It has been eight years since the last Mötley Crüe album and eleven years since the original members recorded an studio album together.
This alone is enough to get the press and fans boiling with high expectations. On top of all that all the fuss in the band’s personal lives, the fact that their autobiography The Dirt is soon going to be made into a movie and last but not least the success of Nikki Sixx’ book/CD The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star are all factors that have made this album one of the most anticipated hard rock releases this year.
The album is produced by James Michael who also produced SIXX:AM’s The Heroin Diaries and most of the songs are written by Michael, Sixx and their SIXX:AM partner in crime DJ Ashba and in this way this might seem more like a SIXX:AM project.
But then what makes this a true Crüe record are those four huge personalities that shine through no matter what they do.
Album starts in Dr.Feelgood manner with a short intro before “Face Down In the Dirt” jumps out of the speakers with its melodic line and bombastic sound. The production is very powerful, but lacks balance due to over the top sound of the drums that simply takes too much of the overall sound experience. Part of Tommy Lee’s playing is that big drum sound, but unlike Bob Rock, Michael fails to balance it out with other instruments.
One look at the song titles reveals why this album was supposed to be called The Dirt. Just like the book it describes ups and downs of the Crüe’s turbulent career. And this is basically where the problem of Saints Of Los Angeles lies; throughout their career the band has documented their lives on their albums in diary-like manner. This look back on their career feels like they are trying to tell the same story again without adding much of present day perspective.
All the songs about girls, drugs, parties, overdoses and booze have been documented in a much more honest level on the albums throughout their career.
The songs themselves grow on the listener after four or five listenings and musically the band doesn’t move much compared to what we are used to hearing from them and that’s a pity.
The quality of the songs is not high and “Down At The Whiskey” comes nowhere close to that diabolic youth energy of “Live Wire”and “Mutherfucker of the Year” lacks the chilling atmosphere of “Dancing On Glass”.
And despite the almost embarrassing likes of “Chicks = Trouble” and “Welcome to the Machine” there is still enough to sink you teeth into for an average Crüe-head.
Album carries some good sing-along tunes that will probably work well live and despite the fact that they are telling the story that was told by them many times before they do manage to sell it to a certain degree. This is mainly due to those candid individuals that they are. Few sells sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll as well as Crüe does.