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“The Other Side of Mars” is a fun disjointed project

(Photo courtesy of: MetalSucks) “Mick Mars releases debut solo rock album.”

Tyler Browne
Connector Editor

Mick Mars, the longtime guitarist of Motley Crue, released his first solo album “The Other Side of Mars” on Feb. 23.

Coming on the heels of his controversial firing from Motley Crue and amidst an active lawsuit against his former bandmates, Mars’s album feels very disjointed at times. This is largely due to the stop-and-go nature of the recording sessions.

Mars began working on the album in 2014, although work didn’t begin in earnest until 2016, after Motley Crue finished their purported farewell tour. Recording was interrupted in 2019, as Motley Crue reformed and began working on new material of their own.

After Mars was fired in late 2022, he finally got a chance to complete the project. On Halloween 2023, Mars officially announced the album’s title, as well as releasing the first single, “Loyal to the Lie”.

The track is a pounding metal song. The lyrics compare Mars’s experience and fallout with Motley Crue by comparing it to a cult, and Mars has specifically mentioned that he was influenced by the Manson Family while writing.

Mars plays a strong lead guitar on each track, showing why he was long seen as the backbone of Motley Crue.

Singer Jacob Bunton is extremely talented and seamlessly switches between genres from track to track. On, “Broken on the Inside”, Bunton invokes Marilyn Manson, and later he sounds eerily similar to Axl Rose on “Alone”.

Two of the album’s tracks, “Killing Breed” and “Undone”, feature a completely different singer, Brion Gamboa. Gamboa was Mars’s original choice for lead singer on the album, and these two tracks originate from the 2016-19 sessions, before Mars rejoined Motley Crue.

Gamboa sounds like Alter Bridge’s Myles Kennedy, and “Killing Breed” sounds like it could be right at home on Alter Bridge’s next album.

Drummer Ray Luzier lays down strong beats throughout the record. Luzier is best known as the longtime drummer for Korn, a role he has held since 2009.

“Right Side of Wrong” appears to be a thinly veiled diss track at Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx, who was instrumental in the decision to fire Mars.

In the lyrics, Mars says that the subject of the track only cares about making money and learned hate from his parents.

The lawsuit filed by Mars in 2023 against Sixx alleges that he was withholding payments owed to Mars for the group’s 2023 tour, which Sixx and the rest of the band agreed to pay Mars despite his departure.

Sixx also had a famously fraught relationship with his parents. His father abandoned him at a young age, and his mother was neglectful throughout his childhood.

In promotional interviews, Mars explained that he chose the album title as he hoped to showcase that he was capable of much more than the relatively simple riffs he played with Motley Crue. While Mars does showcase some fine guitar playing, the album jumps between styles from track to track.

At one minute it feels like a Metallica album, before morphing into a Guns N’ Roses-esque song or something from a bad Motley Crue tribute band.

The disjointed feel is saved by Bunton’s vocals, which makes it even more perplexing that two songs were included featuring another singer.

While “The Other Side of Mars” is a fun listen, it can be jarring and feels more like a compilation of singles than an album.

Final Grade: B-

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