Motley Crue's Saints of Los Angeles joins a growing list of new material from prominent hard rock, hairband, and metal acts from the 70's, 80's and early 90's. Whitesnake, AC/DC, Def Leppard and Alice Cooper are just a few of the other acts on that list. What's really amazing about all of them is that sales of these albums have been excellent and the music sounds great. It proves that some things do get better with age.
With Saints, the Crue offers up tunes that reflect on their wild past (especially the first half of the album), their ever-present resistance to authority and the fact that even though they've aged a bit, they can still out-rock the majority of today's so-called hard rock bands.
Vince Neil's vocals have matured to a solid level. While the squeals and squeaks are still around, they have a much more manly tone to them. Nikki Sixx' bass sounds excellent. Tommy Lee keeps everything moving at a good pace and Mick Mars is still one of the greatest guitar slingers in the business.
The title track's message is obvious: We came, we saw, we rocked and we still rock. Show us some respect. Filthy rockers include White Trash Circus and This Ain't A Love Song.Face Down In The Dirt is a pounder that kicks the album into gear. Other solid tunes include MF'er of the Year, The Animal in Me, Just Another Psycho and Goin' Out Swingin'.
If there are any shortcomings on this album, it's the fact that some of the reflections on the band's wild past can get tiresome. Down At The Whisky, while a good tune, gets lyrically bogged by this. Granted, the Crue was never known for their brilliant lyrics, but Nikki Sixx has written much better material than this.
Overall, Saints of Los Angeles proves that some rockers get better (or at least sound tighter) with age. Dr. Feelgood and the oft-forgotten John Corabi-fronted Motley Crue album are the best albums by the Crue in my opinion, but Saints definitely deserves a spot somewhere around Girls, Girls, Girls.
If you grew up on Motley Crue like I did, I highly recommend this album. It will feed your hunger for hair/hard rock. If your knowledge of hard rock begins with groups born after the grunge era, I suggest you pick this up to see how much fun rock was before Nirvana and company killed it.