The immediacy of the modern age - could be the sub-title for this post. Early on Saturday morning PlanetRock was playing in the kitchen whilst I was on the computer in the adjacent room. I heard a track and thought - that was good who was that. The playlist on the station web site told me it was Sixx:AM. I went to Spotify and found their first album on there so listened to that. I thought it was really good. In no time I'd found it for only £4.49 on HMVdigital and it was bought, downloaded and onto my MP3 player. I also bought their latest one at the same time.
I had a long drive Sunday to an AA regional assembly so had time to listen to them both a couple of times. So...
The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack is the first album. It is based on a 13 month diary written by Nikki Sixx during Dec 1986 - 1987 when he was fighting his heroin addiction. Lyrically a lot of the material I can directly relate to as a recovering alcoholic. Also the music is really good, very soundtrack like actually in places but more like a rock musical score rather than a film. Released in 2007 this is hardly a new album but as totally new to me thought I'd give a verdict. The book The Heroin Diaries : A Year in the Shattered Life of a Rockstar is available with the original diaries and accompanies the music, although either stand on there own. I might look at getting and reading the book now.
This is Gonna Hurt - is the bands second album released in 2011. This is more a straight ahead rock album in sound and structure, there is no longer the need for narration passages to set context from the diary and the music is like musical like. It is still a very good album and it is reminiscent to me of a harder rock Journey type sound. This also accompanies another book by Mr Sixx again called This Is Gonna Hurt which contains the photographers that inspired the songs.
Interesting for me are two things about these albums. Firstly the linking of the formats - although some might point to overly commercial principles at play here. Also the band itself is a trio of Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue bassist), James Michael (vocalist and multi-instrumentalist - most known as a producer, engineer and songwriter) and DJ Ashba (guitarist - most known as a member of GnR). So... Motley Crue have never appealed to me I'm afraid I just never got their stuff at all. I've seen DJ Ashba live with GnR on the TV and was a bit - "oh he's the one trying to be Slash at the moment" - that is unfair I know, someone has to play the Slash solos. So really two people who if I'd have been told about them forming a side project (and possibly I was!) I wouldn't have sought out the result. By accident almost I hear one track and through the speed of the internet was able to quickly pull in their catalogue and I have to say particularly The Heroin Diaries I think will remain a favourite for a while. It is funny that some side projects I've heard I've thought too self-indulgent or just not for me even if they are artists I really like, others you hear and think - throw in the day job guys this is much better! Transatlantic fall into that category for me as well. Sixx:AM have just entered that chart at a very good position too.