After making every desperate move known to sinking hair-metal bands -- grunge dalliances, live albums, original-lineup reunions, remasters -- Mötley Crüe delivers the coup de grace: a "back-to-our-roots" studio disc. Typical of such affairs, "New Tattoo" revives the sound of the group's commercial peak (the "Girls, Girls, Girls"/"Dr. Feelgood" era of 1987-89), not their creative apex (the self-released 1981 debut, "Too Fast for Love"). They can't even get that right, tossing off a lazy collection of trash rockers and ballads that, at best, appear to be cobbled together from leftover riffs and, at worst, sound sampled from their own back catalog and reassembled into "new" songs by a cheap piece of composer software.
How low can they go? Low enough to outdo their smuttiest lyrics with resoundingly juvenile porno-poetry. Give the perverts what they want, but the Crüe were better when they were referencing Sandra Dee and Pepsi-Cola -- in the same song, no less.