Review | Mick Mars – The Other Side Of Mars


For some four decades guitarist Mick Mars was part of Mötley Crüe. With his big riffs he was an instrumental part of the success these boys had with albums such as ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’, ‘Shout At The Devil’, ‘Dr. Feelgood’ and several other titles. The band was loud and proud, the band members often involved in incidents and accidents, scandal and controverse. Mars was not as much in the limelight as were Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, and Vince Neil. He was more the man in background.


As he was a lot older than his band mates there always seemed to be a sort of a distance between Mars and the rest. From basically the start of the group somewhere in 1981 Mars was battling arthritis to the spine and pelvis. It limited his capacity to move around (especially on stage) and he suffered heavily. Seeing his health decline year after year to the extent that when the band announced another tour a few years ago Mick handed in his notice to be replaced by John 5 quick smart.

Mars knew he would not be able to handle the gruelling tour schedule and everything that goes with it. Yet he stated clearly that he was available for recordings and other band activities except touring. The split was not amicable as for a few years the guitarist was mainly ignored by the rest and his musical influence had been ignored, not even being involved with the song writing. His leaving even led to a lawsuit of which the outcome is not determined yet. Mars claims that the others fired him while he had/has a 25% share in the band, being a founding member.


His health issue never ever stopped him from playing guitar as his fingers and arms were/are in ‘perfect’ shape to continue making music. At the age of 72 Mick Mars has released ‘The Other Side Of Mars’ on his own label. Together with producer Michael Wagener (Accept/Dokken), Korn drummer Ray Luzier, bass player Chris Collier (who also handled the mix and mastering of the record), Winger’s Paul Taylor (keyboards and guitar) and the vocalists Brion Gamboa and Jacob Bunton the man has done a very good job.


People who expect music in the line of the Crüe might be disappointed as Mick Mars indeed shows another side of himself. His new music is a different kettle of fish. Oh yeah, his big riffs and hooks are spread out all over the album but the tone is different. In a way slightly industrial during some songs and overall, the album has so much more variety. And there are also tracks there that Vince Neil never ever would be able to sing. Take the beautiful rock ballad ,,Alone’’ with a great vocal by Jacob Bunton. No way Neil would have mastered that. For me it is the best track on the album. Followed by the album closer ,,LA Noir’’, which is a scorching instrumental where Mick Mars proves beyond any doubt that he can still produce some excellent guitar work!


But there is a lot more to discover here. It is an album that keeps your attention all the way. With ‘The Other Side Of Mars’ the guitarist has smashed a home run and takes a 1-0 lead in the musical battle with his former ‘friends’. Have a listen, have an open mind. I am sure you will enjoy it!

Release date: 23 February 2024



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