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Beautiful Creatures

Warner Bros. (2001)
Rating: 9.5/10

I was introduced to this mighty band by the infectious chorus of ‘Wasted’, and since then have been wondering why these guys aren’t massive? Maybe they were a decade or so too late? But even so, any band that features the vocal talents of Bang Tango’s Joe Lesté and guitar hero DJ Ashba (Guns N’ Roses / Sixx:A.M. / ex-BulletBoys) deserves recognition, and just one spin of this disc will leave you salivating, because this is glam / sleaze rock ’n’ roll that literally pounds the speakers.

While Guns N’ Roses’ latest album, Chinese Democracy (2008), continues to sell, Beautiful Creatures’ debut flounders somewhere in the bargain bins, echoing the fate of similar great yet ignored bands, such as Love/Hate from the early 90s.

This really is an explosive record, a rough ’n’ ready monstrosity led by enormous grooves and Lesté’s hearty rasp and choppy raps which drag metal into the 21st century, yet with no apparent response. Maybe the various line-up changes and band members’ other commitments have thrown a spanner in the works, but all the while Beautiful Creatures’ two albums (the second being 2005’s Deuce) are out there, you must lend an ear.

Every one of the twelve tracks on offer is a killer, from the opener ‘1 A.M’, with its snarling guitar and Joe’s throaty rasp and an immense chorus, to the pummelling glam stomp of ‘Kickin’ For Days’, with its Mötley Crüe shake, and the ferocious ‘Step Back’, in which drummer Glen Sobel’s drums shine as they clatter like a thunder horse. Hard to pick out a fave track, but ‘Wasted’ really is a gem of a glam rock anthem with those uplifting guitars that are cut in half by Joe’s gravel growl leading to that immortal chorus.

It’s an album that leaves me speechless, and yet also frustrated at its lack of success, but isn’t that nearly always the case with a majority of the coolest bands?

Neil Arnold

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