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UltraBoris called this the definitive Crüe album, and he’s right, but I’d go further and name it as the definitive album of the glam metal genre. It’s probably the one album every single fan of the genre owns (and if they don’t they should be given some light bruising until they do buy it) and rightly so. Like its predecessor, it’s a heavy metal classic.
Sticking with the shock rock imagery if the first album, on Shout at the Devil it’s taken a few steps further, with more blood and flames. Of course, Alice Cooper was doing this years before, but compared to Vince Neil, Alice could be the reasonably normal looking guy next door. Production wise, this is much shinier sounding than the debut, with Tom Werman producing. Appropriately, I’d call Werman the definitive glam metal producer as well. The production is the basis of what glam metal would sound like from then on, and Tom’s production is one of the things that gives the Crüe their signature sound.
After the cheesy glam-cliché intro to the album (it wouldn’t be right without it though – at least they made it into a separate track, unlike Pantera did with Metal Magic) we hit the bombastic title track. It’s impossible not to find yourself singing (or shouting) “Shout! Shout! Shout!” every time you hear this song. If Vince could sing all of the words live, this would be 110% killer in a stadium. “Looks That Kill” follows, and was the first (I think, could be wrong) single from the album. Not as catchy as the title track, but those riffs! Mick Mars rules, all of his riffs are memorable. The faster songs on here are “Bastard” and “Red Hot”, the latter of which is pretty much speed metal. Both songs are anthemic, lethal, sleazy and catchy.
The best song on here though (and in my view, the best song they ever did) has to be “Too Young to Fall in Love”. This was the first Crüe song I ever heard (whilst mowing down some innocent pedestrians on Vice City!) and I instantly fell in love with it. It’s steady pace and deadly riffs make this an instant metal classic. The Egyptian sounding solo is awesome as well, and Vince Neil’s vocals are, as always, awesome.
The only filler on here is “10 Seconds to Love”, which is kinda boring, but even then it’s not abysmally bad, still kinda fun. There are no ballads, unless you consider the song “Danger” to be one, which I personally don’t. The song writing is typical of Nikki Sixx, mean and sleazy. The Beatles cover is awesome as well, and blows chunks over the original one, which was never one of the Beatles best songs anyway. Mötley make it sound like they wrote it, which is great.
To conclude then, this album rules. Plain and simple. As with the previous, and all successive Crüe albums for that matter, aim to get the 2003 remaster with bonus tracks (including the infamous “I Will Survive” with it’s back masking, and “Hotter Than Hell” which would reappear renamed on the following album Theatre of Pain) and the video for “Looks That Kill”.
If you don’t have it, go and buy a copy right now.