By STEVE JOHNSON
With their first studio album since 2000, Motley Crue is back with a vengeance.?Saints of Los Angeles, the first album featuring all of the original members of the Crue since 1997’s Generation Swine, is a sonic journey into the inner workings of a band who has lived life to excess. Originally titled The Dirt, Saints of Los Angeles is a collection of songs loosely based on many of the outrageous stories found in their book of the same name. ?
This album screams of punk rock and glam metal influence, while adding a few modern touches to round out an excellent outing from the Crue.?Songs such as ?Down at the Whiskey? and ?This Ain’t a Love Song? remind us of the heyday of the Crue in the ’80s, while ?Mutherfucker of the Year? and ?The Animal In Me? represent more of a modern feel that may appeal to a younger generation of Crue fans. The title track of the album certainly will not disappoint longtime fans and?may single handedly be responsible for breathing new life into the Crue’s career. The song’s?release and success on Rock Band?exposes a new generation of fans to the band’s catalog of classics and positions them as a?relevant musical force for years to come.?
Despite many instances at recent live shows where Vince’s vocals have been less than spectacular, they are dead on throughout the album.?Nikki Sixx remains a top-notch songwriter and has collaborated with a variety of people on this album, including the album’s producer, Sixx: A.M. vocalist James Michael. Tommy and Mick also have songwriting credits on several of the album’s tracks. Mick, the most elusive and silent member of the band, remains a top notch guitar player who lays down some killer riffs in this outing. Tommy has finally returned to the band and has brought his booming rhythm section along with him.
Given the Crue’s history of internal and external conflict, this album could be their last for a while. Any fan of hard rock should pick up this album. Although Dr. Feelgood still remains the Crue’s definitive masterpiece, Saints of Los Angeles nips at it’s leather studded heels. Highlights include ?Face Down in the Dirt,? ?The Animal in Me,? and ?This Ain’t a Love Song.? ?
THE VERDICT: 5/5