3 Out Of 5 Stars
Motley Crue started life as glam-metal before morphing into hard rocking, and "Tattoos and Tequila" is front-man Vince Neil's tribute to the bands and songs that helped formulate his contributions to the band, While it's not terribly inspiring or all that original, it is in good fun and Neil acquits himself just fine. It's also a pretty interesting look into the guy's pysche; just what was he listening to while he was dreaming little rock star dreams?
Some of the choices are obvious. I'd easily guessed Scorpions and Aerosmith, and perhaps Elton John's "The B---- is Back" given Elton's omnipresence on seventies radio. A bit more interesting are Sweet ("Ac/Dc") and a selection from the first Cheap Trick album, "He's a Whore." Then you get the oddballs. I wouldn't have pegged Vince for a fan of Elvis or Creedence Clearwater Revival, but they both turn up with "Viva Las Vegas" and "Who'll Stop The Rain," respectively. And how about them Sex Pistols?
As to the performances, they are spotty. He's got a basic three piece combo backing him for the bulk of the disc, and they bludgeon their way through just about everything here. Drums are pumped to arena boom levels and the drenching of reverb over everything (especially Vince's vocals) doesn't allow the songs much room to breathe. The couple moments of subtlety ("Who'll Stop The Rain" and new song - one of two fresh cuts - "Another Bad Day") unmask the fact that Vince isn't much of a singer these days, which is why he blasts his way through most of the CD. Frankly, the CCR track is painful to listen to.
But this is Vince Neil we're dealing with here. If you were expecting "Sgt Pepper," you were gonna get snookered anyway. "Tattoos and Tequila" is Neil have a good laugh with a night of oldies at the local pub. It's also tied into a book and Vince's own brand of Tequila, so it's just one prong in a three point marketing strategy. He's not taking it all that seriously (I have a hard time listening to him trying to snarl like Johnny Rotten on "No Feelings" without imagining him cracking up), so take "Tattoos and Tequila" for what it is; a bit of a lark and a savvy piece of salesmanship. To assume more would be exaggerating your expectations.