn’t mean I’m knocking some of the cream of the crop. Rick Springfield (of all people!) delivered a classic album that I just had to give the #1 spot based on how much I played it. My Darkest Days had yet another incredibly strong release. Other than Hess at #7, the rest of the top 10 is made up of veteran artists who know how to get the job done.
1.Rick Springfield – Songs for the End of the World
2. My Darkest Days – Sick and Twisted Affair
3. KISS – Monster
4. Van Halen – A Different Kind of Truth
5. Aerosmith – Songs from Another Dimension!
6. Adler – Back From The Dead
7. Mollo/Martin – The Third Cage
8. Hess – Living In Yesterday
9. Slash – Apocalyptic Love
10. Dokken – Broken Bones
11. Great White – Elation
12. Richie Sambora – Aftermath of the Lowdown
13. Jorn – Bring Heavy Rock to the Land
14. Jack Blades – Rock ‘N’ Roll Ride
15. Trixter – New Audio Machine
16. Lita Ford – Living Like a Runaway
17. Crazy Lixx – Riot Avenue
18. Hinder – Welcome to the Freak Show
19. Million Dollar Reload – A Sinner’s Saint
20. The Morning After – Legacy
21. Heart – Fanatic
22. Accept – Stalingrad
23. Papa Roach – The Connection
23. Zerokings – Kings of Self Destruction
24. Primal Fear – Unbreakable
25. Fozzy – Sin and Bones

Missed Them in 2012…

These are releases from 2012 that I’ve heard some songs from but I haven’t listened to the entire album yet. I wouldn’t have felt right trying to place them on the list without having heard the complete album. Look for reviews of these albums soon.

* Danko Jones – Rock and Roll is Black and Blue
* Black Country Communion – Afterglow
* L.A. Guns – Hollywood Forever (from what I’ve heard, this probably would’ve made my Top 10)
* Jettblack – Raining Rock
* The Last Vegas – Bad Decisions
* Ian Gillan & Tony Iommi: WhoCares
* Overkill – The Electric Age
* T & N – Slave to the Empire
* Lynch Mob – Sound Mountain Session EP

Best EP/Compilation/Cover/Singles

The “everything else” category.

1. Richard Marx – Christmas Spirit
2. Dio – The Very Beast of Dio, Vol. 2
3. Rod Stewart – Merry Christmas, Baby
4. John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John – This Christmas
5. TSO – Dreams of Fireflies (On a Christmas Night) EP
6. Dee Snider – Dee Does Broadway
7. Buckcherry – “Gluttony” [single]
8. Motley Crue – “Sex” [single]
9. Wildstreet – “Easy Does It” [single]

Most Anticipated in 2013

Judas Priest:   Slated for sometime in 2013, this is easily the most anticipated album for me. I’m looking forward to and hoping Priest will deliver a classic sounding metal album and forget about overblown concept records. It’s just a shame KK Downing isn’t along for the ride but I think having some young blood in Priest might actually help push them to be heavier, harder and faster. The same thing happened when Scott Travis joined the band. I’d still love to see Downing come back at some point though. Why not have six members of Judas Priest?

Buckcherry – Confessions (Feb. 19): The lead single “Gluttony” has already been released and I’m really enjoying it. These guys do not disappoint.

My Darkest Days (fall): These guys have released two of my favorite albums from the last few years and are already writing for a follow up to last year’s Sick and Twisted Affair with a new studio album in the fall. I’m hoping the recent departure of guitarist Sal Costa wouldn’t delay the release.

Avenged Sevenfold: No timetable for a new album other than 2013. The band is supposedly going to begin recording this month.

Motley Crue: Another “sometime in 2013″ release. The question is — LP or EP? Vince Neil has mentioned it will be an EP and that’s more in line with what Tommy Lee has stated he’d like for the band to release from now on. Nikki Sixx has been referring to the next Crue release as an “album”, so I guess we’ll see. The single they released in the summer (“Sex”) was decent and seems to fit in with the modern rock turn Crue has taken since 2005.

