Friday, May 20, 2011

Review: Sixx A.M. “This Is Gonna Hurt”

Modern rock
Sixx A.M. is the moniker for a side project of the infamous Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx. Rounded out by James Michael and Dj Ashba, this hard-hitting trio made quite the impression with 2007’s “The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack”, based on the Sixx’s bestselling book. Building off this success, thanks in no small part to the rock album hit “Life Is Beautiful”, the boys are back with a sequel of sorts. The music on their sophomore release is the soundtrack to a new book by Sixx called “This Is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography and Life Through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx”.

“This Is Gonna Hurt” is a modern rock extravaganza. Sixx A.M. blazes through your speakers with all the vigor of a young band starving for success – the energy is absolutely contagious. This is one powerhouse of a record that is going to hurt your mother’s ears like any rock record worth its salt should. Things kick off with the title track, a blistering modern rocker that introduces some dark, near-Goth elements among the slick melodic riffs. First single, “Lies Of The Beautiful People” features a hugely addictive chorus that rises like a Phoenix from the industrial verses. “Are You With Me Now” is even more commercial, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why this isn’t all over radio. “Live Forever” is another cool track, made remarkable thanks to its interesting chord changes and irresistible riffage in the verses. The stomping verses of “Deadlihood” march their way right into another arena-ready chorus. As if things couldn’t get better, along comes the infectious rhythm of “Help Is On The Way”. And is just me, or does “Goodbye My Friends” sound like Radiohead reborn as a rock band once again?

If there’s anything that doesn’t work well it’s the ballads – the sappiness in the lyrics just sticks out like a severed thumb. “Sure Feels Right” is tolerable, but avoid “Smile”. But don’t let these minor diversions deter you from this record.

There is no reason in the world why Sixx A.M. shouldn’t be right up there with Shinedown or Three Days Grace in the pantheon of modern rock gods. Sixx A.M. is easily the best side project from any member of Motley Crue.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10

Sixx A.M.Official site.

Listen to “Lies Of The Beautiful People”