Today is the day! Motley Crue‘s long-awaited film adaption of their infamous The Dirt book is now on Netflix. The band recorded four new songs for the soundtrack, having previously released two of them (“The Dirt (Est. 1981)” and a cover of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin“) and now the remaining two tracks have surfaced.
“Ride With the Devil” (heard above) is a mid-tempo bluesy groover with lyrical nods to the band’s past (“Too Fast for Love”) as well as the present with the line “give me the dirt,” which is also the refrain on “The Dirt (Est. 1981).”
Below, you can hear “Crash and Burn,” another mid-tempo track with a similar arrangement. Much like “Ride With the Devil,” the verse relies on a rigid drum beat as the rest of the instrumentation steamrolls the energy into a shimmering chorus.
With the film’s release, fans have speculated as to whether Motley Crue will perform one-off shows, which would presumably not conflict with the cessation of touring agreement the four members signed as they embarked on their farewell tour, which concluded on Dec. 31, 2015.
Nikki Sixx wondered aloud if Crue had retired too soon as he sees contemporaries like Aerosmith and Metallica still hitting the road. “There will be no one-offs in our future,” the bassist told Rolling Stone, adding, “Maybe we’ll just get together and jam in Mick Mars’ front room.”
Written By Braddon S. Williams
Skid Row: Slave To The Grind
Risk taking isn’t something normally done by musical artists after they find success in a formula driven market such as the hair metal phenomenon. So, when Skid Row hit #1 on the charts with Slave To The Grind in 1991, it was a bit of a gamble that paid off nicely. Sure, there were still 3 “power ballads” on the album, but the subject matter had definitely matured, and the overall sound and intensity of Slave To The Grind was a much harder metal attack than the formula usually dictated.
Songs like Riot Act, Get The Fuck Out, The Threat, and Psycho Love all hit hard, but it was the practically thrash metal onslaught of the title track that really demonstrated how heavy Skid Row had become.
As for the ballads, they were top notch for what they represented; maturity in a genre that was designed to repel it.
In A Darkened Room, Wasted Time, and Quicksand Jesus were all well-crafted and thoughtful pieces of work. Sebastian Bach proved to be a singer with emotional range as well as just lots of high notes.
Scotti Hill and Snake Sabo delivered some wicked riffs and lead work, and Sabo and bassist Rachel Bolan wrote the majority of the songs.
Alas, personality conflicts would eventually postpone Skid Row’s third album, and by the time it was released the grunge invasion had swept public opinion away from the style that made Skid Row their bread and butter.
No more Monkey Business (had to get that song title in there…it was one of the highlights of the album)!
Written By Braddon S. Williams
W.A.S.P. put out a rocking debut album in 1984 that eventually became known by the band’s name…W.A.S.P.!
I love the song I Wanna Be Somebody, and it sounds just as raw and empowering today as it did all those many years ago. Blackie Lawless just has that primal scream that manages to sound manly and menacing even though it is classified as hair metal.
Chris Holmes and Randy Piper threw down some pretty solid riffs and lead work to frame those songs that tried so hard to be controversial (I’m looking squarely at Animal (Fuck Like A Beast) as a prime example).
I never got a chance to see these guys live, but I have an idea that they were pretty fierce in their prime.
I seem to recall that Mr. Lawless found religion somewhere along the path, and I wonder if he still performs some of the raunchier songs from their heyday. Whatever the case may be, that debut album was a ripper and always put me in a great mood back in the carefree days of spandex and hair spray!
Written By Braddon S. Williams
Motley Crue: Shout At The Devil
I almost had to flip a coin to decide if I should go with Too Fast For Love or Shout At The Devil by Mötley Crüe, but I went with the pentagram for the victory.
Shout At The Devil (1983) was the big breakthrough album for the L.A. hair metal masters, but I first became aware of them when I saw the video for Live Wire off their first album. That is probably still my favorite Crüe song of all time, but Shout At The Devil was better produced and solidified the band’s sleazy image.
The title song was such an anthem and sounded amazing with capacity crowd’s yelling the refrain “Shout…Shout…Shout” in one enormous voice.
Speaking of enormous, Tommy Lee’s drums sounded enormous on this album, and Mick Mars made his mark with larger than life riffs and slashing lead guitar.
