GUEST REVIEW: Sixx:A.M. – Modern Vintage (2014)

Review by TOMMY MORAIS

A lot of “modern” and not a whole lot of “vintage”

MODERN VINTAGESIXX:A.M. – Modern Vintage (2014)

I was a fan of Sixx:A.M. when they first came out with The Heroin Diaries in 2007. At the time the music was fresh and just what I needed. I was in high school and going through difficult times and things teenagers go through. I was already in love with Motley Crue for a few years at that point. Then when Nikki Sixx came out strong with Sixx:A.M., I respected him even more as he was now in two bands that l loved.

I thought Sixx:A.M. had everything going for them; a great single, excellent songwriting and I could identify with the music and some of the lyrical content. The accompanying book also made for a wonderful experience. I enjoyed the band’s second album and bought it on release day in 2011. I liked a lot of that album and its accompanying book even though l felt it wasn’t as impressive as the first. I stayed a fan and continued following the band anticipation their next release. 2014 rolls along (which shows this review is a bit overdue) and hence we have Sixx:A.M.’s third studio album, Modern Vintage.

The album begins with “Stars”, a very good indication of the album’s overall sound, style and feel. To me it’s average at best; it’s not unlistenable but it doesn’t grab you in the way it intends to. It has “made for radio” all over it. “Gotta Get it Right” is the first single and didn’t do anything to encourage me to pick up the album. I can get the over almost Christmas-like feel it has but I think where they fail lies in the chorus.

“Relief” is straight ahead rock and with its lyrical theme sounds more like the Sixx:A.M. of the past. “Gotta Get You Some” is a twist and a nice change of pace with its acoustic guitars before kicking it into high gear for the chorus. It too has a very commercial ready for radio feel, only slightly darker. I’m not in love with this song but James Michael does a very good singing performance.

“Let’s Go” and “Give Me A Love” are probably the closest to heavy rock tracks on here (and to the sound of previous Sixx:A.M.). “Let’s Go” is especially a true fist-pumper and a highlight. “Drive” is a an awful cover of the same song by The Cars. It sounds dull and the electronic euro pop in the background makes it unlistenable. The guitar work is the only good thing about it. “Hyperventilate” is nice and short, one of the better songs on Modern Vintage. “High On The Music” sounds like a terrible young pop band and not like Sixx:A.M. or a rock band, going for that radio hit feel-good type song. “Miracle” has cool groove and a vintage feel to it, on the other hand it also honestly sounds like a Maroon 5 tune. “Before it’s Over” has a jazzy/lounge feel to it, which I give them credit for trying to branch out.

I’m not sure what I was expecting out of Modern Vintage or if I was expecting anything at all to be honest. I loved the first album, liked the second and bought the third out of loyalty and because I thought there’d be at least a few songs l liked. I wasn’t terribly into the first single but I didn’t let that discourage me. Well I’m sad to say that after multiple listens it’s a bit underwhelming. The songs don’t “rock” as hard and sound more mainstream and bland; that is both musically and lyrically. The songs are more ‘happy’ this time around. In theory this should work but it doesn’t. There’s no anger, no frustration, desperation, none of what made Sixx:A.M.’s core on the first two albums. I’m actually surprised to see so many high ratings and reviews praising the album everywhere. Maybe we didn’t listen to the same Sixx:A.M. band previously, I don’t know. All l know is what I hear and this album just doesn’t do anything for me and I don’t enjoy the direction they went in. A lot has been said about the drum sound which feels artificial and I agree, it just doesn’t work all that well this time around.

Modern Vintage ends up sounding like a lot of modern and no vintage. Alas I am not a hater. It pains me because I’m a Crue fan, a Sixx:A.M. fan and a Nikki Sixx fan and l really wanted to enjoy it. It just feels less inspired than the first two and even though it has a different sound it doesn’t break any new ground. It tries to hard to go for the commercial radio songs and it’s like they forgot who they where. Hopefully they’ll get it back and deliver another good album. In the meantime this is terrible.

1.5/5 stars

[LeBrain’s note: I’ve listened to the album, and I agree with Tommy 100%.  In fact, my review can be found below.]

POO

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13 comments

  1. Can’t handle these groups that do side projects! Thanks for the heads up fella’s! Since Nikki Stinx this one up there is no way he’s shutting down the Cash Cow called the Crue! Give Sixx one tour of bars with this Sixx Am band and he will be reminded back when he had to tour the bars on the 94 Tour….ha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh…you said it man. This sounded to me like obvious pandering for hits. I’m curious what Jon will have to say because I think he’s a little more open minded about newer bands like this. But we’ll see. He might think my “poo” picture is appropriate. That was hand drawn personally, by the way. Not stolen from the web!

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  2. Another great write-up, Tommy. It’s a sad disappointment when a band/artist you really enjoy and appreciate leaves you underwhelmed with a new release. It really does feel like you gave it every chance. Maybe sit on it for a while and come back to it – sometimes time and distance can change a later listening perspective?

    Also, Mike, your “review” was very succint. Haha.

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  3. I really don’t know what to say… 1,5/5… C’mon, I can’t even find one bad track on this album. It’s a damn awesome record. Ok, so it might not be up there with the two first albums, but that’s impossible, those were masterpieces, especially This Is Gonna Hurt. One of my favourite albums of all time.
    But the thing is, Sixx A.M. doesn’t apologize for nuthin, they do what they feel like and this album cointains a whole lot of different musical styles, but since James Michael is the one responsible for the melodies, this sounds like Sixx A.M. all the way.
    My review of the album can be found here:
    https://etainmentnewsreviews.wordpress.com/melodic-rock/melodic-rock-reviews-2014/sixx-a-m-modern-vintage/

    And here’s one for This Is Gonna Hurt:
    https://etainmentnewsreviews.wordpress.com/hard-rock/hard-rock-reviews-2011/sixx-a-m-this-is-gonna-hurt/

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, well, we can’t all agree on everything every time, right? And much fun would that be?
        Your poo drawing will get a 10/10, though. That’s art, man.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I wasn’t in love with Modern Vintage either. Their follow up, Prayers for the Damned is very good. But Stardom has gone to their heads, they charge outrageously for VIP packages and show up for 5 minutes without fulfilling most of what is outlined in the package. Very unappreciative of their fans.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Carey thanks for the comment! I really dislike those VIP packages. I’m sure some bands make it worthwhile but you sure do hear lots of bad stories. The best way to meet a band is by accident!

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