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Motley Crue - Saints of Los Angeles

Eleven Seven Music (Warner Music Group - June 24, 2008

by David Svendsen

Motley Crue - Saints of Los AngelesThe long awaited release from the original bad boys of Los Angeles shows the band in peak form with a few bumps thrown for good measure.

Saints of Los Angeles is Motley Crue's first disc with all original members in 11 years and they are still as tight as ever. However, there are two noticeable elements on this disc that struck me right away. The first is that although already known for his seemingly nasally whine, Vince Neil's voice -- at times -- seems almost more nasally than normal. Yes, I know, that is kind of hard to comprehend. Second, it seems that there has been sugar coated splooge injected throughout the disc that to me, tends to take some of the sharpness off of Mick Mars' riffs. A majority of them just don't seem to pack the punch they should. Apparently it's a new plug-in producer James Michael is pimping. Definitely could have done without it.

Thankfully, Mars' solos are as lethal as ever, and proves once and for all he's not dead (contrary to internet rumors and eye witness accounts). Nothing stands in his way when he fires them up. I've also had to wonder at times if Tommy Lee is actually playing drums on this release, as the drums sound so "mechanical" and lifeless almost, to a point it could actually be programmable beats.

The kings of sleaze rock are definitely back, and you won't be disappointed grabbing this disc. It's 100% Crue that deals with everything that is Motley Crue. Chicks ("I know I shouldn't say / but truth be told / I really thought that pussy was gold" from Chicks = Trouble), drugs ("I opened up a bottle and fell outta bed / couldn't find the floor until it hit me in the head / I did a little powder off the bathroom sink / it's been about a month and something's starting to stink" from White Trash Circus), the days spent wondering if they were ever going to make it ("We're running out of money and I can't pay the rent / the man at the label says we'll never write again" from What's It Gonna Take) and the lovely nights spent hanging at the Whisky ("We never made a dime / but God we had a good time / living out our dreams / down at the Whisky" from Down at the Whisky).

Intelligent rock it's not, but Motley Crue never was, and never claimed t be. Catchy as hell it is. I hesitate to call the lyrical content nostalgic, but rather it's a celebration of the past. It still has teen angst, an overtone of being an outsider looking in, and the unending attitude of who gives a fuck what other people think. So like I said before, it's 100% Motley Crue.