Nikki Sixx kept the bass lines simple, but functioned as the chief songwriter and mastermind of the whole operation.
Vince Neil stood out as the only blonde and sang like a human razor blade.
The songs were basic sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll manifestos, with Red Hot, Too Young To Fall In Love, Looks That Kill, Danger, Ten Seconds To Love, Knock ‘Em Dead, Kid, and a ripping cover of Helter Skelter by The Beatles all kicking lots of proverbial ass. With Shout At The Devil, the hair metal revolution was in full swing, and Mötley Crüe were firmly in command.
Written By Braddon S. Williams AKA “The Concert Critic”
On this date in history, 12/8/2018, Steel Panther brought their Sunset Strip Live tour to Piere’s Entertainment Center in Ft. Wayne, IN.
The opening act was Wilson, from Detroit, Michigan. This was my 3rd time seeing Steel Panther, and the 2nd time seeing the two bands together.
Wilson played a high energy set of catchy hard rock, acting as the straight band for the comedy that was to follow.
Steel Panther are impressive on multiple levels. First of all, in order to parody any style of music, the musicians must be able to master that style, and Steel Panther are without a doubt Jedi masters at the art of hair metal.
The sky high vocals, shredding guitars, hook filled anthems, and let’s not forget the big hair and spandex; all of this is front and center at every Steel Panther show. Additionally, the four members of the band are playing characters, and staying in character at all times while pulling off the larger than life personas they have created and playing all this explosive music. Not an easy task, but they also manage to be hysterically funny and in the moment.
I would guess there is a loose script or outline for the onstage shenanigans, but these guys always manage to make it seem spontaneous and natural, like the best improvisation an audience could ask for.
On this night, Steel Panther were performing without their bass player, Lexxi Foxx, who was in sex rehab (according to singer Michael Starr and guitarist Satchel). Whatever the real reason for his absence, the band used the opportunity to inject massive amounts of speculation in a decidedly politically incorrect manner.
The fill in bassist, introduced as Spider, was dressed up as Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue, and of course he was mercilessly ridiculed as well.
Satchel and Starr do the lion’s share of the talking, and elicit a non-stop barrage of bragging, insults, and sexual banter directed at each other, the other members of the band (drummer Stix Zadinya catches a lof of remarks, too), and the audience. Speaking of the audience, many members of the crowd show up dressed appropriately to the over the top ’80’s, with wigs, spandex and all the props they can add to their costumes.
None of the jokes come across as mean spirited, and a general mood of fun permeates the entire show. As for the music, Steel Panther took the concept of the glory days of the Sunset Strip and ran with it, covering songs by Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, and Def Leppard. They also threw in a bunch of Steel Panther originals, including Tiger Woods, Glory Hole, Death To All But Metal, and Community Property.
Satchel demonstrated his guitar hero chops with a center stage display of fretboard pyrotechnics, and of course, no Steel Panther show is complete without the obligatory stage full of pretty girls from the audience joining the band on stage for a couple of songs to dance and interact with the band.
If you are looking for an evening of great ’80’s metal, gut busting comedy, and a heaping amount of FUN, I highly recommend checking out a Steel Panther show. You might even see me, because I intend to keep coming back for more!
On this date in history, 9/20/1987, hair metal was inescapable, and Motley Crue & Whitesnake played a show together at Market Square Arena, in Indianapolis. I was there with 2 of my brothers who are no longer with us…Joe “Jughead” Kinney and Kent “Flounder” (later on changed to “Fish”) Hedges, but in ’87 they were quite lively and I’m sure all of us were feeling no pain! It was a killer show by both bands. Whitesnake made damn sure that the Crue would bring their “A” game in order to earn their headliner status and the Motley lads did just that. I think Tommy Lee was just beginning his never ending quest for the most over the top theatrical drum solos in rock! The levitating and spinning drum kit was a pretty revolutionary idea at that time and he won the crowd over with his play by play commentating via his headset microphone…another cutting edge development at that time. Oh yes, and I do miss the ladies of the late ’80’s with their big hair and skimpy outfits…I recall this show was quite well attended by hotties! Thank you, ladies…you rock my world!
Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic