Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)
(Click on heading to visit official website.) Style: hard rock, glam rock Label: Eleven Seven Music Year: 2010 Home: California
Members: Nikki Sixx ~ bass James Michael ~ vocals/guitar/keyboards/drums DJ Ashba ~ guitar
Additional: Shahnaz ~ backing vocals
When Motley Crue bassist/songwriter Nikki Sixx released The Heroin Diaries album to put his 2006 autobiography of the same name into a musical form all ears were turned with interest. Partly it was the creation of a book soundtrack, for lack of a better description, but also here was the guy that had penned so many great hits in a band that basically set the bar for L.A. hair metal & all the partying that went with it. The Heroin Diaries soundtrack was an interesting tour through Sixx's life with the highlights being some emotional ballads that never would have found a home in Motley Crue. The album was slick & commercial but was emotionally awkward enough to be an uncomfortable listen at times & was so far away from Motley Crue it was fascinating for that fact alone. Sixx returned with his ad-hoc group Sixx:A.M. to record this follow-up. Also a companion to a book, seemingly the only purpose behind this side band, the first album basically followed Sixx's autobiography but This Is Gonna Hurt is based on a 2011 photo essay with the music being inspired by the photographs in the book. This means that Sixx isn't forced to bare his soul to give his book a musical form nor does one have to be a soundtrack for the other. There is still hurt here & pretty much pain is the primary thematic device, but the album lacks the punch & rawness of its predeccessor & the result is thus less than a climactic high listeners might hope for. The songs have a tendency to draw on cliched lyrical emotions while the band has a sound that decries exploratory ballads of the first album for a sound that might easily be mistaken for countless number of bands that have blossomed over the last couple years of the modern glam rock mold. It's almost hard to believe that this is by a former member of Motley Crue as one expects things different from this fountain of years of entertainment ... though it's easy to forget frontman Vince Neil's solo career was anything but generic hard rock. Sixx:A.M. features vocalist & multi-instrumentalist James Michael & Guns'N'Roses guitarist DJ Ashba. One of the problems is that even though Sixx is the songwriter he's stuck on the bass so much of the music is in the hands of James Michael. This is one of those albums where a few songs may end up in rotation on the ipod but it's not necessarily a return listen as the songs are essentially flashy & forgetable. The best songs are the L.A. glam/goth styled "Live Forever" & "Deadlihood" that comes out of nowhere & isn't any more original but rock out harder. The best tracks are the acoustic & string orchestrated "Smile" & piano only "Skins" that sound more like The Heroin Diaires ... but they only make one wish the rest of the album was more like this.