A musical look at Sixx's darkest days
Mötley Crüe was by far the most successful rock group to emerge from the '80's hard rock scene. They were also infamous for their decadent lifestyles too, all of which was documented in gory detail in the band's self-penned autobiography The Dirt in 2001. In a similar move to Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee, who in 2004 released his own autobiography Tommyland, bassist Nikki Sixx has decided to release his memoir The Heroin Diaries: A Year In The Life Of A Shattered Rock Star. But as the title suggest, it's not an overview of his rise to fame, but rather a publication of the journals he kept between 1986 through to 1987. The said journals are a candid snapshot of his darkest and lowest period in life when heroin took a grip on his life, and eventually led to his much publicised overdose. Aside from the book, Sixx has also put together a soundtrack to accompany the book under the moniker of Sixx: A.M. (Who aside from bassist Sixx, includes long-time production/song writing collaborators vocalist/rhythm guitarist James Michael and ex-Beautiful Creatures lead guitarist DJ Ashba). Sixx once again returns to the music scene with The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack.
Unlike Sixx's former projects (Mötley Crüe, Brides Of Destruction and 58), Sixx: A.M. is very much a modern rock sounding act for the most part, but conceptually based around the hells of addiction. Sixx sets the tone of the album with the narrated/twisted carnival music embellished opening track X-Mas In Hell. The follow on track Van Nuys maintains the dark and sombre feel, before the band kicks in around the halfway mark in time with Michael's towering chorus.
The album's single Life Is Beautiful is certainly one of the album's stronger cuts with its huge melodic hooks, hard rock edge sound and Michael's strong soulful voice projecting both power and emotion (The promotional video clip, and a taste of the book are included as enhanced extras on the album). But it's not a one off, as Pray For Me, Tomorrow and Accidents Can Happen are all tracks that could easily be chosen as potential singles.
The second half of the album is introduced with Sixx reprising his role as narrator on Intermission, followed by the choir/gospel inspired Dead Man's Ballet. From here, the album changes direction from the first half, with Heart Failure and Courtesy Call injecting a little extra heaviness in the guitars sense. While on Girl With Golden Eyes (Which features a great voiceover from Sixx detailing his first ten days of sobriety) and the uplifting Permission, the band put in stellar performances with songs that are clearly not aimed at radio play.
With Sixx: A.M., Sixx is able to branch out, proving himself as a songwriter first and foremost. The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack might not sound anything like Mötley Crüe, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't rock in its own unique way.
(Eleven Seven Music/Shock Records Distribution)