REVIEW: Motley Crue – New Tattoo (2000 European, 2 CD editions)

MOTLEY CRUE – New Tattoo (2000 Motley records, EU edition with bonus track and 2 CD edition)

The worst Crue album? Could be Theater of Pain, Generation Swine, or 2000’s New Tattoo. I don’t like speaking ill of the dead, but Randy Castillo was not a suitable replacement for Tommy Lee. Tommy Lee isn’t a great technical drummer by any stretch, but he has bombast and his songwriting is crucial to the Motley sound. Here, the songwriting void is filled by future Sixx A.M. collaborator James Michael.

The drum sound is flat and lifeless, the guitar is dry, and there is simply no fire here. The songs drone from soundalike to soundalike, and you will forget which is which. This is the Crue on cruise control if not pure autopilot. Of course, the band hyped this as a “return to the roots” album, which it is not. The Crue’s roots are bombastic loud chrome plated sleezy metal with loads of attitude and aggression. This is dull, pointless, meandering rock that goes nowhere. Without Tommy, I am inclined to say there is no Crue. Compare this to the Vince-less self titled 1994 album, a 5/5 star release all the way. Who is more crucial to the band’s energy?

Not one, I repeat, not one great song here, but plenty of mediocre ones. “Hell On High Heels” isn’t too bad, but it’s certainly not up to the standards of Motley Crue singles past.  Also half decent is “Punched In the Teeth By Love”, a title which dates back to 1991’s Decade of Decadence.  Unfortunately the majority of New Tattoo is clogged up with dreck like “She Needs Rock N’ Roll”, “Hollywood Ending” and the title track.  Nothing stands out after numerous listens.

MVP:  Mick Mars, who always seems to nail a tasty solo when needed.

The saving grace to this particular release is the live disc with Samantha Maloney (ex-Hole) on drums. It is more fun and entertaining than the album itself, but maybe that’s because the live disc is 66.6% oldies. The two demos included are no better than the album versions, but collectors should be aware that Europe got a version with a different bonus track called “Time Bomb”.  On top of that, Japan got an exclusive song called “American Zero”. It’s too bad it was relegated to Japan alone, because it might be the only track that actually hearkens back to the good old days.

Avoid. A bore and a chore to listen to. Pick up 1994’s self-titled release instead.

1.5/5 stars

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24 comments

      1. …and they don’t play any of the songs live either. I mean, they even manage to play stuff from Generation Swine from time to time. But no New Tattoo songs.

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    1. She really is.

      Funny, I saw a picture recently in a new article about the reunited Hole. They used a later picture, and put Patty Schemel’s name under Sam’s picture. The news didn’t even know she wasn’t Patty.

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    2. Sixx fell off the wagon and had an affair with her on that tour. Apparently it was all her fault…

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      1. Yeah right, always blame the girl! She’s a great drummer and I didn’t know how it would work with the Crue, but I think she worked great. If you can’t have Tommy, why not a girl drummer? The fans loved her.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, a tiny bit towards the end. They were feeling positive about their new start,

        Also, every time I see that video for “Hell On High Heels” all I can see is that Metallica Napster parody video.

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  1. This the worst Mötley Crüe album by far. Generation Swine is really underrated, in my opinion. Theatre Of Pain, is not but compared to this piece of crap it’s a masterpeiece. This is Mötley’s Lost Highway…kinda. Well, not really that bad, but this album is a complete sell-out. Let’s do an album with a styler of music our old fans might enjoy. Too bad you can hear from miles away that no one’s in the band is enjoying themselves at all. And Randy Castillo – what a brilliant drummer – but completely wrong for Mötley.

    About The Dirt, didn’t The Dirt end after the Generation Swine reunion and the tour that followed. I can’ t remember anything about this album and line up in the book. Was this album even released when The Dirt was completed?

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  2. Yeah at first I tried to like it..really did and after a while….naaa who was I fooling!
    I did like that one song First Band On The Moon is that what’s it called??
    Anyways New Tattoo came and went.
    It was official SIXX had run out of gas in the songwriting dept.

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  3. I feel kinda like a jerk for liking this. I’ve never been a big Motley Crue fan (I’ll take em or leave em), but reading you bash on them entertains me to no end.
    I’m a horrible person.

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  4. Ouch. Well, the Crue weren’t exactly pushing the envelope, but it seems the later incarnations forgot the few tricks they knew. Bummer, it could all be so awesome. Shame, really.

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