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Brides of Destruction Here Come the Brides

By Mick Stingley, Contributor
Thursday, March 11, 2004 @ 11:37 AM


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A couple of years ago, I went on vacation for two weeks. When I returned to my apartment, I realized the place had been robbed. I don’t have much worth stealing, but a whole bunch of my cds were taken. Here’s what went missing from my collection: MC5, The Buzzcocks , Cheap Trick, Johnny Thunders, The New York Dolls, The Knack, The Vapors, The Dead Boys, The Bad Brains, Aerosmith, The Sex Pistols, The Ramones, Misfits, Iggy & The Stooges and The Dictators. Also, I had almost a full case of Coronas in the fridge. Whoever broke in must have guzzled the whole thing. It’s been a while, and I don’t have any proof, but I think I know who took them…

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The Brides Of Destruction, (featuring Nikki Sixx and Tracii Guns, with newcomers London LeGrand (vox) and Scot Coogan (drums) in tow), have arrived with a record that is not the LA metal “supergroup” some might mistake it for. This is a band of gypsies, tramps and thieves who have plundered the rock, punk, and power-pop sounds of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Nikki and Tracii have long shared this musical pedigree: as David Bowie once said, “Same old thing, brand new drag.” Sixx and Guns, (with the early assistance of John Corabi, credited on the record), know their history and have learned from the past. Neither condemned nor content to repeat it… Here Come The Brides.

Originally conceived as a demo, Here Come… is a marriage of pop, rock and punk with newcomer London to bring it forward into the new millennium. He sings, yowls, snarls and gargles like he was born in a toilet at CBGB’S and grew up under a table at the Whiskey A Go-Go. Without sacrificing their own contributions to music in the past twenty years or so, the infamous bassist and guitarist are unleashed within to play some harder, faster and more neck-throttling music than they might have come to be known for. The lead track, “Shut The Fuck Up,” with it’s pummeling bass, hardcore drums, guitar-pick slides, and Misfits-like “Whoa, Whoa” chorus, could well be an outtake from “Too Fast For Love” or “Vicious Circle”: but in the mouth of London, it is pure anarchy, a la Johnny Rotten. A singer with a higher voice might be able to offer the conceit of the lyrics; but it’s a fine line between conveying anger and sounding like you’re pissed off because the line at the Food Court is too long. London nails it. It’s clear from here on out why they picked this guy. Is he a “rockstar”? Time will tell -- but he sounds great.

“I Don’t Care” is pure Stooges and Dead Boys.

“I Got a Gun” is outstanding. The moody bass and vocals explode on the chorus time and time again. London does sound suspiciously like John Corabi on this one, but that’s hardly a bad thing.

“2X Dead” is abrasive in its groove and spare guitar. Catchy, mean, and nasty. My only problem with this is the title, which is credited to “Sixx/Guns.” In the past, Tracii and Nikki have already written songs with similar titles: “Long Time Dead,” “Ten Years Gone” and “5 Years Dead.” Someone needs to take a “Songtitling” workshop at UCLA. I’m just sayin’…

“Brace Yourself,” with it’s clean vocals, is a more contemporary sounding power-pop song. Only slightly heavy, it’s basically a straight-up rock-song. It’s not as outstanding as “Natural Born Killers,” which, at times, sounds like Corey Glover singing for The Knack. Great song, catchy chorus.

“Life” sounds like conscious bid to get mainstream radio air. Moody opening, upbeat, “positive” lyrics; heavy guitar riff, catchy chorus… I like this whole record; but this is the only song I skip.

“Revolution” is my favorite. It begins as a sonic rock/punk attack, then morphs into a power-pop Cheap Trick-layered vocal chorus, then back into that slammin’ neo-Crue/Guns vibe. On the way out, Tracii gets to go nuts.

The last track of the record, “Only Get So Far,” has ‘80s power-ballad written all over it. In the mouth of another singer from the Sunset Strip, this would be perceived as the last gasp of 30-something rockstars trying to recapture their youth. With London, this song is closer to the “alt.country” stuff that packs ‘em in at SXSW in Austin. His vocals are mellow and soft and there is no forced sympathy as he sings, “If you’re lonely today/Well you’re not far away/Cause you’ll only get so far/without love.” IF this goes to radio, and people can free themselves of the stigma of Nikki and Tracii being “rockstars,” this should have the teenage Cosmo Girl readers weeping while they slow-dance at the Junior Prom. Good song, totally old-school.

Here Come The Brides is one hell of a great wedding: lots of fun. Rock, punk, pop and cool. I got this as an advance: I think the official release comes with a DVD, which will probably have some cool stuff on it. Supposedly these guys have been crankin’ out a slew of new tunes since they brokered the deal for this one. After hearing this disc, I can’t wait to hear the new stuff; let’s just hope it doesn’t take another two years…

PS - someone owes me some beers…

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