Black Sabbath: Originally meant for 2012, all kinds of legal issues and drama have slowed this one down. Pretty stupid if they don’t end up pulling Bill Ward in but I’m interested just because I’m a fan of Iommi & Butler. In fact, bring back Ward and get rid of Ozzy and I’d feel even better about this reunion album. My preference is still for Iommi & Butler to form a new band with either Tony Martin (long shot), Jorn Lande, Ian Gillan or Glenn Hughes.

Megadeth: I dunno… Megadeth is one of my all-time favorite bands so I’m always interested but with each release I’m finding less and less to like. Yes, they are getting heavier and faster. Perhaps they are the heaviest and fastest they’ve ever been but Dave seems to be forsaking melody to do it. Seems like he’d rather go off on political rants and conspiracy theories than write memorable songs.

AC/DC: One of those bands that myself & radio have played out to the point where I’m kinda numb to them. But, Black Ice was far better than I ever imagined it could be so I’m definitely interested in new music. This past spring Malcolm Young said a new album would be out in a “year or two”. Here’s hoping it’ll be released in 2013.

Tom Keifer (spring) – I’m a big fan of Cinderella. People have been asking for a new Cinderella album for over 10 years now. I’m not sure why Tom would decide to a solo release instead but I’m not going to complain.

Deep Purple: Ian Gillan said they were planning a new release. Hopefully they follow through!

Anthrax: I think it was Joey Belladonna who stated in interview this past summer than they wanted to release something new in 2013.

Hardcore Superstar – C’mon Take On Me (March 1)

Black Veil Brides – Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones (January 8): I surprisingly enjoyed their last album. Looking forward to hearing whether they’ve kept the same sound or going even more glam/power metal than before.

Crashdiet – The Savage Playground (late January)

Bon Jovi – What About Now (March 26): I’m not a fan of the lead single, “Because We Can”. I actually haven’t been a fan of the last few albums either but I was optimistic because I liked all four new songs they released with the deluxe version of their latest greatest hits compilation. I can’t help but get excited when a new Bon Jovi album is coming out but I would not be surprised if this album was only good for a ballad or two.

Sixx:A.M. – Codependence [single]

Sixx:A.M. – Codependence [single] (2011, Eleven Seven Music)

1. “Codependence” … 3:37

Band:
James Michael – Vocals, Drums, Guitar
DJ Ashba – Guitar
Nikki Sixx – Bass

Producer: James Michael

On the same day the band released 7 (an EP  featuring stripped down and rearranged versions of previously released songs) for download, Sixx:A.M. also released the song “Codependence” exclusively through iTunes for FREE. “Codependence” comes from the This Is Gonna Hurt sessions and while it was previously unreleased here in the United States, it appeared as a bonus track when the album was issued in Japan.

Though Japan often gets bonus tracks, sometimes those tracks aren’t really worth listening to in the first place, they’re just filler. Well, that’s not the case this time. “Codependence” doesn’t rate with the very best of This Is Gonna Hurt but I still like it. It’s much more straight forward than most of the tracks from the album making it a bit less memorable whenever James Michael is singing a chorus he can make the song sound like something you should be paying attention to. Even through the self-loathing and moody lyrics a lot of Sixx:A.M.  come off sounding like really cool rock anthems and that’s what “Codependence” is to me.

But why take my word for it? It’s FREE. Go download it and listen.

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Sixx:A.M. – 7

Sixx:A.M. – 7 (2011, Eleven Seven Music)

1. “Lies of the Beautiful People” … 3:58
2. “This Is Gonna Hurt” … 4:46
3. “Life Is Beautiful” … 4:08
4. “Help Is On the Way” … 4:05
5. “Sure Feels Right” … 4:08
6. “Pray for Me” … 4:28
7. “Accidents Can Happen” … 4:09

Band:
James Michael – Vocals, Keyboards, Drums, Strings, Guitar
DJ Ashba – Guitar
Nikki Sixx – Bass

Producer: James Michael

One good thing about the digital age of music is how quickly a project can be announced to the public and then released. It was late November when Sixx:A.M. announced an acoustic EP was on its way and just a few weeks later it was digitally released on December 13th. I think it’s an iTunes exclusive but I’m not positive.

I’ve always been a fan of Sixx:A.M. Despite a few odd moments, The Heroin Diaries was good overall and This Is Gonna Hurt (which was released earlier this year) is absolutely fantastic with not a single foul track to be found. They’re a great live band as well. So when they announced they were re-working previous songs into an acoustic EP, I knew it was going to be good.

The whole acoustic thing isn’t really appropriate labeling though. The band has since backed off a bit on calling 7 an acoustic EP, preferring to say the songs are “stripped down”, which is the accurate statement. It’s not as if this is an “unplugged” performance. The production is still here, electric guitars as well, but the arrangements are different and acoustic instruments feature more prominently.

I like how James Michael didn’t lower his voice to a whisper just because the songs are “stripped down” and the tempo has changed. He’s still soaring on these songs when appropriate and he continues to prove himself as one of rock’s best vocalists.

I think “This Is Gonna Hurt” is a particularly beautiful song and stands out the most on this EP. The band has taken it in a completely different direction here and have turned it into a haunting piano-based ballad. Given Sixx:A.M.’s strong sense of melody and dark, emotive lyrics you can pretty much switch any of there songs from rocker to ballad or ballad to rocker and come out with great results.

The final words I have to say is that these were all great songs in their original form. They are all given a twist here on 7 and I consider the whole experiment a huge success. Sixx:A.M. itself has been a huge success in my eyes. They are one of the best bands to come along in the last 10 years and I’m anxious to see what else they have planned.

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Motley Crue – Red, White & Crue

Motley Crue – Red, White & Crue (2005, Hip-O Records/Motley Records)

Disc 1
1. “Live Wire” … 3:15
2. “Piece of Your Action” … 4:40
3. “Toast of the Town” … 3:14
4. “Too Fast for Love” … 3:21
5. “Black Widow” [Previously Unreleased] … 4:26
6. “Looks That Kill” … 4:07
7. “Too Young to Fall in Love” [Remix] … 3:38
8. “Helter Skelter” … 3:12
9. “Shout at the Devil” … 3:14
10. “Smokin’ In the Boys Room” … 3:27
11. “Use It or Lose It” … 2:39
12. “Girls, Girls, Girls” … 4:30
13. “Wild Side” … 4:40
14. “You’re All I Need” … 4:43
15. “All in the Name of…” … 3:39
16. “Kickstart My Heart” … 4:48
17. “Without You” … 4:29
18. “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” … 4:40
19. “Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.)” … 4:12
20. “Dr. Feelgood” … 4:50

Disc 2
1. “Anarchy in the U.K.” … 3:20
2. “Primal Scream” … 4:47
3. “Home Sweet Home” [’91 Remix] … 4:01
4. “Hooligan’s Holiday” [Brown Nose Edit] … 5:20
5. “Misunderstood” [Successful Format Version] … 4:58
6. “Planet Boom” … 3:23
7. “Bittersuite” … 3:19
8. “Afraid” [Alternative Rave Mix] … 4:08
9. “Beauty” … 3:46
10. “Generation Swine” … 4:40
11. “Bitter Pill” … 4:26
12. “Enslaved” … 4:30
13. “Hell On High Heels” … 4:16
14. “New Tattoo” [Single Version] … 4:02
15. “If I Die Tomorrow” … 3:46
16. “Sick Love Song” … 4:18
17. “Street Fighting Man” … 3:31

Bought this album for three reasons: “If I Die Tomorrow”, “Sick Love Song” and “Street Fighting Man”. Before anyone thinks I’m stupid for spending $15-20 for 3 songs, I actually picked up a used copy off Amazon.com for about $2.25.

Red, White & Crue is the band’s fourth compilation and came hot on the heels of the reunion of all four original members. This time it was Tommy Lee returning after having had some minor success with his rap-metal group Methods of Mayhem and two solo albums. The late Randy Castillo (ex-Ozzy) was Tommy’s replacement in the band and later when Randy became ill, Hole drummer Samantha Maloney would join the group in a touring capacity.

For my money (as little as I paid!), this album stands as the superior Crue compilation. Of the 5 compilations the band has released, this is the only collection to feature two discs (although a single disc version was released) and therefore it’s able to cover a lot more ground. It certainly makes 1998’s Greatest Hits album obsolete as it includes the two new tracks that came from that album. Quality begins to take a dip with Disc 2 as the collection is set up in chronological order and we’re taken through the Corabi albumGeneration Swine and New Tattoo songs.

The album ends on a high note with three new tracks. “If I Die Tomorrow” and “Sick Love Song” are classic Crue songs in my opinion and were foreshadowing what would come later on Saints of Los Angeles. Great mix of modern hard rock and the classic Crue sound and two of my favorite Crue songs ever and in my area they both got some decent airplay. The final new track is “Street Fighting Man”, a cover of the Rolling Stones song (and Josh Freese actually plays drums on this song). A good effort though I’m not a big Stones fan. A fourth new track called “I’m a Liar (And That’s the Truth)” made it onto Japan pressings of this album. I checked the song out on YouTube and while it would’ve been nice to see it included, it’s the least pleasing of the newly recorded songs. Kinda generic.

For old school fans, there is the previously unreleased “Black Widow” (You mean there are MORE songs that didn’t make it as bonus tracks to those reissues ) which was demoed in 1983 for Shout at the Devil but morphed into “God Bless the Children of the Beast”.

Listen, anytime a band releases a “best of” or “greatest hits” compilation, the debate can rage on endlessly about which songs didn’t deserve to be on the album and which songs did. Sure, we can all sit back and pick this album apart and list what we’d take out and put in but I think this is a great career overview, warts and all. They didn’t focus only on songs from the original four members, they didn’t try to pretend Corabi didn’t exist or that they didn’t go that weird alternative/techno route with Generation Swine and I think that’s cool. For better or worse, this album shows you all eras of Motley Crue… which is what a compilation should do, in my opinion, unless you’re calling it a greatest hits album.

This is the compilation I would recommend to anyone looking to get into the band. More than likely, the most amount of enjoyment is going to be found on Disc 1 as every song there is classic old school Crue but Disc 2 still has a few gems to offer.

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Sixx:A.M. – This Is Gonna Hurt

Sixx:A.M. – This Is Gonna Hurt (2011, Eleven Seven Music)

1. “This Is Gonna Hurt”
2. “Lies Of The Beautiful People”
3. “Are You With Me”
4. “Live Forever”
5. “Sure Feels Right”
6. “Deadlihood”
7. “Smile”
8. “Help Is On The Way”
9. “Oh My God”
10. “Goodbye My Friends”
11. “Skin”

Band:
James Michael – Vocals, Keyboards, Drums, Strings, Guitar
DJ Ashba – Guitar
Nikki Sixx – Bass

Producer: James Michael

Nikki’s side-project is at it again and, no surprise, he’s doing the dual promotion thing by releasing a collection of photos and personal stories called “This Is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography And Life Through The Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx” at the same time. I haven’t picked the book up yet but I’m hearing good things about it so I plan on doing it soon. The difference this time is that The Heroin Diaries served as a soundtrack to the book of the same name where as there is only a loose theme connecting the album and book. Basically, the theme is that beauty can be found in anything and anyone and not necessarily in what society deems to be “beautiful”. “Lies Of The Beautiful People” and “Skin” deal with this idea explicitly.

Given this looser connection to Nikki’s latest book, This Is Gonna Hurt is certainly the more commercial sounding of the two albums they’ve released. It’s freed from the shackles of trying to tell a story and reflect chapters in a book so what they’ve delivered is a hooky and haunting collection of modern alternative hard rock that is radio-ready and melodic yet with lyrics still dark and emo enough for people who like to shop at Hot Topic and wear black fingernail polish. Though Sixx:A.M. has no intentions to tour, I could see them doing well as an opening act for a band like Avenged Sevenfold.

