Motley Crue - Generation Swine
Elektra Entertainment Group Inc.
Nineties Rock
13 songs (49:26)
Release year: 1997
Motley Crue, Elektra
Reviewed by Ben
Archive review

Generation Swine is pretty much forgotten these days, but back in 1997 it was a big damn deal. Motley Crue have always been synonymous with rock n roll excess and debauchery. They are THE band that every parent in the mid west were afraid of. When they brought the original lineup back together in the mid nineties, they were still in all the tabloids. Along with the hype for the reunion, Tommy Lee and his boat honking dong were making waves as well. Him and Pamela Anderson's celebrity relationship made for ideal TMZ fodder.

Staunch Crue fans will know that Generation Swine was recorded under extremely trying circumstances. Producer Scott Humphrey essentially tried to torpedo Mick Mars and undermine him and his abilities on guitar, and then you had the whole "it's the nineties" thing to deal with. The band got a bunch of their nineties-isms out with the self titled album and its heaviness and groove. Generation Swine would be the album though where they experiment with drum loops and sampling. Opener Find Myself is pure nineties essence rolled into a song. Despite this being the first song on the first album with Vince back on vocals, Nikki Sixx sings the first few lines. Him and Tommy actually pop up all over this whole damn album as vocalists which is rather surprising. After Generation Swine Nikki would eventually form two side projects and get his singing rocks off over there with Brides Of Destruction and Sixx AM. So, Find Myself is a love letter to being a low life. Something that seems a bit odd now is that Nikki's infant son does "guest vocals" screaming "Destruction" and the title over and over. Back at the time, it probably just seemed like some nineties, Trent Reznor, Rob Zombie type of thing. But it's a bit weird thinking about having your kid sing on a track that is all about embracing the complete self destruction of oneself. Afraid was the lead off single the band would play on Letterman and the like, and while more traditionally structured it still is firmly entrenched in modern sounds. Nikki's distorted bass leads the band and the song's melody. The distortion effect used makes his bass sound like another guitar. Sadly, Mick hangs around and does chords here and there til the lead lines. Vince really shines on this one and he conveys the sense of confusion and longing that the lyrics imply. The title track is a relatively raw and punky type of track. Minimal studio effects, this has a driving, grating, buzzing like a hive of hornets guitar riff that sounds like snotty indifference to society. Really British punk sounding.

Before he left Motley Crue, John Corabi helped write a few songs (a lawsuit he brought against the band would later claim up to 80% of the songs were co-written by him) as well as "help" Vince in the studio. The two tracks to show up that officially have Corabi's stamp are Let Us Prey And Flush. If I had to choose out of the two the former would be the better track in my opinion. It is kind of weird to hear Vince sing lines that sound really like they were written with Corabi in mind. The bass tone on Let Is Prey is even similar to that found on songs like Hooligan's Holiday and Power To The Music. Anybody Out There? is another punk fueled anthem. Clocking in at less than two minutes it gets to the point pretty quickly. One of the experimental songs, Beauty, came out sounding remarkably well. This is experimental because A. Tommy sings the verses, B. the drums are big and swinging with strong urban rhythm vibes, and C. really thematic lyrics. Despite the bouncy vibe and a chorus that sounds like a typical proclamation of affection, this is not a lyrically happy song. There's two out and out clunkers here and guess what, they're the ballads. Glitter is just pretty awful, and Brandon has aged alot better and can be appreciated for what it is (Tommy's song for and about his son Brandon), but it's still an awkward piano ballad by a band mainly known for raucous partying and wild women. Like I said though, I can imagine the titular Brandon being an embarrassed teen about this song, but as he himself ages he'll appreciate his dad's song for him. Shout At The Devil 97 is an updated version of the classic Crue song. Not many fans like this version but I appreciate the added dose of speed. I mean, it ain't speed metal or anything like that but it thumps along at a more rocking pace. A few nineties-isms like record scratch sounds make an appearance but don't necessarily take a dump over the main structure of the song.

In retrospect, Generation Swine paved the way for the mega successful Greatest Hits album and tour. The media circus surrounding Generation Swine was no joke. During commercial breaks of my 5.00 PM Simpsons block, adverts for Hard Copy and Dateline or whatever would all be talking about Pamela and Tommy and by association, Baywatch and Motley Crue. Would Generation Swine have done as well as it did without the benefit of the tabloids? Maybe not. Something that should be pointed out though that's pretty cool is that during the Generation Swine tour, Motley Crue would jam along to Anarchy In The UK live onstage with a fan at home via webcam being projected on the jumbotron big screen using an early version of the internet. Lord knows what kind of home set up someone would have to use in order to do this back then, but the fact they were doing it is cool as hell. Also, Nikki Sixx was extremely active on AOL and would chat at least a few times a week in the diehard Crue chatrooms and answer fan emails constantly. Anyways, for not being a crown jewel in the Motley catalog, Generation Swine often gets overlooked. But if you can get into or accept some of the nineties-isms going on, there's some quality tunes on here that shouldn't be ignored.

Killing Songs :
Find Myself, Afraid, Beauty, Shout At The Devil 97, Anybody Out There?
Ben quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Motley Crue that we have reviewed:
Motley Crue - Shout At The Devil reviewed by Ben and quoted CLASSIC
Motley Crue - Carnival Of Sins DVD reviewed by Ben and quoted no quote
Motley Crue - Red White and Crue reviewed by Ben and quoted no quote
Motley Crue - Greatest Video Hits DVD reviewed by Ben and quoted no quote
Motley Crue - Too Fast For Love reviewed by Jeff and quoted 100 / 100
To see all 8 reviews click here
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