The curse of the side project dictates that no matter how vastly different your new band is, you will be held up to the ungodly standards of the band that made you famous. Many Mötley Crüe fans (present company included) would listen to any side project -- even watch an entire nightmarish season of The Surreal Life to see the hilarious musical pairing Corey Feldman and Vince Neil. The dedication runs deep.
When Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx joined with L.A. Guns guitarist Tracii Guns and formed Brides of Destruction, it meant fans could forego the new Mötley Crüe box set of old songs and get their grubby little hands on some fresh material. But after years of hot tubs, strippers, overdoses, band feuds, and hot tubs full of strippers, it's hard to capture the same hunger and desperation of, say, Shout at the Devil. Arena rock this is not. The Misfits-tinged chorus of whoa-oh-whoa's on the first single, "Shut the Fuck Up," and Ministry-inspired guitars build the album up for what it is -- old metal guys doing old punk. The album highlight comes on the track "Life," on which Nikki Sixx offers fatherly advice about grabbing life by the balls -- and this from a man who's literally come back from the dead, so he probably knows what he's talking about. -- Terra Sullivan