Review: Methods of Mayhem – A Public Disservice Announcement [2010]

There was one very cold winter day in 2001 that left me very angry and upset.  Some low-life hooligan had busted into my station wagon (don’t laugh, if you are poor and in a band, it works) at college and taken my massive CD booklet.  There were a lot of lost soldiers that day, but one of the biggest tragedies was the debut disc from Methods of Mayhem.

Since the release of that album on December 7, 1999, Tommy Lee has kept the mayhem at rest opting for many Mötley Crüe tours, a couple solo records, and Rockstar Supernova (a great CBS show that is still in need of a new season).  Waiting for the right idea and the right time, Lee held out until 2010 before finally delivering A Public Disservice Announcement.

Working alongside longtime collaborative producer Scott Humphrey, Lee asked rockers worldwide to upload demos to for possible use on the new record.  The songs, or parts of songs, that Humphrey and Lee liked made the cut.

The result of this innovative recording style is overall positive.  There are basically three types of tracks: the pop-rockers (along the lines of Sugar Ray), heavy modern rockers (think Papa Roach), and the industrialists (somewhere between NIN and Prince).

“Fight Song” is the most aggressive of the lot and represents Lee’s heaviest work in years, at least since 2002’s Never A Dull Moment.  The two songs that stick in the listener’s head more than any other are single “Time Bomb” and the infectious ballad “Louder.”  “Blame,” another enjoyable ballad could have easily fit on Tommyland: The Ride.

If you can recall Lee’s 2002 cover of David Bowie’s “Fame,” there was a certain percussive bass guitar sound. Humphrey employs that same sound on “Talk Me Off the Ledge,” a riff-heavy frenzy that also consists of Middle-Eastern lead tones.

There are some decent guitar solos on this joint.  In addition to “Talk Me Off The Ledge,” “Only One” features an above-average extended solo break.

“Drunk Uncle Pete,” the opening track, is a funny Smash Mouth-type song that is partly reminiscent of Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag.”  In other words, this is the catchy one that will get stuck in your head all day.

“Back To Before” begins like something off of The Who’s Quadrophenia (cool!), then morphs into some sort of cross between Fergie and Coldplay (ewww).

One of the more bizarre concoctions of the bunch is “All I wanna Do.”  On first listen, I almost pulled over to the side of the road to do the “Batdance.” Please play this one with caution.

The worst of the lot is the closing waste-of-space, “Party Instructions,” containing Nintendo-like sounds, artificial beats, and DJ scratches.  However, I am sure it would obtain a decent ranking on DJ Pauly D’s scale of good music.  I think it just drags on too long.

Considering the method of recording, the cutting and pasting of diverse user-submitted material, the album flows very well.  While there are some wild transitions, the transitions are very smooth for the most part.  I have not listened to Methods of Mayhem since my CD’s were robbed in 2001, so I am happy to say that A Public Disservice Announcement is a pleasurable listening experience and well worth the wait.  Although there are some awkward moments, the finer songs make them easy to ignore.

Track Listing:

  1. “Drunk Uncle Pete”
  2. “Time Bomb”
  3. “Louder”
  4. “Fight Song”
  5. “Blame”
  6. “2 Ways”
  7. “Talk Me Off The Ledge”
  8. “Only One”
  9. “All I Wanna Do”
  10. “Back To Before”
  11. “Party Instructions”

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