Motley Crue - Saints of Los Angeles CD Review ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Motley Crue - Saints of Los Angeles CD Review

Motley Cue - Saints of Los Angeles CDMotley Crue set the bar high with their releases in the 80's and, based on their legacy, this CD is good -- not great.

There was a lot of hoopla around this release as it was the first in 11 years with all of the original band members. The problem is that, while there are moments of past brilliance, the band just doesn't sound hungry. This may have something to do with this being the first release where three external songwriters (James Michael. DJ Ashba and Marti Frederiksen) are credited as co-writing all of the songs.

I generally don't focus a lot on lyrics but Vince's singing is pretty clear on this release and, unfortunately, the lyrics are pretty dumb. The overall concept behind this release is that it is loosely based on the Crue's autobiography "The Dirt". The problem is that it is totally unconvincing to hear multi-millionaire, reality TV stars sing about how hard it was to make it in LA 25+ years ago. While this was the band's reality in the early 80's; it is now 2008 and this sounds like a half-hearted attempt to recreate (or relive) the past.

I don't mean to sound as harsh as I probably do -- I was hoping for a few classic tunes on this release like "Kickstart My Heart", "Live Wire" or "Piece of Your Action". What I got was a few pretty good tunes like "Down at the Whisky", "Saints of Los Angeles" and "This Ain't a Love Song". While these aren't bad - they just don't have the staying power of classic Crue. Staying on the positive, Tommy Lee's drumming pushes these songs past anything on the New Tattoo CD and Mick Mars' guitar work continues to be superb. Better songwriting would have made this a great album.

While I am being somewhat harsh in this review, I'm probably giving the Crue more than their due just because of their legacy. You have to wonder if the band recognizes that this release is fairly light-weight as they are only playing a couple songs from the new CD on the current tour. "Saints of Los Angeles" and "Mutherfucker of the Year" seem to be the only two songs from this release that are consistently in the current set.

The 'problem' with having a legacy like the Crue is that you have both old and new competitors. Say what you will about there being two versions of L.A. Guns but neither band has lost their edge. There are also new bands like Asphalt Valentine who are looking to grab the ring.

I expected better from Motley Crue...but this could have been worse.