Beautiful Creatures

Deuce [US Version]

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There are some alternative rock bands that really know how to link the past with the present -- bands that are relevant to a post-Nirvana, post-Nevermind world yet maintain a strong affection for the pre-Nevermind metal, hard rock, and arena rock of the '70s and '80s. Deuce points to the fact that Beautiful Creatures is such a band, and they unite those pre-Nevermind and post-Nevermind elements in a totally seamless, coherent way on this inspired sophomore outing. Of course, the pre-Nevermind part isn't surprising when you consider who is leading Beautiful Creatures; their head honcho is one-time Bang Tango frontman Joe Leste -- and it doesn't get any more pop-metal, any more Sunset Strip than Bang Tango (who were, in terms of creativity, a cut above most of the glammed-up hair bands that came out of Los Angeles in the '80s). But Deuce isn't an album that is stuck at the intersection of Sunset and Doheny circa 1988. Instead, Beautiful Creatures successfully link the '70s and '80s with the '90s and 2000s; think of Deuce as Guns N' Roses, Aerosmith, L.A. Guns, Led Zeppelin, and Mötley Crüe by way of Godsmack, Nirvana, and Stone Temple Pilots. Tracks like "Never" (not to be confused with Heart's 1985 hit), "Unforgiven," and "Brand New Day" have all the melodic hookiness of '70s and '80s hard rock, metal, and arena rock, but not without offering a big dose of post-grunge bite as well. Deuce is a memorable album that manages to be both alternative rock and rock & roll, and it demonstrates that there is certainly life after Bang Tango for Joe Leste.

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