Nikki Sixx seems to be more passionate about creating new music with SIXX A.M rather than with Motley Crue. After reading Sixx’s latest book also titled This Is Gonna Hurt, it’s obvious that lead singer James Michael is a conduit for Sixx’s musical ideas. There’s a ton of creative energy between the two of them and SIXX A.M’s accompanying album “This is Gonna Hurt” is like a Lazy Susan waiting for you to spin it around and savor all of it’s treats.
The reason why you can take my opinion about the newest SIXX A.M album seriously is because I was a fan of Motley growing up in the ’80s and I always gave it my best shot to get into all of Nikki’s side projects. Usually they weren’t very memorable. I actually enjoyed Brides of Destruction when they first formed but listening back after all these years, their tunes don’t hold up that well. When SIXX A.M hit with The Heroin Diaries not only was I blown away, but the world of rock music was pretty stoked as well. Here was a truly inspired album with feelings behind the music, all conveyed through a group of extremely talented musicians and a kick ass lead singer.
Truthfully though, a lot of the songs on Heroin Diaries were a little too dark for my taste. The more upbeat “Life is Beautiful” and “Pray For Me” are two outstanding tracks and I had my doubts that they would be able to surpass the success of those singles on their next effort. Man was I wrong! If there’s ever been a list of bands who have released a second album that eclipsed their first, let SIXX AM be in the top 5. This is Gonna Hurt has it all. Every track is a discovery and worth putting on your iPod.
This is Gonna Hurt shows that the band has expanded creatively and musically. It seems they went in a more mainstream direction this time, but the nature of the music is brighter and hopeful. The music that went along with The Heroin Diaries was appropriately darker in tone, but I think that’s what hindered it from being an outstanding album as a whole. This is Gonna Hurt succeeds because it’s one of those albums for me where I don’t need to skip any tracks. So, there’s no Sophomore slump for SIXX A.M. And although I’m already waiting to see what they cook up for us next, I’ll share with you some of the highlights of this killer summer album.
The title track “This is Gonna Hurt” is a straight ahead fast paced head bopping and fist pumping rocker. Then, on “Lies Of The Beautiful People” James Michael’s voice ascends to Myles Kennedy heights. “Live Forever” is epic and radio friendly with a little bit of My Chemical Romance sprinkled in. It also features a Slash level guitar solo by DJ Ashba. “Sure Feels Right” is one of the best tracks on the album and it’s not even a hard rocker. It reminds me of Tommy Lee and Butch Walker’s “Good Times” and it’s just as good of a time. It has a breezy quality that’s perfect for driving around on a sunny day with the windows down. “Smile” is a sweet love ballad that will make Train shit their pants in fear, but it’s still OK for dudes to listen to. The “doo do doos” in “Help Is On The Way” has hints of Marvelous 3 and helps make for another strong, rocking track. “Oh My God” mixes Springsteen caliber storytelling with a vast U2 style musical atmosphere and a guitar solo reminiscent of Richie Sambora’s on Bon Jovi’s “Never Say Goodbye.” You also won’t be disappointed in the infectious and colossal “Goodbye My Friends,” which is what I’m saying to you right now!