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Who would have ever thought that Motley could make a great record while lacking one of its original members? This go around, it’s bad-boy drummer Tommy Lee that’s gone AWOL and many fans might be disappointed in knowing that this has absolutely no effect on the sound of the band whatsoever. In contrast to the band’s sans-Neil “Motley Crue” record, this record displays one hundred percent of the sleazy, street-wizened Motley attitude that fans have come to expect to date.
Raunchy Crue rockers like “Treat Me Like The Dog I Am” and single “Hell On High Heels” show that the Crue have not lost their capability for producing hard rocking songs rife with double entendres and oozing with that Sunset Strip vibe that made the band a household name to begin with. “New Tattoo” is quite similar to the more adventurous experimentation that the group embarked upon on their previous album, “Generation Swine”, the warm acoustic ballad being one of Motley’s best less-rocking numbers while fans will notice little difference between the sounds of “Dragstrip Superstar” in comparison to classic Crue. Mick Mars rips through a hot lead here, his playing as affluent as ever.
“Hollywood Ending” also does much to recall the feeling of songs such as “Without You” and “You’re All I Need”, coming off aurally as a cross between those two tracks with just a touch of Beatles influence thrown in to spice up the track’s immediately ear-catching chorus. Randy Castillo does a more than capable job of filling Lee’s substantial shoes. Long considered one of the hottest drummers around, his playing on “New Tattoo” shows his seasoned skills are firmly intact. A warm, thick production is provided by Mike Clink (Guns N’ Roses)
Topped off with a ultra-cool version of “White Punks On Dope”, “New Tattoo” shows that Motley Crue are aging gracefully, possessing as much musical bite as ever and accomplishing it all with their patented nihilistic mind-set.