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L.A. Guns - The Missing Peace

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When members of what is considered the "classic" line-up of any band reunite, fans tend to look forward to live performances of the most popular songs more than they do the prospect of new material, but with L.A. Guns, the excitement over a new album seems to have been roughly equal to that of the touring. Founding guitarist Tracii Guns and popular singer Phil Lewis got back together in 2016 after Lewis quit the line-up of the band he'd been fronting with drummer Steve Riley for decades, and spent a lot of timing playing shows before tackling new songs. The album doesn't get off to the best of starts. Leading with a riff borrowed from Alice Cooper, All The Same To Me is just that, all the same. It's a fairly generic L.A. Guns track. This may well please fans who wanted exactly that from the band on their "comeback", but it doesn't scream "new", and really doesn't make the best use of the fact that Tracii Guns is back in the band, lacking much of what would normally be his distinctive sound. It also shows that they haven't managed to translate the refreshing heaviness of this line-up's live sound (which also includes Michael Grant, the lead guitarist from the Lewis/Riley band) to the record. Speed improves things slightly, but not much, and later both Baby Gotta Fever and Don't Bring A Knife To A Gunfight - which does at least contain one of the albums best guitar solos - are a fairly repetitive and uninteresting songs too. All of these songs are enjoyable rock songs, they're just not special. But there's gold here too. The chunkier A Drop of Bleach has much more bite to it, Kill Or Die has some of that groove older songs like Kiss My Love Goodbye enjoyed, and ballad Christine is classic L.A. Guns stuff with a magnificent melodies and finally some prime Guns lead guitar. The album then finishes exceptionally strongly. The Flood's The Fault of The Rain is one of their best power ballads for years, the rising title track is just an outstanding piece of hard rock, and the hints of Iron Maiden help to build up Gave It All Away to a fitting end. Overall, this is a strong L.A. Guns album. It's not the great album it could have been, but it is a good one, and it's been so long since the last one (the brilliant Hollywood Forever), any new L.A. Guns music is welcome.

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2017, Albums, Hard/Heavy Rock, Quickplay Reviews, , ,

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