Los Angeles, California-based Sixx: A.M. formed by Nikki Sixx, DJ Ashba, and James Michael released in 2007 the very fine “The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack”. A concept album inspired by the diaries from Nikki written between 1986 and Christmas of 1987 and that to me was one of that years real highlight. With one foot in the 80's rock and the other in the modern rock they managed to create a great style as well as a bunch of killers tracks. And pretty soon after that release, Nikki Confirmed That They were working on a follow-up that like the debut would be a concept album. But it took almost two years until we got more details about this and in September, 2010, it was announced that Nikki would release another book "This Is Gonna Hurt", which would be accompanied by an album by his band Sixx: AM
And like the debut we got a fat dose of big sounding modern rock made for the arena. The first and the amazing single "Lies Of Beautiful People" really showed the way when it came out and we could have imagine that the upcoming album would be very good. However, I had a hard time believing that they would manage to reach the same levels as "The Heroin Diaries", but oh so wrong I was. "This Is Gonna Hurt" is a very, very strong album just as good as his debut with a handful of amazing tracks. The first single was magical, but there's obviously more like the magnificent "Oh My God" in which James Michael shows that he is one of the genre's best singers. "Are You With Me" and "Live Forever" is also full score tracks and mixes attitude and beautiful melodies in the best of ways.
However, there are two more pop orientated songs in "Help Is On The Way" and the Butch Walker-like "Sure Feels Right" which I do not really fit in, unfortunately. Good songs of course, but would rather have seen a couple of tougher tracks that put a tougher seal on the record. But, moreover, "This Is Gonna Hurt" is like the debut a more or less prefect modern rock album that every fan of course, should have in his collection!
The name "Minus the Bear" comes from an in-joke among the band members, referring to the 70´s television program, B. J. and the Bear. "A friend of the band had gone on a date,” explains singer-guitarist Jake Snider, "and one of us asked him afterwards how the date went. Our friend said, ´You know that TV show from the ´70s B.J. and The Bear? It was like that... minus The Bear.´ That’s the straight truth."