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Beautiful Creatures - 2001 Beautiful Creatures


BEAUTIFUL CREATURES - BEAUTIFUL CREATURES (2001, WARNER BROS)
Joe Leste - vocals
Ed Roth - keyboards
Glen Sobel - drums


Background
Once upon a time, in an era when hairspray, spandex and limited musical ability were the pre-requisites to getting a record deal in LA, there was a band called Bang Tango. Essentially a poor mans Guns N Roses, the band were signed by MCA affiliate Mechanic and released a couple of albums worth of occasionally interesting GN'R influenced hard rock, before drifting into indie-label obscurity once the majors latched onto the grunge phenomenon. And, that you would have thought, would be the last anyone ever heard of Bang Tango and their raspy-voiced singer Joe Leste. However, more than a decade after Leste's grating vocals first hit the airwaves, he's back, fronting Beautiful Creatures - a band that sound nothing like Leste's former group except that they play occasionally interesting Guns N Roses influenced hard rock. What goes around comes around? You bet. Such a Lazarus style recovery by Leste is quite frankly, astonishing, and is even more surprising after listening to the band's self-titled release, a rough and ready collection of uninspiring rockers, 'old school' guitar licks and gravely vocals. It is a record that attemps to merge the aggression, street sass and sound of the incomparable 'Appetite For Destruction' with the modern leanings of the 2001 rock scene. The fact that the album fails, is not unexpected, but the fact that *Beautiful Creatures* have been given the chance to try, is. The band may share the same A&R as Linkin Park, and Warner Bros may have thrown huge amounts of money at Beautiful Creatures, sending them out on the Ozzfest tour before this record was even released, but no matter how hard they try to sell them as something new and hip, the truth is they make even Buckcherry seem musically innovative.

The Songs
Rehashing a staple diet of AC/DC and Guns N Roses, the songs on 'Beautiful Creatures' will be nothing new to any self respecting rock fan, who will have heard the predictable guitar solos on the likes of 'New Orleans' a hundred times before. True enough, there's plenty of effort and determination shown by the band on solid rockers like '1 AM' and 'Kick Out', and the dark and heavy''Step Back' at least manages to drag Beautiful Creatures' sound literally kicking and screaming into the 21st Century, but overall, there's a lack of distinct originality throughout the album. On first single 'Wasted', Leste manages to sound more like Axl Rose than ever, especially when he repeatedly rasps 'Take a shot you can never hurt me' during the mid section. That would have been acceptable ten years ago, but now even Axl Rose doesn't even sound like that anymore (well, that's a moot point given the prolonged saga surrounding the new Guns N Roses album). Lame ballads like 'Time And Time Again', and 'New Orleans' seem out of place with the general rock tone of the album, and make power ballads by bands like Warrant and Motley Crue seem contemporary.

In Summary
The final clue to Beautiful Creatures' cliched eighties rock roots is their press bio, which makes reference to shots of whisky (no chaser), and describes the band as 'just dirty, sleazy, loud, rude, rock 'n rollers, and that's the real deal'. Unfortunately for Beautiful Creatures and Joe Leste, there aren't many rock fans out there that value such cliches anymore. Not even those who remember Bang Tango.

URL: www.beautifulcreatures.net

Track Listing:
01 1 A.M.
02 Wasted
03 Step Back
04 Ride
05 Wish
06 Kick Out
07 Blacklist
08 Kickin For Days
09 Time And Time Again
10 Goin Off
11 New Orleans
12 I Got It All

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