Tommy Lee – “ANDRO” – Review19th October 2020
There are three types of people in the world…first of all, there are those who rightfully know TOMMY LEE as the drummer and co-founder of one of the biggest rock ‘n’ roll bands of all time; MOTLEY CRUE, so that’s the vast majority of you reading this. Secondly, and probably not far behind that to be honest, are the people who know him for THAT leaked sex tape, which made him as famous for pounding Pamela Anderson as he was for pounding drum skins. We’re not supplying any links to that you can go Google that for yourself you pervert! (Skip the first few minutes it’s just them talking on a boat…what? It was research OK!) …finally, then, you’ve got this lot.
As some people are aware, Tommy Lee isn’t literally ALL about the sex, drugs & rock ‘n’ roll, he also has a huge love and appreciation for rap, hip-hop and alternative electronica too. Going back as far as the late 90’s he’s had his METHODS OF MAYHEM side project, where he’s collaborated with the likes of SNOOP DOGG and LIL KIM, and even recently he’s been on the road with the likes of DEADMAU5 as an active DJ, appearing at clubs and shows across the American continent. 2020 sees Tommy return with his latest solo album/project “Andro”. Short for androgynous…it acts as a metaphor for his sense of musical fluidity, fleeting between rock and rap with such relative ease. Or so he says. Let’s see for ourselves if it really is a case of androgyny…or agony.
The album opens up with “Knock Me Down” featuring KILLVEIN, who is one of a plethora of collaborators that complete this record. It’s actually quite a promising start truth be told as it blends together aggrotech and industrial metal elements, with its wall of riffs and scorching vocals, alongside an urban, hip-hop feel courtesy of some slick, free-flowing rap.
People may sneer at the subtle nu-metal aesthetics that drive this track but the rhythm flows with the heavier aspects well and as an introduction this is not unpleasant. “You Dancy” then turns everything on its head. Featuring LUKAS ROSSI, the level of 70’s funk here is unreal. The modern hip-hop beat underlays a predominantly PRINCE-inspired piece complete with high pitched vocals and twangy guitars, and it’s as if we’re going to party like it’s 1999, only twenty-one years too late.
This level of diversity somewhat sums up the album from here on out quite frankly, as Tommy experiments, or, rather indulges in whatever he can really. “Ain’t Telling Me Nothing” featuring PAV4N is a more straight-up UK hip-hop fuelled effort with a predominantly more underground, London rap vibe going on akin to say, TOO MANY T’S and PROFESSOR GREEN if you can make any sort of comparison. “P.R.E.T.T.Y.” featuring KING ELLE NOIR in turn houses a lower tempo, low-key dub-step / electro-pop crossover and it makes full use of it’s simple chorus hook, with her soft vocals actually really enjoyable here over the minimalist beat.
Elsewhere however, things don’t maintain such levels of surprising positivity. “Caviar On A Paper Plate” for example…the juxtaposition is plain as day conceptually and you can get the idea of a bit of rough and tumble and, again it opts for the simplistic presentation, but that in turn results in MICKEY AVELON providing some of the dullest, monotone vocal deliveries ever to taint my ears. Speaking of tainting my ears, “Demon Bitches” featuring BROOKE CANDY is an aggressive dose of brash vocal rhyming, persistent percussion and general annoyance. Collectively it’s just noise; frenetic and instrumentally fidgety, resulting in more irritation than enjoyment…like a BTEC NICKI MINAJ.
The rest of the album then predominantly harbours a variety of these hip-hop tropes and it all blends in to one solid lump of underwhelming disappointment. The rotten buck-cherry on the shit frosted cake however? “Hot Fudge Sundae” featuring JOSH TODD…as an interlude, it’s not funny, it’s not relevant to anything, it’s not clever, it’s not worth the 33 seconds it took to record it, or listen to it. It doesn’t add to the record whatsoever…forget hot fudge, this just dropped a Cleveland steamer.
Essentially if you’re already aware of Tommy Lee’s penchant for hip-hop then there may be a couple of pieces here you may enjoy, but if you go into this expecting to party with one of the coolest drummers in rock ‘n’ roll, you’ll end up disappointed.
Forget caviar on a paper plate, this is like eating soup with a fork; a waste of time.
Album Score: 3/10
- “Knock Me Down” (Feat. Killvein)
- “You Dancy” (Feat. Lukas Rossi)
- “Ain’t Telling Me Nothing” (Feat. PAV4N)
- “SOMA COMA” (Feat. SHOTTY HORROH)
- “When You Were Mine” (Feat. Lukas Rossi)
- “Hot Fudge Sunday” (Feat. Josh Todd)
- “Caviar On A Paper Plate” (Feat. Mickey Avelon)
- “Leave Me Alone” (Feat. Killvein)
- “Demon Bitches” (Feat. Brook Candy & Moon Bounce)
- “P.R.E.T.T.Y.” (Feat. King Elle Noir)
- “Tops” (Feat. Push Push)
- “Make This Storm” (Feat. King Elle Noir)
- “Make It Back” (Feat. PLYA)
Record Label: Better Noise Records
Release Date: October 16th