Album Review: SIXX:A.M. Modern Vintage
Hard rock has needed a shot in the arm for a long time and, though it may sound cryptic given his drug heavy past, Nikki Sixx, with his third Sixx:A.M. record, is just the man to mainline it. Modern Vintage is bombastic, dude-rock tailor made for the county fair and that’s not a snarky dismissal, it’s just a matter of fact and another way of saying the record totally rules.
DJ Ashba is a ripper; one of the best guitar players the genre has seen but barely heard (aside from a certain side project call Guns N Roses). His history with Sixx goes back to the questionable Brides of Destruction, a band better remembered for covering old Crue songs than their own originals, and has not always been a winner. Here the two find a common ground and the results are devastatingly melodic rock songs that shake the foundation of your stereo speakers. “Stars” is gigantic; towering in it’s own ego, the hook bounces around like an early 00’s top forty rock hit. James Michael begs “Do you want to see the stars before they fall” with total conviction, like his career depends on it.
The first single, “Gotta Get It Right”, drips with the sugary feel good energy of Butch Walkers best work; sing-a-long bounce grinding with the powerful rhythmic romp of Ashba and Sixx who seem to be having a goddamn blast together. Jeff Fabb, of Black Label Society, joins the project on drums and it’s the buoyant pouncing of his kit that takes this song over the top into a realm of classic rock loveliness.
“Relief” is ready for Midwest rock radio; it’s fly over state sincerity is what may be most lacking in todays hard rock crop. Huge hooks, sugar sweet vocals and total balls-out disregard for the “you-sold-out” haters. Take the left field choice to cover the Cars “Drive”, synth and mild manners in tow. That song is not adding any badass notches on their mantle but it may earn them a few million records sold.
With Modern Vintage, Nikki Sixx is not making a soundtrack to a heroin nightmare; instead it’s more suited to a case of Bud and a pick up truck. Not that there’s anything wrong with that: in fact it may be all too right.