Saturday, May 19, 2012
Mötley Crüe - Shout at the Devil (1983)
Shout at the Devil is essentially a conglomeration of enjoyable styles: most of the tracks dabble in the stereotypical heavy metal and hard rock, but "Red Hot" stands out, thanks to Tommy Lee's speed metal-esque drumming. Likewise, many, if not all, of the songs shine with an AOR-like quality, despite being fronted by a pentagram, and the whole ordeal reminds me of W.A.S.P.; although the Crüe would never reach the same level of straight profanity detested by the PMRC.
On the other hand, my biggest gripe with the album is the title track. From the beginning, the song has often been heralded as a metal classic, but I can find little, if any, metal riffing in the composition. Instead, "Shout at the Devil" points toward hard rock with simplistic chords and ends up sounding nothing like Iron Maiden or Judas Priest like I hoped for. "Looks that Kill," "Too Young to Fall in Love," and "Ten Seconds to Love," are also well-known, but unlike the title track, they don't try to mask what they are under a cleverly-placed cloak. For Mötley Crüe, this is undoubtedly where they shine most; where the tracks are original, and not a watered-down rendition of something bigger.
In the end, what listeners have is Mötley Crüe and glammy stylings at their respective peaks. Shout at the Devil is an excellent listen on its own, but when one considers the impact the album had on the hard rock and metal, the experience quickly rockets to "essential." If you don't own this record, you wouldn't be doing yourself any favors by not picking it up. When I wrote the record was essential, I sincerely meant it. It's a must-buy, methinks.