CD Reviews


Never a Dull Moment


And suddenly, Fred Durst looks downright legitimate. . . .

Tommy Lee is a funny guy. Anyone who’s seen his “thar she blows!” face in the Pam Anderson bootleg can vouch for that. His music is often just as priceless. During the good ol’ “human barbiturate vacuum” days in Motley Cre, he contributed skins to some essential ’80s smut; “Dr. Feelgood” and “Girls, Girls, Girls” hold up like the contents of a Baywatch one-piece. With his first truly solo post-Cre LP (not counting the white-bread gangsta infamy of Methods of Mayhem), Tommy’s evolved from “laughable” to “respectably insignificant.” Dull Moment‘s only honest musical highlight is the stuttered, Radiohead “Creep”-style palm mute that ignites the chorus of single “Hold Me Down.” Otherwise, we get a plump enema bag of outmoded wah-wah pedals, Limp Bizkit-caliber tough-guy breakdowns, and crayon-etched metaphors. Ever want to hear Incubus scarecrow Brandon Boyd duet with Tommy? Here’s your chance! Could Bowie’s “Fame” be improved by shouting “Do what tha fuck you wanna do!” in the chorus? Uh, let’s keep that one rhetorical. Tommy’s still pissed at the world, which manifests itself in all-too-rare Bon Scott- inspired yelps. Unfortunately, as a disser, Tommy’s no Eminem; hell, he’s barely a Vanilla Ice. His best cut pops up in the liner notes—where he thanks “Kid Rock, for taking ‘@#$%^&’ off my hands.” Andrew Bonazelli

Tommy Lee plays the Showbox at 8 p.m. on Tues., June 25. $25 adv.


Good Morning Aztlᮼ/I>


Back-to-basics effort from East L.A.’s finest.

Fans frustrated by Los Lobos’ increasingly experimental recent outings will find a wealth of enjoyment on Good Morning Aztlᮼ/I>. Though the disc’s dozen tracks aren’t traditionalist reproductions, the band has allowed its affinity for R&B, funk, country, and blues to take center stage for the first time in a decade. The resulting performances are lean, crisp, and soulful throughout. It also doesn’t hurt that Aztlᮼ/I> is packed with meaty, diverse tracks and aggressive arrangements. Story-songs (“Tony and Maria”) are shelved alongside funk workouts (“Get to This”) without regard for discrimination—a longtime Lobos trademark. But as usual, it’s the band’s journeyman ensemble work that really delivers: Cesar Rosas’ masterful guitar drives both the ferocious opening rocker, “Done Gone Blue,” and the sweet country two-step of “What in the World,” while former-and-sometime-member Steve Berlin makes a welcome reappearance on saxophone and winds. Though not exactly innovative on the order of albums like 1992’s Kiko, Aztlᮼ/I> is that rare, good thing in Los Lobos’ catalog—a first-rate, straight-ahead rock record. Eric Waggoner

Los Lobos play Pier 62/63 at 7 p.m. on Tues., June 25. $35 adv.