First Impressions Volume 43 – Motely Crue – Dr. Feelgood

First Impressions Volume 43 - Motely Crue - Dr. Feelgood

First Impressions Volume 43 – Motely Crue – Dr. Feelgood

Do worse in an exam to cure the temporary discomfort of revision-sickness? You bet!

[…..We’re here live at Kincrimsonprog Towers to give you up-to-the-minute cover of the breaking news that Motorhead frontman James Hetfield, is set to enter the British Karate tournament, UFC, in an unexpected title-fight against Hurricane Katrina.

…in related news. Legendary Director of the movie ‘Clerks,’ Albert Einstein, is joining me here at ringside, to deliver a blow-by-blow commentary of his illegitimate love child, Roger Ebert, assembling a tumble-drier blindfolded.

For those of our audience reading from Planet Earth, this service may be replaced fully, or in-part with “FI:43 Motley Crue – Doctor Feelgood” in line with local policy. …..]

Motley Crue. Yeah. A long time coming. I’ve wanted to read The Dirt for about a decade now but have not gotten around to it yet. I remember in school a big portion of my peer group either loving or at least experimenting with Motley Crue.

I remember hearing brief snippets of ‘Girls Girls Girls’ while channel-hopping. I remember being shown the uncharacteristically groove metal ‘Smoke The Sky.’ I remember them coming up in almost every documentary about music I’ve watched in the last two years.

I remember them constantly coming up on The Metal Hammer Podcast.

I remember very recently being converted to W.A.S.P and semi-liking Quiet Riot and wanting more of that.

I remember pressing play just a few seconds ago.

[[….,Hetfield blocks, those Bass Playing skills he put into use on Motorhead’s hit single ‘Stairway To Heaven’ are coming in useful now,…]]

The album opens up with the awfully titled ‘T. N T. [Terror ‘n Tinseltown]’ and a sample of dialogue calling for Dr. Davis that I’d swear was in Operation Mindcrime and the first episode of Awkward. – Its not the exact same. But it is exactly the same, if you get me. The otherwise ambigious intro gives me no clue as to what I’m in for. It could be anything.

Or what the person in the song is in a hospital for. Probably Herpes.

Awww. OD. When the music properly starts, it turns out to be the next song. That song is the Title Track. Its heavier than I’d expect. Well, I say that and then the ride’s bell and cowbell both come in, with that sleazy GnR riff. Its very Post-Appetite.

Its very catchy too. It reminds me a bit of Skid Row’s debut too. I like how some of the hanging chords interrupt the previous section and eachother. Oooh. Good lead guitar bit. Fun drum personality too.

I prefer the vocals when they are lower, and don’t like them when they’re a bit higher e.g. “he’s gonna be your Frankenstein.”

Then the intro bit comes back. Oh. Guitar solo. Fantastic guitar solo. I remember James Gill talking about what an underrated Guitar-hero Mick Mars was and how he was the lead-guitar inspiration for tonne of bands you wouldn’t expect.

I like this song. I like it a lot. I love the energy of this next stompy bit with the quiet solo. Ok. It faded out. So far, so not shit.

And despite thinking I’d love their first two albums, I suspected I may hate this based on all the covers of their Greatest Hits albums. The modern photo one, the caricature one…yuk. Give me Douglas Renholm’s caricature any day.

[[…., and what a blow by Huricane Katrina,…]]

‘Slice Of Your Pie’ comes in next. It reminds me a bit of both ‘Ice Cream Man’ and ‘Women and Children First’ by Van Halen. Until it drops a fat Black Sabbath riff out’ve nowhere. Seriously. That’s what Tony Iommi would sound like on a beach with a convertible car.

I can’t help wanting to compare it to Warrant’s hit song ‘Uncle Tom’s – OF COURSE I MEANT ‘Cherry Pie.’ – The reverby snare, the hair metal sound, the pie. All make my brain want to compare them. They’re actually too dissimilar for that to work in reality. Especially when it takes the weird ‘Black Hole Sun’ turn.

Some artistic prowess I’dve discounted in a song about Pie.

Pie 2, Revenge of the Pie is followed by ‘Rattlesnake Shake,’ which has the strange quality of sounding like Skid Row, but not sounding like the Skid Row song ‘Rattle Snake Shake.’ Its kind of cool. The way the riff works reminds me of Slash. I can see his knee raising and falling to it. There is like a horn section in the chorus that is off-putting for me. And a funk-jungle middle that sounds like it should be about a lion that don’t take no jive from nobody. The little tingly keyboards do it no favours. They give it this bad-part-of-Lynyrd Skynyrd feeling that it could’ve done without.

[[…., This stage-invasion by Katrina’s manager Kim Jong Un is surely going to cause a forfeit when the referee discovers that he’s clim….]]

Then they start a Metal cover of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love.’ Only decide to call the song ‘Kickstart My Heart,’ for reasons presumably to do with tax avoidance, airline routes or angle-fishing. Never go angle-fishing without a protractor.
Then they decide not to play Led Zeppelin songs anymore and inject their own flare into the track. Been listening to MC5?

Oh. It does that thing I absolutely love. I don’t know what its called. Maybe walking-the-snare. Kiss do it on the track ‘You Wanted The Best.’ Its one of my favourite things in music.

The hanging chords when he says, ‘My heart…my heart’ are really what I want to hear right now. The whole thing is just doing it for me actually. If I wanted to listen to Hair Metal, this is what I’d hope it sounded like. Not a Great White ballad. This. This kind of loud, energetic fun.

I’m not totally sold on the singer yet. The bit where it goes all quiet I’m not sure about either. But I imagine it’d be less jarring with familiarity. The talk box solo is great. The only better one I’ve heard is that Foo Fighters one with the date and the dog leg-humping.

They always remind me of Mick from Slipknot. Did he do one? How… with that Mask in the way n all.

[[Hefield fighting back, he’s managed to land four or five decent body-shots on the tropical storm, after that embarrassing last round….]]

Next up is what seems like an undesirable ballad. Its called ‘Without You.’ Its not what I’m looking for right now. Jeez. I can hear an absolute tonne of Avenged Sevenfold in it though. I see the influence didn’t extend solely to eyeliner and nail varnish.

This song sounds like Christmas. And like it doesn’t have the guts to be a proper ballad yet. It seems like they’d strip it down to just acoustic live, but they are trying to prove some ‘we have grit’ point on this record and don’t want to drop a soppy ballad, despite label pressure, so are compromising with a “hard ballad.” That’s the sound I am getting. Might be waaaaay off. But that’s the picture I’m getting. Also some of it is very Grungey. More Soundgarden. Whudathunkkit. Wasn’t he the politician with the guide dog?

Next up is ‘Same Ol Situation [S.O.S]’ which has an awful intro, but kicks into a very promising main verse with a sort of Southern Feel, that reminds me a bit of GnR’s ‘Night Train’ by way of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s good parts.

When he says ‘I Say No No No’ the ‘No’ backing vocals are the absolute thing I think of when somebody says Hair Metal. They are what Crue have in common with Posion and Warrant even though the music is so different.

The song has some cool ideas, a lot of bass-character and brilliantly produced double kick flaps in the stripped-down bit. But overall, this is a bit of a forgettable one for me.

[[…,And the winner, The New Age Outlaws!!!!…]]

That is followed by ‘Sticky Sweet’ which apparently is written about the late Adolph Hitler. I’m surprised that Crue got away with that sort of material in the…what’s that?….another sex-and-girls song you say?

The guitars and drums are cool, but the vocals and all the extra touches I could live without. I think Vince Neil is no Blackie Lawless, that’s for sure. And definitely no Axl Rose or Seb Bach. Where’s the energy of ‘Out To Get Me’ or ‘Sweet Little Sister’ ? Its on those songs. That’s where it is. Its not on Motely Crue songs. That’s where its not.

The bit in the middle with all the guitar solos is more up my street. The song feels a bit depressed though. Not sadness depressed. I mean, like, pushed down. Like it feels like a weight has squished the song a bit. I wonder if this version has the mastertape playing at only 85% speed or something. Its just a bit weird.

Well anyway. That goes away. ‘She Goes Down’ comes on and has a promising intro. It then goes on another slightly southern sound. Its got heaps and heaps of Van Halen to it. It too sounds a bit depressed. I can see it kicking off live. But its lacking a bit of umph here.

Vince Neil, for being such a rock star has a real lack of star appeal to these ears. I think my favourite contributions to the album are those of what I suspect to be Mick Mars. Although I did get pretty fat as a child from eating a lot of Mars bars, so I’m a bit reticent to praise anything to do with Mars these days.

But anyway I write all that to distract myself from the fact that the song was a bit dull.

‘Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)’ is another hard ballad. It reminds me a bit of my favourite of all the Kiss-ballads ‘Hard Luck Woman.’ Its got a lot of flavor, its not cheesy or off-putting like I may have feared when I heard the phrase “Motely Crue Ballad” in my teens. I really like it in fact. I think it’s the best song on the album so far. When it picks up a bit of a stompy beat, the riff really, really works like a Paul Stanley riff. Its so, so close I’d swear it was a Kiss cover if I heard it on its own without the rest of the music.

Well that’s that over. Good song.

[[…,Mr. Ass, Mr. James, how do you feel about securing the championship despite not competing in any way?…]]

The album ends with ‘Time For A Change’ which takes the unusual step of also being a ballad. Who ends a ballad with TWO ballads? Overkill much? – I’m not suggesting that Overkill end albums with two ballads. No. Bobby Blitz has more taste. I mean overkill in the sense you bloody well knew I meant.

Anyway. It opens up sounding a bit like Christmas also, then drums kick in and it sounds like a weird mixture of The Beatles, Elton John and Streets era Savatage.

I like it. Its not as good as the previous ballad. But, I’d happily nod along to it at Christmas time in Asda, or at Live Aid, or at the end of an episode of The Vicar Of Dibley where that farmer dies but they couldn’t get the rights to November Rain in time and had to improvise.

[…brought to you by Fleshlite, the low-calorie human skin….]]

And that’s the album over. Hmmm. A bit short. A bit lightweight. The reason that the W.A.S.P album was so good was that it was a non-stop steamroller of Judas Priest sounding Trad Metal classics energetically launched at you, but with a fun L.A. tinge on the outsides to make you not just say ‘Preist-rippoff’ and dismiss it.

This had lots of bits I liked, but frequently lost ‘umph.’ I liked the Title Track, and ‘Kickstart My Heart,’ and the second of the three ballads the most. The rest of it reminds me of the songs on Skid Row’s first album that I don’t remember as much as the best ones, with Slash’s knee a’bobbin thrown in visually for good measure. Also Vince Neil did NOT do it for me.

Take this template, speed it up 20%, remove two ballads, and copy Judas Priest a bit more, then you’ve got yourself the album I want to hear. So. Shout At The Devil and Too Fast For Love it is…

[Side Note: does this count as revision? It is Doctor Feelgood after all. Plus I’m sure it contained plenty of information about Vaginas in the subtext.]

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