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Depressing, but not surprising - 5%

OlympicSharpshooter, December 30th, 2004

Yeah, I've defended some of the most hated (supposed) sell-outs in metal, but I will not defend this. In fact, I will flat-out CONDEMN this piece of shit for existing. It ain't too kvlt to listen to the radio these days I know, but I do listen to it and thus I've been exposed to what passes for rock radio these days. As awful and as prevalent as Linkin Park and their imitators are (I'm looking at you Trapt), the most abundant forms of new rock on the radio are nu-metal and Nickelback-style toothless nu-grunge.

So you're Mötley Crüe. God knows you're rich (unless all of the hooker-beating has finally put Vince Neil's bank account into flatline), but you wanna make a “comeback”. You want the big arena tour, you want to ram yet another compilation down our collective throats. You decide that, in order to accomplish this, you will totally sell-out for what has to be the thousandth time in your career. At this point, it can't hurt. Your choice then is to go nu-metal or go Default. The kids won't buy you as tough, you can't come up with any convincing thud metal riffs, and you're way too fucking old to really go for the "I want to die because my crush ignored me" market. So, you go for the most soulless corporate trash since the heyday of hair.

Welcome to hell, fellow music-listeners.

Generally I don't review singles, but this deserves our attention. Look at it. Just... look at it. They hit the nail right on the head here kiddies. Unfortunately, it's one of those nails that is crucifying metal today. Watch the bloated beast bleed out it's last in the popular market as metal legends sell their souls one by one. Not that this is a surprise to anyone. After all, the guy pounding the skins has gone from “Too Young to Fall in Love” to releasing one of the most dreadfully generic solo records ever in 2002's Never a Dull Moment.

So what does it sound like? Well, have you heard Nickelback? Or Default? Or Theory of a Deadman? Or (later) Three Doors Down? Well, if you've heard anything from anyone of them, you'll know what this sounds like. Seriously, the only thing that separates this new/nu Crüe from the brat pack is the fact that Vince Neil cannot sing. Hey, no offence to the man responsible for Shout at the Devil and Too Fast For Love, but friends his voice has not aged well. At the very least Default has a frontman who can sustain long enough to fill the huge god-complex melodies or stay in key during the 'emotional' bits. Remember, Vince is so out of shape that he sings about every third word of "Dr. Feelgood" these days. So when the man flat-out whines in his most nasal voice over the most exacerbated 'big hook' chorus in recent memory, it made me just want to die and die today rather than tomorrow. At the very least the back-up vocals fit the music, but all they do is point out that Tommy and Nikki are actually much better singers than Vince is.

Oh, and watch out for some horrific abuse of dynamics. Granted, this thing was probably written on a grimly impersonal assembly line in some sort of massive dark tower labelled 'Hitmakers Inc.', guided by a nice thick tome labelled 'Formulaic Radio Rock for Dummies', but Jesus Christ at the very least Nickelback had something original (or perhaps only sparingly used) in the beginning. This mess is just striking in its absence of inspiration. Emotional intro, try too hard crunch riff, 'soaring' chorus melodies, inspirational lyrics, and horrid fourth-string power ballad soloing... this thing is about one foot shy of the 'whisper-scream' structure. In fact, it even manages to give off some pop-punk vibes. And that is a bad, bad thing.

Comeback singles tend to fall into two categories: pale shades of what once was and desperate attempts to stay current. Some manage to conjure visions of the band's best material (Iron Maiden - "The Wicker Man", The Who - "Old Red Wine"), but most crash and burn. In fact, although I didn't like it very much Van Halen's latest single "It's About Time" looks like a how-to manual on what you should do when placed next to this horror. It isn't obvious, it goes all over the place, and it manages to give flashes of what made the band so special in the first place. That song is positively buried in irritating crunch riffs, but for all it's shortcomings it at the very least it gives us the image of a band that is still putting out music for themselves.

Mötley Crüe on the other hand, has hit a new low. Where once they stood for insouciance and rebellion, they are now the avatars of the corporate system that pulls their strings. Disgraceful.