So, seeing as how this album seems to have been written with airplay in mind some of the songs don’t necessarily come across as anything special. While there are no bad songs on this album, a few come across as exactly what they are — attempts at commercialism. Though I suppose it has worked since the album sold 30k copies in the first week and debuted at #10 on the Billboard charts.

This album seems to run the gamut. There are hard rockin’ anthems like the excellent “This Is Gonna Hurt” and the lead single “Lies Of The Beautiful People”, the rock/pop of “Are You With Me” (think Daughtry or David Cook) and then there are tender moments like the album’s low-key closing number “Skin” or the laid back country pop of “Feels So Right”. “Live Forever” is another album high point and along with “Smile” it really helps to point out the album’s more positive and upbeat nature in comparison to The Heroin Diaries.

But don’t worry, there are darker moments like the emo-tastic “Deadlihood” and “Goodbye My Friends while “Help Is On The Way” has lyrics that go: “Sometimes I wish you were dead and I’m not even joking/I’d put a gun to your head/And when your world crashes down, you’ll see it’s not so funny/What will you say to the press”.

For my money, this is one of the year’s best albums and I hope this isn’t the end for Sixx:A.M. (though I doubt it is). Nikki says he’s already working on Book #3 so I’m sure we can expect a new album at that time! If you were into The Heroin Diaries, you’ll be into This Is Gonna Hurt.

Highlights: “This Is Gonna Hurt”, “Lies Of The Beautiful People”, “Live Forever”, “Sure Feels Right”, “Help Is On The Way”, “Skin”

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Monster Madness

Various Artists – Monster Madness (2000, Razor & Tie Music)

1. “Dr. Feelgood” – Motley Crue – 4:51
2. “Unskinny Bop” – Poison – 3:48
3. “I Remember You” – Skid Row – 5:15
4. “Kiss Me Deadly” – Lita Ford – 4:01
5. “I Wanna Rock” – Twisted Sister – 3:04
6. “Silent Lucidity” – Queensryche – 5:49
7. “Epic” – Faith No More – 4:54
8. “Up All Night” – Slaughter – 3:47
10. “Don’t Treat Me Bad” – FireHouse – 3:58
11. “Hole Hearted” – Extreme – 3:40
12. “Bang Your Head (Metal Health)” – Quiet Riot – 5:20
13. “In My Dreams” – Dokken – 4:21
14. “Wait” – White Lion – 4:03
15. “Easy Come, Easy Go” – Winger – 4:03
16. “I Saw Red” – Warrant – 3:50
17. “I’ll See You in My Dreams” – Giant – 4:45

Following Razor & Tie’s success with Monsters of Rock and Monster Ballads, here comes Monster Madness! Monster Madness is essentially Monsters of Rock 3 (Monsters of Rock 2 was released a few months before this album) and is certainly superior to MOR 2 (which was already scraping the bottom of the barrel) and is just as good as the original MOR album in my opinion.

I mean, just look at the songs here. “Dr. Feelgood”, “Unskinny Bop”, “I Remember You”, “I Wanna Rock”, “Wait”, “Bang Your Head”, “Hole Hearted”, “Don’t Treat Me Bad”… It’s a hair metal dream! Even the odd inclusion of Queensryche and Faith No More is welcomed because those are killer songs.

The album takes me back to my youth. No, not the ’80s but the year 2000 when I bought this album and my girlfriend at the time loved it because it had Lita Ford’s “Kiss Me Deadly” on it. I still remember her getting all excited when she heard it for the first time in years.

Just a great “feelgood” album filled with major acts and songs.

