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Motley Crue | New Tattoo | review | rock | Lollipop

Mötley Crüe

New Tattoo (Beyond)
by Martin Popoff

In the hollowed pits of Mötley Crüe's drained batteries - I'm talking stupid pills like Theater Of Pain and Girls, Girls, Girls - any self-respecting music fan laughed at the Crüe. What they didn't know was that the band was laughing back, oblivious to everything, their fans, their music, melting in a drinkdrug haze that eroded their creative fires. Those fires flared again within the genre for Dr. Feelgood and then well outside for the (dare I say) cerebral self-titled and Generation Swine records. Now the laughs are back. Crüe are laughing, we're laughing with them, not at them. All are in on the joke, wiser for the battles, amused by the surreal proposal before us. And basically, what you find is that Crüe are back to their old tricks but with those years working for them, coming up with canny arrangements, measured hooks, manipulating the clichés and not letting them manipulate back. It's like the band take this calculated trip with the fans, everybody in on the game, doing a big showgirl can-can to see if we can wrestle a few dollars back from the boy bands. Can't say all 11 tracks here vault to the Top 20 of the band's party classics, and (blasphemy) Generation Swine is still my favorite Crüe album, but "1st Band On The Moon" is both giddy and witty, while "Punched In The Teeth By Love," well, let's just say any band that rips off Four Horsemen is OK in my book. Surprisingly rubbery version of The Tubes' classic "White Punks On Dope" though, the title track is paint-by-numbers Crüe balladry, and "Dragstrip Superstar" is just plain gay.

Elsewhere, damn, just fine, happy-go-headbang upper quartile Crüe, slightly beneath the inspirational-vaulted euphoria of the two new tracks on Greatest Hits, but all told, a constant confident barrage of razor-sharp, high energy details that were simply beyond the blunted Crüe of way old. Shiny stuff, stripped to just the right flyweight, twanged and tuned perfectly by a vocalist that we all hope is getting his act together. His fans will demand it.  

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