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!!
During the late 90’s, the L.A. Guns were in a constant state of change. When Phil Lewis refused to reunite with L.A. Guns, the band employed the help of current Steel Panther front man Ralph Saenz (aka Michael Starr). This little known EP features four new songs, a redo of the L.A. Guns hit, “Ballad of Jayne”, and a cover of the KISS classic, “Cold Gin”.
I have mixed feelings about this EP. For me, Phil Lewis is THE VOICE of L.A. Guns. End of story. In the years when Phil wasn’t singing in the band, L.A. Guns tried several singers, but none ever really lived up to Phil Lewis. With that being said, Ralph Saenz sounds pretty good on this EP. None of the songs on this CD are earth shattering, but it is still interesting to hear Tracii Guns play with Saenz on vocals. Tracii’s guitar work is great as always. He especially shines on the song, “Forgiving Eyes”.
The band’s redone version of “Ballad of Jayne” is a lot better than I expected it to be. It sounds like Tracii tuned his guitar down a little for this version of song. This version is slightly different, but cool nonetheless. Saenz does a pretty good job on the vocals on this L.A. Guns classic.
The cover of the Kiss song “Cold Gin” is better than I expected it to be. Saenz cuts loose with some 80’s hard rock screams on this song. Instead of trying to do a Gene Simmons impersonation, he adds his own flair to this cover.
This CD is out of print and very hard to find. I wouldn’t consider Wasted essential, but it is an in interesting glimpse into the history of L.A. Guns. This CD is probably for Die hard L.A. Guns fans only!
Rating: Out of 10
2. Well Spent
3. Heavy Head
4. Forgiving Eyes
5. Jayne 98
6. Cold Gin
L.A. Guns is:
Ralph Saenz – vocals
Tracii Guns – guitars and vocals
Johnny Crypt – bass and vocals
Steve Riley – drums
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
L.A. Guns brought their 20th Anniversary Tour to The Blue Note in Cincinnati, Ohio last Thursday Night. A couple of bands Session 9, and A Nervous Wreck opened the show, and got the crowd revved for Phil Lewis and company. This night started to look as if it was going to be the third live music debacle of 2008. The band Z02 were supposed to open for L.A. Guns, but cancelled the day before the show. I was looking forward to seeing this band play live for weeks, so their cancellation came as a disappointment. This was the only thing disppapointing on Thursday Night.
L.A. Guns, featuring Phil Lewis on vocals, Stacey Blades on guitar, Scott Griffin on bass, and Steve Riley on drums, hit the stage at around 11 P.M. and played for a little over an hour. The set contained most of the band’s hits including: Sex Action, Over the Edge, One More Reason, Never Enough, Kiss My Love Goodbye, The Ballad of Jayne, Rip and Tear, Hellraiser’s Ball, and Gypsy Soul.
It was an extremely tight set, and the band seemed to be in top form all night. This is the second time I have seen L.A. Guns over the last few months (you can read about the first show here), but it was definitely the best out of the two shows I have seen.
Phil Lewis still sounds as good as he did 20 years ago. Stacey Blades is an outstanding guitar player. As a whole, L.A Guns still rocks and does it well! The Phil Lewis led L.A. Guns continues to prove that their is only one band that deserves to use the L.A. Guns name. The best one played in Cincinnati Thursday night. The 150 – 200 people that were there for the show, saw a very good night of rock. The turn out for this show was exceptional for a bitter cold Thursday night.
Special thanks to J.T. from Class X Radio for the ticket for this show, and to Paul at TransFusion Productions for bringing L.A. Guns back to the Queen City.
The following videos were below were taken at the show! Enjoy!