Sixx A.M.
Modern Vintage
Eleven Seven Music

Seven years ago SiXX A.M. released the soundtrack to Nikki Sixx’s first book, the jarring Heroine Diaries along with the surprise radio hit, “Life Is Beautiful.” The follow-up album, an accompaniment to Sixx’s Photography book, the hard rocking This Is Gonna Hurt showed this band could really be something more than just a side project for its members. With no book to draw inspiration from, the band convened to record an album influenced instead by some of their favorite records from their youth in the form of one of 2014’s most anticipated releases, Modern Vintage. The real question at the end of the day though is if it holds up to its predecessors.

With a guitar that sounds like someone playing with a rubber band, Modern Vintage gets things rolling with the straightforward “Stars” before heading into the discs first single, the big-top feeling “Gotta Get It Right.” Compared to past singles, this one seems a bit of a surprise but not out of place amongst the rest of the albums tracks. Meanwhile the jangle of the Stray Cats sounding “Get Ya Some” sounds more like it would fit on the band’s debut disc then sandwiched between the driving “Relief” and the chant-along romp of “Let’s Go.”

Mid-way through the disc the band take a stab at covering The Cars “Drive,” and as we all know, covers can be a hit or miss kind of thing; sadly this one veers to the latter. The band definitely take a stab at being a bit different but maybe they should have either not touched this one or kept closer to the original as it just comes off bland and seemingly uninspired. Unfortunately after this track the disc doesn’t improve any as it goes to “Give Me A Love,” which sounds like it could have been a B-side to the last Motley Crue album, 2008’s Saints of Los Angeles. Considering how the team of SiXX/Michael/Ashba actually wrote that album this should come as no surprise.

Songs such as “Hyperventilate,” ”High On The Music” and the Genesis meets Michael Jackson funk of “Miracle” are musically great songs but seem to suffer from a lack of great hooks and vocalist James Michael’s less than over the top pipes that truly shone on the past two SiXX A.M. releases. While it’s great for bands to experiment and try new things, maybe SiXX A.M. should have kept this one on the shelves and stuck to what fans have come to know and love them for; hook-filled, anthemic hard rock albums that are a great listen front to back instead of this album that I hate to admit was rather disappointing. –Matthew Pashalian

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