Shrapnel Records
Release date: September 27, 2005

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Brides Of Destruction (BoD) is a band that you want to love … they’ve got all of the right ingredients to be a fan favorite, such as a cool name, eye-catching album titles and covers, bad-boy attitudes, a raunchy look, and a Sex Pistols-meets-old-Aerosmith-sound. Unfortunately, at the production hands of Steve Bruno, the critical error was made with their first album, Here Come The Brides (read the Metal Express album review by clicking here), of overly preserving the original demo quality recordings, thus making an album that had huge potential come across as a bit discombobulated. BoD’s first release didn’t reach anywhere near its projected sales goals, thus causing the USA version of their ensuing world tour to flop, leading to the eventual departure of co-founding member Nikki Sixx back to Motley Crue.

The other co-founder of the band, Tracii Guns, stood true to his commitment to make this band a success, and with London LeGrand (vocals) and Scot Coogan (drums), BoD brought in Scott Sorry (formerly from the band Amen) to take over the bass duties. Additionally, under a new label contract with Shrapnel Records, BoD invoked the production services of Andy Johns, whose involvement with legendary bands such as Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones makes for an advantageous association for this, their sophomore release, Runaway Brides.

So … did BoD get it right this time? Such a simple question with a not-so-simple answer …

The album starts out with “Aunt Biente,” whoever or whatever the hell that is, which is a scratchy piano/light symphonic instrumental opening that blends into the start of “Lord Of The Mind.” Now, why a band like BoD would start an album with this type of intro-track is beyond rational logic, but they did. Luckily, “Lord Of The Mind” is a pretty decent track … but, a few things become quickly evident. First, LeGrand has his shit together for this album. In Here Come The Brides, the band, or perhaps London himself, seemed unsure on which direction and vocal stance he should take … the unevenness and discombobulated feel of that album was largely the “fault” of LeGrand’s vocal shortcomings (or experimentation, your choice on what to call it). Anyway, LeGrand takes a much more even keel approach in this new album, and shows he indeed has the “proper” talent for this band’s musical approach. Andy Johns makes the “right” decision too to keep LeGrand’s voice more subdued in the mix … although he probably went a bit too far. In several songs, such as in the second full-length cut, “Dead Man’s Ruin,” LeGrand sounds way too distant, and that unfortunately takes away from the quality of those tracks. Another trait that becomes quickly evident is the vocal harmonies are very much unpolished. At times, this is refreshingly Raunch ‘n’ Roll-ish, but other times, especially when the notes come through off-key, it seems to be a missed opportunity at landing a few of these tracks on the radio. Lastly, the music, especially in the first four full-length tracks, lacks punch and power. “Lord Of The Mind,” “Dead Man’s Ruin,” “Criminal,” and “This Time Around” all are great ideas song-wise, but they suffer from musical anemia and leave you with a feeling like something was missing. To be sure, Andy Johns was trying to replicate a Garage Band type sound, but unfortunately that goal was too well met, and the songs sound cheaply made instead of the winners that they could have been. Nikki Sixx had a hand in writing “Criminal” and “This Time Around” … not sure, but perhaps it would have better to just have totally left out his influences on this album.

All is not lost, however … when the first single from this album, “White Trash,” takes center stage, the true potential of BoD is unleashed. The sound isn’t perfect, but it’s notably better, and Guns shines with some great grooving guitar work and a memorable solo. There’s direction, attitude, and catchiness in this song … and it rocks!

Next up is the socially conscious “Brothers,” which has elements of both Modern Metal and a flavor of old Sabbath. This is probably LeGrand’s weakest vocal effort on the album, but the great music and successful soundscape make for a quality track.

“Never Say Never” has a mellow, clearly recorded guitar opening, and the catchiest chorus and vocal performance on the album. It’s one of those songs that has you singing along when hearing it even the first time. Guns also delivers a few licks and chord patterns that sound like they could’ve made it on the Guns ‘N’ Roses Appetite For Destruction classic … the way the good Lord intended Garage Band Music to come across.

“Blown Away” is too disorganized to be a great track, and is the third track with credits to Sixx. “Porcelain Queen” is up next, and it’s a true winner, often sounding a lot like early Aerosmith. There’s a few atmospheric keyboards in this track too, which is a nice change of pace. “White Horse” has some driving energy and a few cool effects … had the chorus been repeated 10 fewer times or so, it would come across as a better song. “Tunnel Of Love” is Sleaze Rock at its best. There’s a Humble Pie feel to LeGrand’s vocals in this track, a fun and catchy chorus that cooks, and an impressive Chuck Berry-ish solo by Guns. “Dimes In Heaven” closes the album out with a more modern feel … a bit of a let down, actually, after the predominantly solid run throughout the second half of the record.

Now, back to that not-so-simple answer to the simple question of “did BoD get it right this time?” Well, the final verdict has to be “no” … several elements of Runaway Brides are certainly head and shoulders above BoD’s predecessor effort (vocals, song structure, and organization), but production anomalies and periodic lack of musical punch seem to be the critical errors that will likely again prevent BoD from realizing the mega and mainstream success that they are likely striving to achieve (and will probably one day deserve). An enjoyable album as a whole, but the image and potential of this band has yet to be completely fulfilled.

Tracks: 12 Full-Length + Intro
Run Time: 49+ minutes


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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