If any band or group ever truly lived and breathed as quintessential rock and rollers, it was Motley Crue. Alcohol, drugs, jail, and sex ruled and refined the metal band since their formation over 25 years ago, which began with bassist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee who were soon joined by guitarist Mick Mars and singer Vince Neil.
The eventual Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famers released their ninth studio album Saints Of Los Angeles, which serves as an audible retelling of their 2001 autobiography The Dirt. Sixx describes the album as "a tale of dirty needles, damaged minds, music industry battles, and a whole lotta sex," which also happens to be the perfect summation of the band's long history (press release).
It should be the summation of any rock or metal band, but the truth is that the members of Motley Crue don't have to fight for or prove their authenticity. Their various addictions are well documented in mug shots and rehab stints, while their various sexual appetites are well seen in tapes and videos all over the Internet.
Most of these events are relived through Saints, from the anti-establishment reasons for being in a band in the first place ("Face Down In The Dirt") to the march toward musical stardom ("What It Gonna Take") to the numerous bedroom adventures ("The Animal In Me") to the struggles for sobriety ("Just Another Psycho") to the title track's final declarations of why they rule rock ("We signed our life away / Doesn't matter what you think / We're gonna do it anyway").
If any single word could best describe the band's first album with the original members, it's bittersweet. Even after all of the heartache and troubles, it's mind-blowing to hear that Motley Crue hasn't lost too much of a step and can still churn out attitude-filled head-shaking tunes.
On the other hand, seeing rock stars survive from many crashing and burning will continue to inspire and motivate other bands and musicians to follow and recreate their footsteps is distressing, especially considering they'll probably never the famous quartet's heights (or lows).