The Heroin Diaries
Just like Nikki Sixx himself in 1987, Motley Crue has literally come back from the dead over the past couple of years, and now The Heroin Diaries puts the band’s bassist, songwriter and chief hellraiser firmly back into the spotlight.
A warts-and-all account of his brutal descent into drug addiction during the height of Motley Crue’s fame, the debut release from Sixx’s side project Sixx:AM is a stunning, powerful concept record and companion to the forthcoming non-fiction book, The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star.
Right from the explosive spoken word intro track “X-Mas in Hell” it’s clear that Sixx:AM is a very different proposition to the cock rock of the Crue; each song and interlude cutting to the heart of the grim realities of Sixx’s heroin habit as it devoured him in 1987.
First single “Life Is Beautiful” showcases the vocal talents and guitar prowess of the other Sixx:AM members, James Michael and DJ Ashba, with the largely unknown duo’s contemporary appeal providing a neat counterpoint to Sixx’s classic rock star swagger. Together, they rip through an incredible collection of diverse material detailing Sixx’s journey to the precipice of self-destruction, including ballsy rockers, rock operas and delicate ballads influenced by the likes of Sisters of Mercy and Meatloaf.
The lyrical depth of songs such as “Van Nuys” — which details the painful fragility of a rock star trapped in a shallow world of selfishness and empty mansions while reeling from hurtful parental rejection — emphatically proves Sixx’s maturity as a songwriter and artist. Elsewhere, the punchy “Pray For Me” is probably the only song that recalls the bombast of the Crue in their pomp, while the beautiful “Girl With Golden Eyes” contrasts sharply with the eerie “Courtesy Call”, a song that approaches Sixx’s fateful overdose and two-minute ‘death’ from the viewpoint of God.
Quite simply, The Heroin Diaries is one of the rock albums of 2007, thanks to its innovative and bold musical brush strokes, sheer honesty and captivating lyrics. Sixx may have never achieved much critical acclaim during Motley Crue’s heyday, but with Sixx:AM, he may finally achieve the recognition he deserves.
Nikki Sixx: www.nikkisixx.net