New Tattoo

Motley Crue

Motley / Beyond Records, 2000

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 12/08/2000

The Crue is my whipping boy band. I trashed their Greatest Hits collection, questioning whether or not they should have two such collections, as well as the weak Entertainment Or Death double live CD.

Yet, the good people at Beyond keep sending me their releases. What's the cliché, third time's the charm. That certainly applies here with New Tattoo. FINALLY, I can write a positive review about the band Motley Crue. The burden of trashing "the bad boys of rock" is off my shoulders.

The bottom line on this CD is it's a true return to "old" Motley Crue style. Gone are the advanced ideas that made Generation Swine and their self-titled CD drift into obscurity. The old Motley Crue is simple to the ears guitar riffs backed by Vince Neil screeching. For example, I'd call "Wild Side" good old Motley Crue. That track has a simple guitar riff, a couple of interesting changes (going from an 8th note feel to a triplet feel) and a good drum workout.

That's one area where Motley Crue has changed since Generation Swine. Bad boy Tommy Lee is out of the band. YEAH! FINALLY, the overrated drummer is out. Ex-Ozzy Osbourne drummer Randy Castillo is filling in the shoes and while I'd like to hear some more original snare fills, he does a good job.

The CD starts with the single "Hell On High Heels" and right away, I'm re-introduced to the fact that Vince Neil still needs vocal lessons. "Treat Me Like A Dog" follows and, hands down, that's the best track on this CD. Its lyrics center around sex and Neil has fun with the Red Hot Chili Pepper-style last verse. He's almost rapping.nbtc__dv_250

"New Tattoo" is the ballad and, unlike "Without You" or "Home Sweet Home," this ballad doesn't suck. The lyrics tell the story of a guy who gets in a fight with his girlfriend, goes out, gets drunk and gets a tattoo with the girlfriend's name on the tattoo. Then he calls her to tell her about it.

"Dragstrip Superstar" and "1st Band On The Moon" are more old style Motley Crue. Simple guitar riffs and more Vince Neil singing lyrics about sex. In "Dragstrip Superstar," he rattles off these lyrics "Jailbait playmate/ Freak show masturbate/ Fuel inject carburete/ Underage penetrate." In "1st Band On The Moon," he describes ". . . a problem with the girls here on Earth/ They stopped acting dizzy wearing miniskirts." He explains his solution as eloquently: "I want a place that wants arena rock/ along with the girls who wanna suck my . . ." with a carefully placed Mick Mars guitar lick instead of the obvious conclusion to the rhyme.

The rest of the CD contains equally strong material. "She Needs Rock N Roll" and "Punched In The Teeth By Love" are mid-tempo rockers.

The CD drags down with "Hollywood Ending." With intelligent lyrics like "The trouble with you/ The trouble with me/ We ain't meant to be," the song sounds like the band was just trying to include a song for their concert attendees to pull out a lighter.

"Fake" follows that with a "Shout At The Devil" style shout of "Fake! Fake!" The lyrics seem autobiographical. It does bring out an inconsistency in the editing of this CD. In "1st Band On The Moon," the word "cock" is not sung: Mick Mars' guitar lick covers it. But in "Fake," Neil sings "Crashed a lot of cars/ Fucked all the stupid stars in Hollywood/ Because I could, Because we could." The "crashed a lot of cars" brings memories of the car crash Neil was involved in that killed the drummer of Hanoi Rocks. Yeah, you don't remember them either! <grin>

"Porno Star" touches on the same theme as "Piece Of Candy" on Nikki Sixx's solo project 58's CD called Diet For A New America about sex on the internet. While "Piece Of Candy" brings a human element to the industry, "Porno Star" is cliched and not as well-done as "Candy." The CD finishes with the cover, "White Punks On Dope." While not as appealing and catchy as "Smokin' In The Boys Room," it's done quite well.

So there you have it, a positive review of Motley Crue's latest CD. It shouldn't be called a comeback CD, but yet it is. When Lee left, many wondered who would fill his role. Castillo makes a good replacement and Mars has put together some good licks. Sixx's odd lyrics and Neil's screech remain this band's weak half. Maybe someday Sixx's lyrics will get better; maybe Neil will actually take vocal lessons and learn how to phrase better.

Maybe, though, they'll keep the same ingredients and continue to sell millions of records.

Rating: B+

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© 2000 Paul Hanson and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Motley / Beyond Records, and is used for informational purposes only.