Next review: » Motley Crue - New Tattoo
Released: 2000, Motley/Beyond
I know there's a lot of metalheads who don't get Motley Crue and then there's many who won't admit to liking them. Well you know what, fuck that cause I've been a Crue fan since I started listening to metal in 1983! Their album Shout At The Devil will always hold a special place with me as one of the first albums that really turned me on to metal and made me who I am today. When I read that the Crue's new CD was going to be all about a return to the sounds of old I was skeptical but hoping for a HEAVY CD like Shout. Unfortunately, this is not Shout part II. The is more like Dr. Feelgood with some of the classic elements from the Crue's other "crucial" CD - Too Fast For Love.
After hearing this CD dozens of times I'm left saying "Tommy who?" This CD BY FAR proves that the Crue can do it without Tommy but they could NOT do it without Vince. I wish Tommy would of stayed in the band, but if he'd rather be "snoop doggy Lee" then we're better off without him. Vince may not be the most technical singer in the world, but his voice over the Crue's music is magic. New Tattoo is also a lot better than Generation Swine which tried too hard to be "new" sounding. Well, New Tattoo is the opposite. The Crue don't TRY to be anything but themselves! This is just the essentials - raw guitar, Mick's distinguished solos, lyrics about the typical sex, drugs and rock 'n roll and great songs with memorable choruses. I'm sure anyone who hasn't bought the CD who likes the Crue has already heard the track "Hell On High Heels" - it is somewhat representative of the CD but it's not the best track on there. Songs that stand out and that stick with me after repeated listens include "Dragstrip Superstar" with an excellent upbeat chorus. Then there's "1st Band On The Moon" which has a cool guitar part heavy on the wah peddle and cheesy Motley styled lyrics that only this band can do! "Punched In The Teeth By Love" also has a very strong classic sounding chorus and lyrics that seem to be about Tommy's ex - "construction work, it's silicone" and the giveaway line "Every man in town went on the honeymoon." For a ballad "Hollywood Ending" is not too bad and a lot better than the album's other ballad, and title track, "New Tattoo." The song "Fake" seems to be some sort of a jaded autobiography about the Crue and the "rock star" lifestyle.
I love all the other songs on here and listening to the album ALMOST makes you think you're listening to classic Crue. It's too bad that some of the songs didn't have a more heavy feel, something that would of been as venomous as say "Bastard", "Knock 'em Dead Kid" or "Red Hot" (some of my favorite Crue songs). I guess the problem is the boys are at heart "hard rockers" and not trying to be totally metal like they were on Shout....too bad.
For a 17-year fan of Motley Crue I can say with all sincerity that this album DOES live up to the Crue's past CD's. It's the best CD they've had since Dr. Feelgood and the jury is still out as to whether it's better then Feelgood...but it's damn close. It doesn't match the magic of the first two Crue CD's - Too Fast For Love and Shout At The Devil, but it is in the vein of rawer stripped down music. Classic Crue fans should eat this one up!
"You've bee served fast food music and disposable heroes for so long you've somehow forgotten what is real and what is not" ...well the CRUE are back proving all disbelievers wrong.
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Released: 2000, Motley/Beyond
How can I do this to the Crue? Ever since grade school, these guys have been there for me and now I must turn my back on them. I'm sorry guys.
Here it goes...I will be very blunt, this album sucks from pathetic start to semi-conscious finish. I wasn't too impressed with "Hell on High Heels" to begin with. The local radio stations have been playing "High Heels" for weeks and I kept waiting for it to hit me. It didn't. Why? Cause the song, like the album, is complete shit!
