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Well, I haven't heard any of the stuff after Dr. Feelgood, but they dropped quite a bit after this album, and I have my doubts towards that they managed to redeem themselves. But on here, it's all good.... mostly.
Theatre of Pain is more in the vein of Too Fast For Love than Shout At The Devil, and at times seems to have lost the intensity and heaviness that was present on the bands sophomore album. However, for what it is, this is pretty solid traditional metal.
The songs go on at a solid pace, not very fast but enough to keep them interesting all through. The riffs are not too spectacular, but they're memorable and catchy, and just do their job, and Mick Mars' soloing is as spectacular as ever for the most part. He also whips out some really sweet and tasteful licks on here, just listen to the first two tracks City Boy Blues and Smokin' In The Boys Room.
The band is in damn fine shape, and Theatre of Pain is a rockin' album, but it has a few filler songs as well, unfortunately. Those are Keep Your Eye On The Money and closer Fight For Your Rights. The first one is just downright boring and one of the most forgettable tracks of the first three Crue albums. The second tries to be anthemic but fails, and just comes off as mediocre and uninspired.
The rest though, is all vintage Mötley Crüe. Catchy, rocking, headbangable and fun to drink to. Perfect party metal, pretty much.
The songs that stand out especially much are among others the cover of Smokin' In The Boys Room, which is one of the most insanely catchy songs they ever did. Gotta love the lyrics, too. Then we have the splendid ballad Home Sweet Home, which I'm sure you've all heard. Use It Or Lose It is the fastest song on here, and serves for a good, solid punch in the face, and finally the acoustic Raise Your Hands To Rock, to which you just can't help but singing along.
Then City Boy Blues, Louder Than Hell, Tonight (We Need A Lover) and Save Our Souls is the classic just-above-midpaced Crue material that we all know. Think Public Enemy #1, Too Fast For Love, Bastard, stuff like that. Great shit, if you're a fan of the band.
In conclusion, this is another quite essential Mötley Crüe album for fans of heavy metal with hard rock-ish vibes, who're looking for a good time.