L.A. Guns - The Missing Peace,
As I am sure everyone is aware, L.A. Guns was formed in 1983 by guitar player Tracii Guns and, then unknown singer, Axl Rose on lead vocals. They broke up, but it was his alliance with ex-Girl singer Phil Lewis that made the band hit the mainstream and with the classic line-up of drummer Steve Riley, guitar player Mick Cripps and bassist Kelly Nickels they sold in excess of six million albums, 1988's ‘L.A. Guns’ and 1990's ‘Cocked and Loaded’ both of which were certified Gold. The hit single “Ballad of Jayne” went to #33 on Billboard's Hot 100 and #25 on the Mainstream Rock charts. There have been more than a few line-up changes over the years but Tracii and Phil are back together on a new studio album for the first time in fifteen years.
I was a huge Kiss fan in the late Seventies (don’t judge me), and when I discovered that a British band has covered “Do You Love Me” I had to get it. From there it was a short step to ‘Sheer Greed’ with the wonderful “Hollywood Tease” and I was sure that Girl would go onto great things. Sadly, that never transpired, although guitarist Phil Collen did get a gig with some outfit called Def Leppard, while Phil Lewis went to America. It’s hard to imagine that the Joe Elliott-style vocalist from that album (nearly forty years ago now, what happened!?) turned into this sleazy hard rocker, but he and Tracii are the perfect match in that when they are apart they never seem to capture the brilliance of what they can do when they are together. Grunge, alt metal and the numerous sub genres of the metal scene just never seem to have happened when listening to this. It has then naivety of the NWOBHM combined with the sleaze and glam of L.A., all rolled into one melodic hard rock mass of excess. The music moves, and it is obvious that they just don’t give a shit about what any critics might say, they are going to deliver what they want to and if it’s accepted then that’s fine, and if not then they’ll just keep rocking down the road, thank you very much.
If you want melodic hard rock just like the very best bands were performing some thirty years ago, then look no further. L.A. Guns are back with a bang.