"Deuce" (Spitfire; 2005)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

It's fortunate that I've been listening to a lot of AC/DC and Kix lately those bands put me in the proper frame of mind to listen to Beautiful Creatures' latest effort "Deuce."

I know that "Deuce" is Beautiful Creatures' second release (kinda figured that one out from the title), but I'd never heard the band's debut. Via the publicity surrounding the band it was obvious that Beautiful Creatures were the swaggering type swirling in hard rock riffs and bluesy rhythms. I was also aware that the band suffered some setbacks in the process of the major label consolidations a few years ago. Those kinds of setbacks do one of two things defeat a band leading to an eventual breakup or make the band stronger.

As I noted earlier I've never heard the band's debut disc, but on the basis of a few spins of "Deuce" I'd have to say that the trials and tribulations suffered by the band have only made Beautiful Creatures stronger. "Deuce" starts off with a wallop of a single in "Anyone" and then moves through a number of strong songs of which "Unforgiven," "Save Me," and "Straight To Hell" are the cream of the crop.

There are elements of modern recording techniques and modern made-for-radio sounds which is enough to make "Deuce" to be a little more forward thinking than most albums in this genre (see "Never" and "Empty" for good examples).

"Deuce" is good for what it is bare knuckled rock'n'roll with a focus on having a good time, throwing caution to the wind, and reveling in the heyday of bluesy, from-the-gut rock. Generally I'd have to say that a casual music fan would have to be in the mood for a band like Beautiful Creatures while most fans appreciative of classic hard rock sounds will dig the band at nearly any time.

"Deuce" was produced and mixed by Anthony Focx. The sound of "Deuce" is very good and the mix seems just right for loud volumes.

Beautiful Creatures: Joe LeSte on vocals, Anthony Focx on guitar and backing vocals, Mark Simpson on guitar, Kenny Kweens on bass and backing vocals, and Timmy Russell on drums. Session musicians joining the band during the recording of "Deuce" include Alex Grossi and Michael Thompson on guitars.

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"Beautiful Creatures" (Warner Bros.; 2001)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Hopefully, Joe LeSte's love for rock'n'roll will never die. After fronting Bang Tango in the 80s he returns with less hairspray and more attitude with the self-titled debut album by Beautiful Creatures. He brings with him some of the best guitar players -- DJ Ashba and Anthony Focx -- and they create some of the nastiest licks to ever come out of a six string. The riffs are here, as are the pounding drums and LeSte's killer voice. No other combination ever sounded so good to those hungry for some great music.

The guitars come with a heavy metal sound but incorporate a little grunge, too. And there is some blues thrown in for good measure. The solos rip and there is enough attitude coming from each axe slinger to wage a guitar fight in which you don't care who wins as long as it doesn't stop.

"Wish" is the ballad every metal CD needs; LeSte powers his vocals and pours emotion all over the song. "Beautiful Creatures" has that LA Strip sound but it's not so commercial that you should dismiss it for that. Every note is used to power each track. Nothing is wasted. This is a guitar player's soundtrack.

Kenny Kweens plays a five string bass and thumps those telephone cables right along with Glen Sobel's impeccable 4/4 timing.

The best cuts are "1 A.M.," "Wasted," "Wish," "Blacklist," and "Kickin For Days."

Beautiful Creatures: Joe LeSte - vocals; DJ Ashba - guitar; Anthony Focx - guitar; Kenny Kweens - bass; Glen Sobel - drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Jun 2018 20:14:10 -0400.