VINCE NEIL – Tattoos & Tequila

Vince Neil – Tattoos & Tequila (2010, Eleven Seven Music)

1. “Tattoos & Tequila” … 3:44
2. “He’s a Whore” … 2:49
3. “AC/DC” … 4:08
4. “Nobody’s Fault” … 4:44
5. “Another Bad Day” … 4:07
6. “No Feelings” … 2:50
7. “Long Cool Woman” … 3:27
8. “Another Piece of Meat” … 3:08
9. “Who’ll Stop the Rain” … 2:51
10. “Viva Las Vegas” … 2:54
11. “The Bitch Is Back” … 3:45

Band:
Vince Neil – Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
Jeff Blando – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Dana Strum – Bass
Zoltan Chaney – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Marti Frederiksen – Bass, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Brad Gillis – Guitar
Jack Blades – Backing Vocals
Anthony Focx – Drums
Will Evankovich – Guitar
Christian Matthew Cullen – Keyboards
Mollie Solow – Backing Vocals

Producer: Jack Blades &Vince Neil, Marti Frederiksen (Tracks 1 and 5)

When I first heard about this album, I wasn’t all that excited about it but I figured I would probably pick it up just because I’m such a big Crue fan. Then I found out this album was mostly a collection of cover songs with only two original songs. I decided against picking it up but I read a few positive reviews for it and noticed Best Buy’s website had the album on sale for $7.99 with free shipping. I ended up ordering this along with Ozzy’s Scream album (it had the same deal). Both albums arrived in the mail on Monday, 6/21 — a full day before they hit the street! BestBuy.com is quickly becoming one of the top stopping places for me when it comes to new music from established acts.

Vince Neil sounds as good as ever (no jokes, please) and he’s backed by a number of notable musicians. Night Ranger’s Brad Gillis & Jack Blades lend a hand with Jack Blades going as far as producing all of the cover songs. Then there’s Beautiful Creatures’ Anthony Focx making a guest appearance. Slaughter’s Dana Strum and Jeff Blando help make up the Vince Neil band in 2010 alongside newcomer Zoltan Chaney on drums. Marti Frederiksen (who co-wrote the entire Saints of Los Angeles album from Motley Crue) plays a few instruments and also produced/wrote the two new tracks.

I think the song choices here were great. Vince said he wanted to cover bands he was a fan of and that had influenced him and that’s great. He’s lent his voice to so many low-budget tribute albums over the years, it’s nice to know he’s not just collecting a paycheck this time. It’s also cool this was released on Eleven Seven (where Nikki Sixx is a head honcho at the label) and Vince didn’t have to put this out on a no-name label.

These covers are inspired. They’ve all been given a slight makeover and a sleazy hard rock edge. Some of his cover choices are surprising, here’s the full list: Cheap Trick, Sweet, Aerosmith, Sex Pistols, The Hollies, Scorpions, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Elvis Presley and Elton John. I’m particularly impressed by the versions of The Hollies’ “Long Cool Woman” and CCR’s “Who’ll Stop The Rain”. Vince sound really good singing these old ’70s hard rockers. His take on Aerosmith’s “Nobody’s Fault” and Elvis’ “Viva Las Vegas” are pretty rockin’ too. I was particularly interested in how “Viva Las Vegas” would sound and I’m glad it was given a hard rock makeover and he didn’t try to remain true to the song’s lounge act roots. Even the two new songs “Tattoos & Tequila” and “Another Bad Day” (which are obvious attempts at getting modern rock radio play) are growing on me.

Vince really sounds like he was having fun with these songs and why not? Like Def Leppard’s Yeah! covers album, this is a good time rock ‘n’ roll album for the summer and it was recorded for no other purpose than having fun. Fun seems to be the Vince Neil way. Though he has somewhat of a scroungy biker image when hanging out in Motley Crue, his solo style appears to be that of a hard rock Jimmy Buffett and he even has an ad in the CD booklet for his own line of tequila! Look out, Sammy Hagar!

Rock ‘n’ roll for the sake of rock ‘n’ roll. Recommended.

Highlights: “Tattoos & Tequila”, “He’s A Whore”, “Nobody’s Fault”, “Long Cool Woman”, “Who’ll Stop The Rain”, “Viva Las Vegas”

http://www.vinceneil.net/
http://www.myspace.com/vinceneil

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