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Motley Crue – Saints of Los Angeles

Label: Eleven Seven Music
Format: CD
Released: 2008
Reviewed By: Kevin Alba

Man, when was the last great Motley Crue album released? Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we? The year 2000 was the band’s last studio release “New Tattoo” and from what I can remember the album has not a single track that stands out. Well ok “Hell on High Heals” was a decent Crue rocker (the promo video was terrible). Going back further to 1997’s “Generation Swine”, a tasteless forgettable platter of trendy modern rock which included a horrific reworked version of “Shout at the Devil”. Sacrilege!! Already now we are beyond 10 years ago, what’s next? The self titled album from 1994 with John Corabi on vocals had a its strong moments and artistically good intentions but nothing that really stood out either that the Crue fans yearn for today.

Going back further… I GOT IT! 1993’s “Exposed”, a killer album full of great metal/hard rock with catchy chorus’ and raunchy guitars just the way the die hard Crue fans like it. This was the perfect follow up to “Dr. Feelgood”. Wait a minute! That wasn’t a Motley Crue album, that was a Vince Neil solo record! Well it was a damn fine album Vince and it should have been the next Motley record (at least you had the right idea in mind). Okay, let’s go back even further to 1989 and the release of “Dr. Feelgood”, wow it has been nearly 20 years since the last great Motley Crue album.

Now the question, how is “Saints of Los Angeles”? Is it another waste of time? Is it a good album? Is it the best album since “Dr. Feelgood”? Well I was very curious upon first listen. I remember hoping that it would just rip and kick my ass. Even though the last great Motley Crue album in my mind had come out in 1989, I had hopes that this new one would be able to recapture some of the greatness of their past. As I hit the play button the opening intro “L.A.M.F.” began to play. Suddenly I felt the way I did when I first listened to the “Shout At The Devil” album and heard “In The Beginning”, the killer intro leading into the title track. A sort of chill ran through my body because I knew right then and there that the next track “Face Down In The Dirt” was going to crush. As the intro ended and this track began you can hear a whisper as Nikki Sixx began picking away at his bass that would repeat “It’s a dirty job but someone’s gotta do it, it’s a dirty job but someone’s gotta do it.” This repetitive whisper was reminiscent of the Drowning Pool classic “Bodies” from years ago (“Let the bodies hit the floor, let the bodies hit the floor”.) As the whispers continued, “It’s a dirty job but (Vince Neil begins to scream) SOMEONE’S GOTTA DOO ITTT,” the bass suddenly gives away to super heavy explosive guitars that just knock your fucking head off. Holy shit the Crue is back! I was headbanging like there was no tomorrow. I felt so much joy as I listened to this track. The band sounded extremely tight and best of all Vince just sounded incredible. Hopefully gone are his days of (in the live setting) singing a few words, pausing to catch his breath, and picking up again like many of us sadly got to know Vince for the last few years. Vince sounds fucking nasty and so sick you will need a glass of water and an airborne tablet, he is truly on top of his game. “Face Down In The Dirt” while very heavy has a punk vibe to it at times but it works very well. It sounds like it could have been recorded somewhere between the “Too Fast For Love” and “Shout At The Devil” albums. This should definitely be the bands next single.

Moving on to the next track, “What’s It Gonna Take” is a very solid rocker with a great chorus and solo from Mick. While not as heavy as the first track it is still very rebellious as the chorus features the word “motherfucker” which is not the only time you will hear that on this album. “Down At The Whiskey” sees Vince singing about the good old days as a rising band in Los Angeles. This is has more of a mellow, chill back kind of vibe but the main riff is just awesome. I can’t help but tap my foot when I hear this track. Up next is the title track “Saints of Los Angeles” and in my opinion the next moment of pure genius on this album following “Face Down In The Dirt”. This track has a killer opening to it much like “T.nT.” leads you into “Dr. Feelgood”. The opening features a chilling voice delivering “The Lords Prayer” which gives way to heavy guitar and once again the head is banging. The chorus is great as the band as a gang delivers their message with such power. The chorus sums up just who the Crue are and makes you realize that Motley and Los Angeles go together like peanut butter and jelly. The next track is “Motherfucker of the Year” and has a sort of Alice in Chains vibe to it which works really well. Perhaps I wouldn’t have minded the albums from the 90’s so much if they sounded more like this. “The Animal in Me” deals with heroin addiction. The powerful lyrics discuss the affects of this drug and can almost make you feel high as a kite but also feel the misery that comes with the usage of this drug. This track is much more modern sounding but it is very good as I do not find myself skipping to the next track. “Welcome to the Machine” is another heavy metal onslaught taking you back to the glory days of the Crue fitting in somewhere on the “Girls Girls Girls” album. “Just Another Psycho” and “Chicks=Trouble” are both very good Crue rockers, nothing more nothing less. “This Ain’t A Love Song” has a funny chorus in which Vince does not beat around the bush at all, “this ain’t a love song, this is a FUCK song.” “White Trash Circus” is a decent track, nothing special here. I can’t help but think of “The Beautiful People” by Marilyn Manson when “Trash Circus” song starts up, it just has that vibe to it but in actuality is no where near as heavy as “The Beautiful People”. “Goin’ Out Swingin’” was a great way to end this album as it’s killer guitar driven opening reminded me of “Red Hot” (from “Shout at the Devil”) which is just one of the best Motley Crue songs ever.

There you have it, this album fucking rules and I could not be happier with it. The only negative point I see making is of the uninspired pasty artwork. Moving forward, when discussing the great history of Motley Crue and all the killer albums they have released “Saints of Los Angeles” will be included in that conversation without hesitation. I truly hope the guys stick it out and release another album in a year or so that is equal to or better than this. Vince sounds incredible, Mick just rips it up, Nikki is a beast as always on bass, and Tommy is smashing those drums to pieces. From where I am sitting the Crue is truly back so watch out because “you’re in danger when the boys are around, you’re in danger and this is my town” (shame on you if you do not know where that quote is from).

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