Motley Crue – “Saints of Los Angeles”
Eleven Seven Music ***
The Crue's all-star Crue Fest hits Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre on July 5 with Papa Roach, Buckcherry, Trapt and Nikki Sixx's Sixx:A.M. 4 p.m. $29.50-$95. www.ticketmaster.com
For its first album in eight years, and the first in a decade to include all four original members, Motley Crue mines the Sunset Strip debauchery of its 2002 biography “The Dirt” without harvesting musical ideas straight from “Shout at the Devil.” Although no riff comes close to the hooky intros of “Dr. Feelgood” or “Too Fast For Love,” “Saints” revels in boogie-metal, riot-shout choruses, and, on “White Trash Circus,” alternates between Marilyn Manson-style industrial-rock verses and arena-ready choruses.
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“Saints” avoids sounding dated in part thanks to Sixx A.M. members DJ Ashba and James Michael, who co-produced and co-wrote with Nikki Sixx and Mick Mars. Their production isn't too polished, allowing the Crue to maintain its grit. The controversy-courting foursome hasn't changed its tattooed stripes – and that's for the best.
Katy Perry – “One of the Boys”
It-girl Perry performs as part of the Warped Tour on July 14 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre. 11 a.m. $23.50. www.ticketmaster.com
For a new artist, pop-rock singer Katy Perry is creating quite a stir. Perez Hilton and other bloggers track her love life (with Gym Class Heroes' Travis McCoy) and appearances. Yet what sets this 23-year-old songwriter apart from the celebrity wannabes are biting lyrics, quirky humor and vocal attitude. She grabs ears with lines like “You're not a man/You're a mannequin,” “Ur so gay/and you don't even like boys” (a favorite of Madonna's), and “I kissed a girl/and I liked it” (the single is currently No. 2 behind Coldplay on both the Digital and Hot 100 charts).
Like a lone Go-Go, she bounces with hooks and sass – a mesh of lookalike Lilly Allen's hip-hop schooled pop and Avril Lavigne's guitar-driven mall-punk. With such a high sass quotient, Perry could turn polarizing. But her feminist spin on pop is too fun to discount.