Where do the problems lie? For starters, Nikki's lyrics are cheesy in an annoying kind of way. Usually I don't care about lyrics and "let the music do the talking." However, with these grade school level riffs and melodies, the lyrics are exposed for all to hear via Vince's nasal delivery. The lyrics are dumb, yes, but that's not the problem. The Crue have traditionally had dumb lyrics and that's part of their charm. It just seems like Nikki is trying too hard to show us the seedy side of Hollywood and Vine this time. O.K. Nikki, I get it, Hollywood is a crazy, crazy place and the Crue is a friend to the the prostitutes, porn stars, pimps and drug addicts. I don't know, maybe now that the Crue aren't smacked out of their minds, the lyrics are more than a little contrived. I don't buy the picture they're trying to paint. Not that the Crue ever gave us a realistic portrait of life on the strip (we had Guns 'N Roses for that trip), it's just that I cannot detect any semblance of honesty on any track here. It's more like they're trying too hard to be Motley Crue, instead of just being "the Crue."
The production on New Tattoo is overdone. Vince said that this thing was gonna be a cross between Dr. Feelgood and Shout at the Devil (ya right!). First off, Dr. Feelgood was overproduced, but the songs were geared for it. This album has none of the, dare I say, complexity that Feelgood had. Feelgood was full of original rockers with punch, hooks AND was produced by the king of overproduction, Bob Rock. Rock makes a living by overproducing bands: his production style is either bringing out the "over the top" tendencies a band (like the Crue) has seething under the surface OR putting a protective wax coating over a sound that needs to be raw and exposed (like Metallica). But this is Mike Clink of Appetite for Destruction fame. Appetite this ain't. This is overproduced crap (did I say that already?). And as for Shout at the Devil, please...
The Crue needs Tommy Lee. There, I said it. I know, I know, the guy is rappin' now and that certainly sucks, but THE CRUE IS VINCE, NIKKI, MICK AND TOMMY. The Crue without T-bone is like Kiss without the face paint. I can't listen to Kiss and really enjoy it without thinking of them (the original four) with the face paint on. Without Tommy, the Crue lose their "face paint," so to speak. 'Cause the Crue is not only about the music, they are about the perfect blend of those four personalities. We didn't fall in love with the Crue with Randy Castillo anymore than we fell in love with the Crue with John Corabi. It just doesn't gel. Not that Randy is bad, in fact he's quite good. The only problem he has is that he isn't Tommy and there isn't a damn thing he can do about it. Vince, Nikki and Mick, however, can do something. They can go beg Tommy to drop the rap bullshit and come back. I have a strong feeling that Tommy will be back to bangin' that cowbell again someday. But, until then, I temporarily withdraw my membership from the S.I.N. club.
Here is a quick overview:
New Tattoo: The Crue RIP OFF Faster Pussycat, Poison and a bunch of other bands who wrote the same exact same song in the late 80's.
Dragstrip Superstar: They RIP OFF themselves with a "Girls, Girls, Girls" style opening. Varoom!
Punched in the Teeth by Love: Vince RIPS OFF Axl's classic opening Screech on "Welcome to the Jungle."
Hollywood Ending: They RIP OFF that stupid Radiohead song, "I'm a Creep" (or whatever it's called).
Fake: They RIP OFF themselves, yet again, with a "Shout at the Devil" style chant (Fake!).
Porno Star: They RIP OFF the Sex Pistols. Starts out like "Anarchy in
the UK" and then gets even dumber.
White Punks on Dope: They RIP OFF the Tubes. Pretty good song. Too bad it's not theirs!
Not only did the Crue rip themselves off, they ripped the fans off! There are two different versions of New Tattoo and in order to get ALL OF THE SONGS you need to buy TWO CD's! Does this remind you of their bullshit greatest hits package a few years back. You know, the one with two new studio tracks, plus all of the hits found on their OTHER greatest hits package, Decade of Decadence! We didn't need another freakin' greatest hits, what we needed was another studio album and those two tracks could of been on it! Why is Nikki so concerned with Metallica's questionable motives? He needs to turn that spotlight on his own damn self! I resold this album today and, after paying nearly 15 bucks for it, I received only 3 lousy dollars back. Shit, man, for the first time ever THE CRUE RIPPED ME OFF!
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