Mick Mars | The Other Side of Mars Review


Mick Mars | The Other Side of Mars Review

by Griff Stevens

Mick-Mars-5-Finger-Review-CDMick Mars, formerly the spine-tingling guitarist for Mötley Crüe, embarked on a new musical journey with his solo debut album, The Other Side of Mars, released on February 23, 2024. This album marks Mars’ bold step into the limelight as a solo artist but also signifies a distinct shift in his musical direction, albeit with roots deeply embedded in the hard rock and grunge genres that shaped his storied career. With production helmed by the esteemed Michael Wagener and a cast of seasoned musicians, including Jacob Bunton on lead vocals, Paul Taylor on keyboards, and Ray Luzier on drums, Mars crafts an album that is explorative and a bold proclamation of his musical identity post-Mötley Crüe.

The narrative surrounding The Other Side of Mars is as much about Mars’ evolution as a musician as it is about his indelible impact on the rock genre. The album emerges in the wake of Mars’ departure from Mötley Crüe, spurred by his ongoing battle with ankylosing spondylitis and a subsequent lawsuit against the band. This backdrop adds layers of complexity and poignancy to the album, offering listeners a glimpse into Mars’ personal and professional recalibration. The title itself, The Other Side of Mars, alludes to this introspective journey, aiming to showcase facets of Mars’ musicianship previously overshadowed by his larger-than-life band persona.

Critically, the album has been met with acclaim, particularly for its incorporation of Bunton’s lead vocals and theMick-Mars-1 subtle yet effective use of violas, violins, and keyboards, which introduce a nuanced depth to the hard rock and grunge foundation. Songs like “Loyal to the Lie,” “Broken on the Inside,” and “Alone” exemplify Mars’ skill as a guitarist and songwriter, weaving intricate sonic textures with emotionally resonant lyrics. The track “Killing Breed,” featuring Brion Gamboa’s distinct vocal angst, stands out as a testament to Mars’ ability to craft songs that are both evocative and hard-hitting, with lyrics that delve into themes of despair and resilience.

An analysis of “Loyal to the Lie” reveals Mars’ masterful manipulation of guitar tones, creating a soundscape that is both dark and rich, underscored by Bunton’s dynamic vocal delivery. The track “Broken on the Inside” showcases Mars’ knack for crafting heavy, hip-grabbing riffs, while “Alone” highlights his softer side, blending piano and strings into a composition that echoes the grandiosity of eighties arena rock. “LA Noir,” an instrumental track, allows Mars to flaunt his blues-infused guitar melodicism, further establishing his diverse musical range.

Another highlight is the album’s production quality, with Mars and Wagener creating a sonic environment that is both expansive and intimate. The attention to detail in the mix—from the thumping bass lines to the crisp snare hits—elevates the album, making it a compelling listen from start to finish.

Mick-Mars-2In summary, The Other Side of Mars is a bold declaration of Mick Mars’ enduring legacy and his continued evolution as a musician. It’s an album that respects new territories, marked by introspection, innovation, and sheer musicality. Mars has shown us the other side of his artistry – as complex, captivating and varied as the man himself.


The Other Side of Mars

Release Date: February 23, 2024

Label: 1313, MRI

About the author

Griff Stevens
Griff Stevens

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