Mötley Crüe - Shout At The Devil

Mötley Crüe - Shout At The Devil

(1983, Elektra)

This is the band and the album that paved the way for what Glam/Sleaze Metal would sound and look like in the years to follow. No, it’s not an influential record in the way KISS and AEROSMITH did it in the 70s; it’s the first major hit LP that did burst out off the dirty lanes of the Sunset Boulevard. After that, the California state would not be the same. Yes, you can blame these filthy ‘trans’ figures in the album’s cover (or gatefold inner, based on the issue you have).

When MÖTLEY CRÜE released their first independent “Too fast For Love” LP there were some shocking news floating around for these young vagabonds living Rock ‘n’ Roll life to the top while using pentagrams and fires to accompany their raw uncompromising music. With Elektra grabbing the band and re-releasing the debut in massive copies it was a matter of time to check out everything you read about this quartet was true; sex, drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll in motion. Still, even if “Too Fast For Love” saw initial signs of what sleazy hard Rock would sound like in the 80s in the LA area, it was the sophomore release that – once and for all – left no doubts ‘bout the dynamics of this merciless clan.

It’s no wonder enough fans and critics label “Shout At The Devil” as a sleazy Heavy Metal (if such a term can exist) release. It’s year 1983 and the band is already known for their notorious behavior and subsequent onstage appearance while the debut album has already created enough buzz to make the boys asking fro more... and the fans, too, who wanted something nastier and more heavy since the decline(?) in the songwriting and energy of godfather bands like KISS and AEROSMITH and VAN HALEN seem to leave some kind of gap in the US Hard Rock catalogue (Y&T was spiting fire at the same time but this is another story). Hence, if you put the vinyl edition in your turntable and let the grooves make you feel comfortable with “In The Beginning…”, before the same-titled track hunts you down.

Well, I consider this album – along W.A.S.P.’s eponymous debut and TWISTED SISTER’s “Under The Blade”/“You Can’t Stop Rock ‘N’ Roll” pair as the mere reason why this band was labeled as a ‘crossover’ outfit in the beginning of its career. What’s seen in this molten piece of music is a band that sings and plays what they rally live at the time, and not some music jammed through countless $$$ hours in the studio or in their pools. The production is raw, really raw, and the guitar signals by Mick Mars leave no space for doubt and requests for perfection: that’s the way this album is meant to sound, dirty and mean and blessed by the cruelest vagabonds out there at the time. Mid-tempo mania with merciless riffs, pounding naïve bass/drums and some over-the-top-drinking vocals by not the best but surely the drunkest and most pervasive dude in LA at the time. If you isolate the backing vocals and only you can characteristically draw your own conclusion: shout, shout, shout!

The naïve and youthful approach of the lyrics is another big theme here. Boys, girls, nightlife, sex, booze, living on the edge but with such a chromatic monolithic approach that maybe only the influential NEW YORK DOLLS last offered in the decadent Rock music business. And that’s what MÖTLEY CRÜE maybe offered in their beginning: the volume of exaggerations and living as if there’s no tomorrow.

Superstardom begun for MÖTLEY CRÜE with this album. The most ‘careful’ hair Metal acts had already been offering their initial works with DOKKEN, RATT and QUIET RIOT paving the way for what was to follow and flood the scene in California (and not only) but MÖTLEY CRÜE gradually risen to become immaculate Rock stars with a gigantic following and their subsequent works in the 80s saw massive sales and an arena prominence that few (if any) acts preserved after the Grunge rubeola. Many imitators followed this sleazy Rock/Metal path but few succeeded, really. Give it another spin right now, and you will see that it’s not the sound that’s dated but you that have forgotten what the spin of the style looked like some 30 years ago.

Image, attitude, music, atmosphere, pounding, sex, alcohol: welcome to the kingdom of “Shout At The Devil”. No sleaze Rock in Scandinavia would exist right now without this band and album, no post-80s American sleaze Rock would send us material in the decades to follow, not even Marilyn Manson would do his own thing based on his love for MÖTLEY CRÜE in his primal recording days. It’s no wonder both hardrockers and metalheads praise this LP as a raw yet divine offering of coarse art. Art? Yes, art. The art of youth and rebellion. Have mercy.


Tracklist

01. In The Beginning
02. Shout At The Devil
03. Looks That Kill
04. Bastard
05. God Bless The Children Of The Beast
06. Helter Skelter
07. Red Hot
08. Too Young To Fall In Love
09. Knock ‘Em Dead, Kid
10. Ten Seconds To Love
11. Danger


Lineup

Vince Neil - Vocals
Mick Mars - Guitar
Nikki Sixx - Bass
Tommy Lee - Drums