It is a good thing that I don’t review CD’s after one listen. After I listened to L.A. Guns new CD, Hollywood Forever the first time, I didn’t like it very much. Maybe I expected this album to be another Cocked & Loaded, or maybe I was just too tired when I listened to it. Needless to say, my opinion has done a complete 180 since then, I can’t get this CD out of player. Hollywood Forever may not be Cocked & Loaded, but it is clearly their best album L.A. Guns have released since Hollywood Vampires.
L.A. Guns has managed to recapture their former sound and this is due mainly to the killer guitar work of Stacey Blades. . Hollywood Forever oozes that awesome 80′s sleazy sound, and that is due mainly to Stacey’s playing on this album.
L.A. Guns most powerful instrument has always been the voice of Phil Lewis. Phil proves that he still has one of the best voices in the business on Hollywood Forever.
The album starts off with the ripping title track “Hollywood Forever”. This is the way to start out a rock album. This heavy rocker could go down as one of L.A. Guns best yet.
The best songs on the album are ‘Hollywood Forever”, “You Better Not Love Me”, “Sweet Mystery” and “I Won’t Play”, but there are several more that will grow on you with every listen. “Eel Pie” is one of those tracks that I keep finding myself replaying. “Vine Street Shimmy” is another song that I keep gravitating too. I hope this one finds its way into L.A. Guns live set some time soon. This is a fun and upbeat rocker that L.A. Guns fans are going to love.
I thought the inclusion of the cover song Arana Negra was pretty clever, even though it is in Spanish. I understand the lyrics “Hola coma estas”, but my Spanish is pretty weak after that. It is a catchy song, even if I don’t know all of the words that Phil Lewis is singing.
Overall, this is a very strong effort from L.A. Guns, and one that every fan should pick up. I love this album, and I think you will too!
You can purchase Hollywood Forever from Amazon.com at this link. Don’t miss this!
Rating: Out of 10
01. Hollywood Forever
02. You Better Not Love Me
03. Eel Pie
04. Sweet Mystery
06. Vine St. Shimmy
07. Dirty Black Night
08. Underneath The Sun
10. Crazy Tango
11. Venus Bomb
12. I Won’t Play
13. Requiem (Hollywood Forever)
14. Arana Negra (Black Spider)
L.A. Guns are:
Phil Lewis – vocals
Stacey Blades – guitar
Scotty Griffin – bass
Steve Riley – drums
Kelly Nickels – bass and backing vocals
I have probably seen the Phil Lewis version of L.A. Guns more than any other band over the last four years. L.A. Guns is on the short list of bands (with Jetboy and Kix) that have played in every M3 Rock Festival. While their lineup has changed over the last couple of years, the one constant in L.A. Guns performance is that they always sound great. L.A. Guns set on Friday night was a short one. It was only 30 minutes long or so. It was not nearly enough tunes for my taste, but the band sounded great, and they blasted out a cool set list which featured the songs, “Slap In the Face”, “Sex Action”, “Never Enough”, ”My Koo Ka Choo”, “Wheels of Fire”, “Electric Gypsy”, and “The Ballad of Jayne”.
Scotty Griffin who rejoined the band earlier this year rounded out the L.A. Guns lineup which featured Phil Lewis on vocals, Steve Riley on Drums, and Stacey Blades on Guitar.
I am sure many will argue, L.A. Guns isn’t L.A. Guns without Tracii, and quite frankly it is an old argument that Stacey Blades puts to rest every time I see L.A. Guns play live. He does a great job on lead guitar, and the band sounds great live. That is all that matters to my ears.
The only thing I would have changed about this set was its length, and maybe the fishnet shirt that Phill Lewis performed in. That shirt isn’t really working for you anymore Phil! Just Sayin!
Check out the L.A. Guns Photo Gallery at this link.
These are just a few of the photo we took of L.A. Guns at M3. Enjoy!!
It is hard to believe that the M3 festival was over a week ago already. This week went so fast. One of the bands that I haven’t seen many folks talk about at M3 is L.A. Guns. L.A. Guns was the third band on the main stage at the M3 Rock Festival last weekend. I was looking forward to seeing them again. I knew that the band probably wouldn’t have any new tunes to offer live (they didn’t), but they always put on a pretty good set, and their M3 appearance was no exception. I have seen L.A. Guns at least once a year for the last four years, and they haven’t ever disappointed me. This is the band’s second appearance at M3, and first with new member, Kenny Kweens.
Kenny Kweens (ex. Beautiful Creatures) is the new bass player for L.A. Guns. I knew this guy was good, but was surprised to find that he actually added something to L.A Guns live show. Kweens is a talented player, and has a lot of energy on stage. He also has a very cool glam look that is a nice addition to the band.
It was extremely hot at the M3 Festival, and in the Pavillion area under the roof, it was even hotter. Phil Lewis came out with a long sleeve shirt and leather vest. Did someone not tell Phil it was hotter than hell in Maryland? He looked great, but I can’t even image how hot he had to be.
L.A. Guns set offered no real surprises in their set list, but they did put on a good show. I know the band gets a lot of crap with the constant feud with Tracii Guns, but honestly, I still believe that this is the one, and only version of L.A. Guns that you need to see live. Stacey Blades may not be as good as Tracii, but he does do a good job with the songs. Ironically, a tweet came over on Twitter from Tracii Guns, when L.A. Guns was on stage. Coincidence? I think not.
You can check out a couple of clips and pictures from the show below.
L.A. Guns Front man Phil Lewis posted the following update on the L.A. Guns blog:
Today (August 4th, 2009) marks the 20th anniversary of the release of L.A. Guns superb sophomore effort, Cocked & Loaded. To this listener Cocked & Loaded is easily the best release of L.A. Guns storied but troubled career.
I have listened to this CD countless times over the years, and it remains my defacto favorite from the L.A. Guns camp. Quite a bit of L.A. Guns live set comes from this disc including: “Rip & Tear”, “Sleazy Come Easy Go”, “Never Enough”, “Malaria”, and “The Ballad of Jayne”.
The great songs don’t end there. Cocked & Loaded dishes up a bunch of cool rockers including the kick ass opener, “Letting Go”, “17 Crash”,”Wheels of Fire” and “I Wanna Be Your Man”.
Phil Lewis has never sounded better than he did on Cocked & Loaded (although he still sings these song remarkably well today). Tracii Guns guitar work on this disc is just stupid good.
It is crazy to see what this band could do in their peak lineup. I doubt we will ever see the classic lineup of the band back together ever again. They are too busy squabbling over the L.A. Guns name instead of trying to show folks why they were one of the best bands on Sunset Strip, when they all played together.
At least we have Cocked & Loaded to keep the memories alive. This is as close to perfection as 80′s sleaze metal ever got to. A worth pick up for any hard rock fan! Highly Recommended!
You can grab dirt cheap copies of this CD at this link. It is worth every penny!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Letting Go
2. Slap In The Face
3. Rip And Tear
4. Sleazy Come Easy Go
5. Never Enough
7. The Ballad Of Jayne
9. Give A Little
10. I’m Addicted
11. 17 Crash
12. Showdown (Riot On Sunset)
13. Wheels Of Fire
14. I Wanna Be Your Man
L.A. Guns are:
Phil Lewis – lead vocals
Tracii Guns – lead guitar
Mick Cripps – rhythm guitar
Kelly Nickels – bass
Steve Riley – drums
Sooner or later, it will be time for one of the two L.A. Guns bands to take a stand, and fight for their name.
As you may or may not know, there are two L.A. Guns. One with Phil Lewis and drummer Steve Riley.
The second is with guitarist Tracii Guns, and singer Marty Casey (from the CBS show, Rockstar).
Recent footage turned up online with Marty Casey singing the L.A. Guns hit, The Ballad of Jayne.
This version is with Phil Lewis singing from a show I attended in the summer of 2007.
Steve Riley and Tracii Guns have a 50% ownership in the name, but in my opinion, only one band sounds 100% like L.A. Guns.
Which band deserves the name? You decide!
Tell us what you think!