SAINTS OF LOS ANGELES
Released 2008 (Eleven Seven Music)
02. Face Down In The Dirt
03. What’s It Gonna Take
04. Down At The Whisky
05. Saints Of Los Angeles
06. Mutherfucker Of The Year
07. The Animal In Me
08. Welcome To The Machine
09. Just Another Psycho
10. Chicks = Trouble
11. This Ain’t A Love Song
12. White Trash Circus
13. Goin’ Out Swingin’
Vince Neil – lead and background vocals
Mick Mars – guitars and vocals
Nikki Sixx – bass and vocals
Tommy Lee – drums and vocals
Marti Frederiksen – background vocals
Melissa Harding – background vocals
Produced, engineered and mixed by James Michael.
Co-produced by Nikki Sixx and D.J. Ashba.
It’s been eleven years to the day since the original members of Motley Crue issued a new studio album (Generation Swine was released on June 24, 1997), and man have they delivered! Lyrically based on their autobiography ‘The Dirt’, this album drips of sleaze, filth, sex, drugs and Rock N’ Roll! This 13 track album really gathers all the things the Crue are best known for and combines it into a cohesive platter, something fans will be rejoicing about for awhile to come. The thing I am most happy about is you can taste Mick Mars‘ stank all over this album, and Motley Crue can only benefit from more input on any level from him. Mick has seven co-writes and his unmistakable playing stands out like it should.
This is the best album Motley Crue has released since 1994’s offering with John Corabi. The similarities between the greatness of MC94 and Saints Of Los Angeles are the injection of fresh-blood into the writing mix. In 1994 it was John Corabi and now it is James Michael, D.J. Ashba and Marti Fredrickson, as well as Mick Mars‘ input.
The album starts off with “L.A.M.F.”, an intro in the vein of what the band did with “Shout At The Devil” and “Dr. Feelgood”. From there it is balls to the wall with “Face Down In The Dirt”, a song recounting a kid’s early dreams of making it as a rockstar which features some ferocious punk-flavored drumming from Tommy Lee. “What’s It Gonna Take” is a mid-tempo rocker that features one of my favorite guitar solos on the album, albeit it short, it gets the point across with some nasty wah-wah riffs and dive-bombs that are classic Mick Mars. “Down At The Whiskey” is my favorite cut on this album. It is a borderline ballad that kicks in at the choruses and Vince Neil really shines vocally here. “Saints Of Los Angeles” was the first single released from the album and while I like the track, I think they could have picked a better single. “Mutherfucker Of The Year” is pure groove and very reminiscent musically of “Sick Love Song” from Red, White & Crue. It has very demented vocals and some of Mars‘ best fretwork lies within this cut.
“The Animal In Me” has ‘hit’ written all over it. You can feel the Sixx: A.M. influence all over this track and Vince sounds better than he has in years. Imagine Sixx: A.M.‘s “Life Is Beautiful” crossed with Vince‘s last solo single “Promise Me” and that’s what I get out of this song. Tommy‘s drumming before the solo is outright insane and Mick lays down a solo that really adds to the song. “Welcome To The Machine” reminds me of early Crue as it is fast paced and full of punk attitude. If you dug the drumming on “Kickstart My Heart” or “Smoke The Sky”, then this track will have you beating the shit out of your dashboard as you head down the road. “Just Another Psycho” is stellar musically as Sixx really lays in the pocket and puts down a groove, I’m not too fond on the lyrics though.
I feel “Chicks = Trouble” should be the second single for a multitude of reasons. For one, Motley Crue‘s fan base is predominately male and we can all relate to the lyrics here. Secondly the track is full of hooks from top to bottom – the censors will have fun with some of the lyrics though. A full on rocker, it is probably my second favorite tune on this album. Another groove-laden track, “This Ain’t A Love Song”, is another potential single. If you are a fan of tracks like “Primal Scream” and “Sick Love Song”, as I am, then this is right up your alley with some beautiful slide work added into the multi-dimensional solo. “White Trash Circus” sounds eerily close to Skid Row‘s “New Generation” as the lyrics are Motley‘s career summed up in two minutes and fifty-one seconds. The album ends with the track that caused Saints Of Los Angeles to be delayed by a week, when at the CrueFest press conference, they wrote this cut and re-entered the studio to add it to the album. It is the perfect bookend to S.O.L.A. as an album. It really displays the Crue attitude of continuing to forge ahead and not going down without a fight. Some fans have wondered if this song means the band are done and that this is their swan song. I doubt it, I think Motley Crue is finally back as they should be!
All in all, like I said before, this album is Motley‘s best work since MC94, and if done right this album could help put the band back on the map musically instead of jail terms, OD’s and porn tapes.
Reviewed by Justin ‘Crash’ Crafton for Sleaze Roxx, June 2008.