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by Martin Popoff

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Fresh Metal

Motley Crue - New Tattoo

In the hollowed pits of Crue's drained batteries - I'm talking stupid pills like Theater Of Pain and Girls, Girls, Girls - any self-respecting music fan laughed at the Crue. What they didn't know was that the band was laughing back, oblivious to caring about anything, their fans, their music, melting in a drinkdrug haze that eroded their creative fires. Those fires flared again within the genre for Dr. Feelgood and then well outside for the (dare I say) cerebral self-titled and Swine records. Now the laughs are back, Crue are laughing, we're laughing with them, not at them, all are in on the joke, wiser for the battles, amused by the surreal proposal before us. And basically what you find is that Crue are back to their old tricks but with those years working for them, coming up with canny arrangements, measured hooks, manipulating the cliche's and not letting them manipulate back. It's like the band are taking this calculated, calculating trip with the fans, everybody in on the game, doing a big showgirl can-can to see if we can wrestle a few dollars back from the boy bands. Can't say all 11 tracks here vault to the Top 20 of the band's party classics, and (blasphemy) Generation Swine is still my favourite Crue album, but 1st Band On The Moon is both giddy and witty, while Punched In The Teeth By Love, well, let's just say any band that rips of Four Horsemen is OK in my books. Surprisingly rubbery version of The Tubes classic White Punks On Dope though, the title track is paint-by-numbers Crue balladry, and 'Dragstrip Superstar' is just gay. Elsewhere, damn, just fine, happy-go-headbang upper quartile Crue, slightly beneath the inspirational vaulted euphoria of the two new tracks on Greatest Hits, but all told, a constant confident barrage of razor-sharp, high energy details that were simply beyond the blunted Crue of way old. Shiny stuff, stripped to just the right flyweight, twanged and tuned perfectly by a vocalist that we all hope is getting his act together. His fans will demand it.
Rating 8.5

Eidolon - Nightmare World
(Metal Blade)

Eidolon's third record is gathering some buzz due to Glen Drover's increasing stature as guitarist for King Diamond. Drover is also proving himself to be a capable producer, organizing, constructing and engineering this flawless record, synergizing the band's far-flung talents (brother, drummer and chief writer Shawn resides in Atlanta; Glen is in Toronto), into a no-nonsense paean to power metal done the old way, most notably the machine gun riffs of King Diamond and Mercyful Fate. But the cool thing here that the forward thrust is all guitars and vocals, stinging yet warm riffs (I hear Doctor Butcher!) strafed by expert solos, iced by the doomfully methodical and melodic vocals of Brian Soulard, who takes Eidolon underground into the lonely tragic-metal space of Fates Warning. Fave track is Lunar Mission, with its cloud-clearing chorus and Rush-like lyric, nipped at the heels by the characteristic electric blast of opener Nightmare World, a unified power metal stomper that could slay a hot U.D.O. performance at fifty yards of leather.
Rating 8.5

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