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To be totally frank, Motley Crue's debut album didn't do it foe me as much as other people. Sure, I did like some songs ("Live Wire", "Piece of Your Action", "Too Fast For Love", etc), but it just never clicked with me. I found it to be too all over the place, going from speed metal one minute to corny cock rock the next. But "Shout At The Devil" is crucial crue for a reason. It was the band getting (something) of a budget, and stepping into a heavier direction with it. Sure the hard rock and glam is still here, but it's more well developed, surprisingly less corny, and mixed with juicy LA heavy metal.
The band was amateurish but pretty competent on "Too Fast For Love". Here they're clearly still working on their abilities. The riffs are hooky and repetitive, we get short, simple solos, etc, but the guys' performances are still for all intents and purposes better. Vince Neil's voice I never minded. Grating at times, maybe, but he's spirited and has great mountainous BALLS, which clearly shows in his aggressive crooning and shouting. Nikki Sixx continues to give bassists a good name; it's thick and rough, and his control of the riffs is great. Mick Mars is a decent guitarist but not as great as many make him out to be. His attempts at soloing tend to feel as though he had a hard time with it, causing for a droning, too-simple, too-safe aura in the solos, which plagues a number of the songs. And Tommy Lee, the little guy. Again, not as great a musician as many make him out to be. Admittedly though he is better at his craft than Sixx, showing off that moxie and attitude that Vince displays in his vocal work.
The production has some of that rawness featured on "Too Fast For Love", but for the most part goes forward with a bigger sound. I'll admit right now: I don't like the title track. Wait. What? What are you doing?! You, you put down that sharp device right now! Why is it shaped like my junk? No! Stop! Stop! AAAAAUUUGHH!!!!
Sorry. But no, "In The Beginning/Shout At The Devil" never did it for me. The goofy intro is basically pointless, and the title track, while having traces of a catchy chorus and decent mood, just feels like it never gets its shit together and gets going. "Ten Seconds To Love" suffers the same thing; it just drones along despite having something of a fun, hooky, dead-simple chorus. "God Bless The Children Of The Beast" is yet another pointlessly short instrumental, then we have the cover of The Beatles' "Helter Skelter". Again, don't hit, but it like original song more. The redux here is pretty cool and heavy as fuck, but it lacks the more, shall we say, "truthful" and authentic aggression of the original. Plus, no "I've got blisters on me fingaz!"
The rest of the tracks kick some serious fucking ass though. Fast-ish "Looks That Kill" has that great, catchy, somewhat groovish riffage to it, mixed with AWESOMELY cheesy lyrics. The underrated "Danger" strolls along with a swaggering sort of menace and a simple but melodic and atmospheric chorus. The aggressive bruiser "Bastard" is quite cool, as is the legendary mid-paced "Too Young Too Fall In Love"; catchy as holy hell, and armed with a heavy main riff. Lastly, and speaking of heavy, we have the most underrated Crue song of them all: RED FUCKING HOT! This near-speeder wouldn't be out of place on a Judas Priest record with its heavy and driving but melodic riffage and spitfire attitude.
Overall, the production is solid, the band has attitude, and 70% of the songs kick massive mortal anus. Sure there's some definite clunkers here, and even some downright useless moments, but "Shout At The Devil" still keeps on going as a hard glam classic. You know who you are if you dig this kind of metal, and this one will be a welcomed addition to your collection.