Rebelling against mom and dad must be hard when they're dressed in Pixies and MC5 shirts, but if there's one reason that generation doesn't understand this one's taste in rebellion, it's that the sex, drugs, and rock & roll are to be expected in negative youth culture, it's just that last one is sometimes swapped out for dance-pop, and that came after all the mall damage that was inflicted on the genre called "punk." Masked dance-pop-rock-rapper Deuce must seem utterly charmless to the older set, lacking that ramshackle, "anyone can do it" style of rebellion and drive that came with the Sex Pistols and such, but what parents just don't understand is that the laptop is the great leveler, and if you don't care for the indie beatmaking of Odd Future, dance-pop might be your way to rip the system. Buy a fast enough chip and "anyone can do it" applies here, and when Deuce says he want to "party all night" over the most Flo Rida of beats, it's no euphemism, the cops are making a stop and Dad's going to get a late-night call from downtown. Guest shots from pretty "scene" rebel Jeffree Starr -- who's twice the parental terror than Ziggy Stardust ever was -- are dead giveaways that Nine Lives is all hot topics and hotter innuendo, while Deuce himself is an ex-member of Hollywood Undead, having traded that group's metalcore tendencies for a sound more Ke$ha and Katy Perry. Really, the grinding guitars of "America" would be at home backing Perry on one of her more epic and positive numbers, although here, they accompany Deuce's observations on his homeland's love of violence, delivered in lyrics that are as inspired, as messy, and as simple as your average political forum post. You'd rather he just party, but given all the irresponsible sex, all the underage drinking, and all the mean debauchery of everything else, yearning for something vacant and vapid seems a cruel hex directed toward the younger generation. Still, that's when Nine Lives works best, and if being cocksure and crafty are essential elements of success with scene teens, then Deuce just won your kid's heart.
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries