CD Reviews

Vince Neil - 'Tattoos & Tequila' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 28, 2010    
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Vince has done such a good job of making the covers his own that they could almost be treated as originals.

When people bring up the subject of 80s US vocalists with limited ability the two most commonly mentioned are Ratt’s Stephen Pearcy and Vince Neil, and while I like Pearcy I can also understand why some don’t, but I’ve always thought that Vince Neil gets a raw deal, and this album proves it. Of the twelve tracks on offer only two are new songs, but please don’t let that put you off as Vince does a great job on a varied cross section of cover songs. 

With a band that features Slaughter members Jeff Blando on guitar and Dana Strum on bass, as well as newcomer Zoltan Chaney, and guests including Anthony Focx from Beautiful Creatures and Night Ranger’s Jack Blades and Brad Gillis, Vince and co. tear through crunching versions of Cheap Trick’s ‘He’s A Whore’ and The Sweet’s ‘AC/DC’ like they were written especially for him. If the songs here are some of his personal favourites when he was growing up then he obviously has great taste, I mean, what teenager growing up in America in the 70’s wouldn’t have been influenced by Cheap Trick? Or even Aerosmith, whose ‘Rocks’ classic ‘Nobody’s Fault’ is also given the high energy treatment. At the other end of the spectrum CCR’s ‘Who’ll Stop The Rain’ is tastefully handled and the only song I wasn’t previously familiar with, the Hollies’ ‘Long Cool Woman’, turns out to be a great rock ‘n’ roll song with cool lyrics. The biggest surprises are the metallic versions of Elvis’ ‘Viva Las Vegas’ and Elton John’s ‘The Bitch Is Back’, whilst the ZZ Top classic ‘Beer Drinkers And Hell Raisers’ is also suitably despatched in a guitar heavy adrenalin rush, aided by Jack Blades’ crystal clear and powerful production. For me the only covers that don’t blow me away are ‘Another Piece Of Meat’ and ‘No Feelings’; the former doesn’t match the intensity of the Scorpions original, and the latter was simply not one of the Sex Pistols strongest songs.

Before any of these covers comes the brand new title track, a modern rocker written and produced by Marti Frederiksen that has a good groove and a slightly different vocal approach that works well, whilst the other new song isn’t really that new at all. ‘Another Bad Day’ was originally written by Nikki Sixx for the ‘New Tattoo’ record and would have been one of da Crue’s poppiest melodic rock songs – Vince actually sounds great on this and it’s definitely a grower.

If, like me, you had no anticipation about this album whatsoever, especially after Neil’s poor second album was a bad dream after the excellence of ‘Exposed’, then this is a really pleasant surprise. I’m sure a majority of these songs will be unfamiliar to most of Vince’s fans and he’s done such a good job of making them his own that they could almost be treated as originals. With the next Motley Crue album being possibly some way away you could do far worse than invest in ‘Tattoos And Tequila’. It’s also nice to have something with a good cover these days.

Phil Ashcroft

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