Brace Yourself: Here Come The Brides
This is life this is it
It's not everything you want
It's everything you get believe it
It's not worth leaving
Yea this is life once again
It's been knocking at your door
You ought to let it in
Don't waste it it's time you faced it
Nikki Sixx is one of the most extraordinarily talented musicians I have ever laid my eyes on. Many people
instantaneously reject this talent because of his past with Motley Crue; however, they are missing out on
something. Nikki has always been an incomparable songwriter. If you need any further proof, look at the albums
"Theater of Pain" and "Girls, Girls, Girls". Neither are great albums by any stretch of the imagination, but the
fact that both of those albums were written in such a drug-induced stage, it's amazing that each album has a
number of songs that stand out and still hold up a generation later. Once he became clean and sober, he only
excelled in his writing. The lyrics to the Motley cannon from 1991-1997 are staggering, especially "Primal
Scream". He's not Bob Dylan and I'm trying to throw him in a league like that, but the man is a luminous musician
and can write a damn good song. Evidence of this talent is "Life", off the new Brides of Destruction cd. "Life"
is one of those great rock tracks you hear every once in a while and you instantaneously fall in love with. You
know when you have one of those days at work that are beyond comprehension? Or when someone you love lets you
down? Or how about every corner you turn seems to be a dead end? We all need to find something among the wreckage
we can find salvation from, for me it's music. "Life" helps you see through the challenging times and try to see
the light at the end of the tunnel. "Life" is one of nine songs on "Here Come The Brides", the new CD from
Nikki's new band, The Brides of Destruction.
The Brides of Destruction are an eclectic group of musicians, lead by Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx and LA Guns
guitar player Traci Guns. Scot Coogan fills in on drums; he has played with everyone from Pete Yorn to Vanilla
Ice, and newcomer London LeGrand provides vocals. Much has been speculated about what Sixx and Guns would sound
like together. Would they blow the doors off the music industry? Would they ignore their glam past and embrace
the current garage trends and just rock? Would they miss the mark entirely? Would they embrace their past and
make a full out retro album of 80's rock? In short, they do a little of each.
They deliver on an album full of rockers that give most of the garage rockers a run for their money. It's a
gyrating affair of thunderous riffs. The album does not quite reach metal heights but would push both the Motley
and LA Guns envelopes in terms of sound. It is well polished by producer Steve Bruno and mixer Steve Thompson.
They help transport an awe-inspiring riot from the studio into your headphones. This is a great sounding record
full of earsplitting rock that will make guitar driven rock bands envious. With that being said, I do have some
reservations with this album. One thing that does not work for the band is the vocals by vocalist London LeGrand.
LeGrand is the only newcomer to the music industry among the quartet. Most of his vocals on this album seem like
they have been touched up in the studio and I'm not sure if it was planned that way or if it was done because his
vocals were not up to par. On my first few listens of the album, "Life" kept on standing out to me over and over
again as the best sounding track. I was wondering why LeGrand could sound so good on one track and anemic on all
of the others. Well, it's because I discovered drummer Scott Coogan takes lead vocal duty on "Life". I find it
ironic that the band chose to give their drummer, not their vocalist, the best song on their album to sing. Maybe
even they realize LeGrand does not have the range they had hoped for. A better test of his vocal skills will be
seeing the band live. I hope to see the Brides live in a small club so I can see if LeGrand has the goods to
stand aside the other three gifted musicians of the Brides. Don't get me wrong, I really dig this album, but I
have some qualms with the vocal style of LeGrand.
What works in the Brides favor is that the album sounds raw and live. What the band may be lacking in the vocal
department, they certainly made up for in the song writing department as Sixx and Guns created nine potent
numbers they should be proud of. "Shut The F**k Up" rocks hard and turns things up a notch louder than any band
in the current garage movement. "I Got A Gun" is flabbergasting and it's the one track where LeGrand's vocals do
work, the screaming chorus is unbelievably intense. "Brace Yourself" has a great melody that showcases the 3
piece instrumental unit of Coogan, Sixx and Guns. "Natural Born Killers" is one of the more accessible and
radio-friendly tracks on the album. It walks a fine line between hard rock, punk and radio friendly rock.
LeGrand's vocals work here as I felt he was singing more from his gut rather than over thinking how he sounds
(like he did when the Brides appeared on Jay Leno). "Only Get So Far" closes the album and is a pseudo ballad
whose lyrics scream of 80's rock, but the music is not nearly as over the top. Its sound is also more LA Guns
than Motley Crue. While the Guns had one of the best ballads of the era with "The Ballad of Jayne", this simply
sounds like a leftover track from a decade ago. Apparently Nikki Sixx had originally written this for Tim McGraw
and his wife, Faith Hill, but he kept it because he loved it. Unfortunately, I feel "Only Get So Far" only goes
so far leaving us wanting more. "Life" stands out as the preeminent track on the disc. It's one of those
reaffirming songs that make you know why you love music, specifically rock 'n roll. Coogan's vocals are right on
and while listening to it, one cannot help but wonder if the Brides would be better suited as a three-piece unit.
The song is so gratifying, that I would tell people to buy this album just for this song. In fact, this is one of
the best songs I've heard in months. It's effortless, straightforward and manages to get under your skin as it
embraces your inner demons...somehow at the end of the day these lyrics make you feel better.
It seems so hard to stay so positive
I know how it feels
It just takes time something's gotta give
Don't let the negative
Steal the blue out of the sky
Don't leave it all behind
I listen to songs like "Life" and it just reaffirms to me why people make music. Even a hard rock act like the
Brides can be credited as an act of substance with this one song. It's not innovatory in any way, but sometimes
that is why certain songs move me so deeply, it comes from their gut. While some may say this song is a cliché
rock track, I say it's one of the paramount singles of the year and Sanctuary Records would be foolish not to
release this song to rock radio.
Writing about this album has been one of the toughest things I have had to do in a long time. I love the
primitiveness of this album, and there are moments of brilliance on it. I love the fact that Traci Guns and Nikki
Sixx came together to forma band that has one purpose-to rock hard. The aggressive tension can be heard all over
this album and it's great to hear Nikki Sixx and Traci Guns make music without even thinking about the commercial
aspects. They are not posing or showing off; they are just going back to their core values of musicianship. The
principal quandary I have is that the album is a bit inconsistent, especially the vocals of LeGrand. I've spent a
solid two weeks with the album, and I will say it has grown on me enormously; heavy grooves and melodies infect
you with each and every listen. Yet London LeGrand's vocals left me wishing drummer Scott Coogan sang all of the
The Brides of Destruction have made a riff filled rock 'n roll record with some songs that are true gems. "Here
Come The Brides" is more than a satisfactory listen; the songwriting on this album takes it to another level. It
does not sound like they over-analyzed the material and stuck to their gut feeling. Aside from some of the
vocals, the debut album by the Brides of Destruction is vivacious, deafening and in your face.
*** (3 Stars)
Official Brides of Destruction Web Site