Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Album Review: Modern Vintage, by Sixx: A.M.
The musical wizards of Sixx: A.M. have done it once again. The super group composed of guitarist D.J. Ashba from Guns N' Roses, singer/producer/song writer James Michael (who has written songs for many notable artists such as Meatloaf), and Motley Crue bassist and song writer Nikki Sixx have pooled their talents to put together another album of profoundly written hard rocking music titled Modern Vintage which was released today (October 7). The title is representative of the sound the band was going for on this particular album, which was they style of classic rock they all grew up on while adding their own modern edge to it.
Sixx: A.M. came together back in 2006 when Nikki Sixx decided to put together a side project. The band's first release The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack came out in 2007 and was meant to act as a musical companion to Sixx's book of the same name which was comprised of diary entries he wrote during the height of his heroin addiction in 1987. The single Life is Beautiful instantly became widespread and popular amongst the general public. Since then Sixx: A.M. has released one other full album, This is Gonna Hurt in 2011 which was more along the lines of straight heavy rock/metal.
Modern Vintage has a surprising number of notable songs from it. I personally have been a fan of everything Sixx: A.M. has done but that didn't make me any less surprised at how good this new album actually is. Unfortunately I can only go through so many because otherwise this review would just go on forever...
The first notable one is the debut single Gotta Get It Right. For a three chord song it kicks some SERIOUS ass. There is no lack of power behind it. Plus, the mid-tempo swing of the rhythm makes it even more easy to connect to and have a good time rocking out. Michael's singing shines through brilliantly because he gets to showcase a lot of his vocal talent. He can go from straight up singing to some of the nicest falsettos you have ever heard. However, the only minor thing I would change about this song is to bring up the guitar more in the mix; especially in the chorus. It would be unbelievable that way.
DJ Ashba on the other hand really shines through on the opening track Stars. The riffs themselves are simple enough, but his rhythmic use of the crybaby pedal during the verses is absolutely delicious. It sounds cool and at the same time accentuates the singing and lyrical message Michael is trying to get across. Stars REALLY kicks into overdrive however when it comes to the solo. Ashba does NOT hold back. He shows exactly what he is made of with not only blazing fast guitar licks, but with memorable melodic sections as well. In fact, I recall hearing one or two parts of this solo in some of his live work with Guns N' Roses. That being said, Stars is absolutely killer and is some of the best few minutes you will EVER spend rocking out.
Ok, I will go through ONE more track because I like this album so much. Before It's Over. Just when you thought you had Sixx: A.M. figured out and knew exactly what to expect from them, they pull a total 180 and make your jaw hit the floor with this little ditty. It is a very exuberant tune that is extremely reminiscent of the song Seaside Rendezvous from Queen's A Night at the Opera album. While the tune has a similar vibe to Queen, it is still original and creative in its own right. I definitely don't feel held back from dancing around to it in my truck. It is a very positive note to end Modern Vintage on and I can't praise them enough for this lovely surprise.
As I said earlier, there are definitely more songs I could go into detail about from Modern Vintage, but then you would be here all night and we obviously wouldn't want that.... Or would we? Anyway, this album is a MUST have for rock n' rollers of all generations. I can guarantee you that you will find at the very least one track on it that you like. It is definitely a different musical direction for Sixx: A.M., but the meaningful and poetic lyrical style and raw passion of the music itself is very distinct of the band. I honestly feel that this may be their best release yet.
Modern Vintage, by Sixx: A.M. receives 5 out of 5 stars.
2. Gotta Get It Right
4. Get Ya Some
5. Let's Go
7. Give Me a Love
9. High on the Music
11. Before It's Over
Buy the album on amazon: