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Beautiful Creatures

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Album Review

Led by formerBang Tango frontman Joe Leste, the Beautiful Creatures' debut disc is a non- sentimental journey that connects the attributes of commercial rock with the sonic muscle of contemporary heavy metal. The Beautiful Creatures overwhelming appeal lies in their command of traditional pop/rock songcraft bolstered by expert musicianship. Cuts including "1 A.M.," "Wasted," "New Orleans," and "Goin' Off" encapsulate the qualities that catapulted L.A. Sunset Strip glam to the top of the charts in the '80s: guitar licks a descendent of Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin, hooky singalong choruses, and lyrics that depict the decadent side of life with a tinge of sensitivity. Yet this disc is far from a nostalgia trip. The dueling guitars of DJ Ashba and Anthony Focx draw from grunge, avant-garde and traditional blues without a wasted note or meandering off into self-indulgent solos. Bassist Kenny Kweens tastefully employs five-string, lower-register riffs that complement drummer Glen Sobel's relentless four/four hammering. Sean Beavan's simple live-in-the-studio production approach is a perfect fit for this veteran ensemble. "Kicking for Days" displays a flair for the dramatic when the bridge melts into an ethereal half-time groove, and the ballad "Wish" is a romantic tearjerker worthy of countless cigarette lighter tributes. The songs found on this self-titled first offering would be praiseworthy in any genre. That Beautiful Creatures chose heavy metal suggests that hope springs eternal: maybe melody and skill will once again win over concocted attitudes, flash-in-the-pan guitar heroics and pretty haircuts.


Formed: 1999

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Beautiful Creatures were led by that veteran denizen of the Sunset Strip Joe Leste, who had spent most of the 1980s with glitter rockers Bang Tango. For Beautiful Creatures, he traded hair spray and the two-dimensional '80s sound for hair dye and a mix of glammy hooks with gritty, hard-hitting post-grunge rock. The unit solidified in 1999 with Leste, guitarists DJ Ashba and Anthony Focx, bassist Kenny Kweens, and drummer Glen Sobel, and quickly secured an opening slot on that year's Kiss tour. A...
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Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Creatures
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