Album Reviews
Band: L.A. Guns

Title: Devil You Know

Label: Frontiers Music Srl

 

L.A. Guns has been rockin' across the world for over 30 years and over that time the band has seen many, many line-up changes and at various points we had two versions of L.A. Guns.  These days we have the two main forces behind L.A. Guns, vocalist Phil Lewis and guitarist Tracii Guns, along with Johnny Martin on bass, Shane Fitzgibbon on drums and Ace Von Johnson on rhythm guitar.  Together they have put their creative talents together and made "The Devil You Know", the twelfth album in the LA Guns arsenal.

The album opens with "Rage", a punk-infused ditty that wouldn't sound out of place on a Ramones or Damned album, the band showing their early influences.

"Stay Away" has a more early LA Guns feel to it, albeit with heavier guitars, Tracii Guns is a very under-rated guitar player as he shreds like an 18 yr old on here!!!. A catchy chorus and gritty guitars keep this song chugging along.

Next up is "Loaded Bomb" a fast-paced, sleazy tune, with some of Phil Lewis intense vocals, when he's on form he's a force to be reckoned with. Tracii once again shows his guitar prowess with some tasty slide guitar. Probably my fave track on the album!!

Title track "Devil You Know" is a heavy, doom-filled tune, very reminiscent of Black Sabbath ... yes I did reference Sabbath in an LA Guns review!!!!, but LA Guns put their own style on this track.  "Needle To The Bone" is a sleazy, pop-rock fuelled tune, in the vein of Kiss/Cheap Trick.

This leads us into "Going High", a diverse mid-tempo rocker with a contemporary feel and some great vocals from Phil Lewis.   As "Gone Honey" starts I thought we were gonna get BOC's Don't Fear The Reaper, as Tracii shows us his diverse guitar influences. The whole song has a bit of an indie feel about it but a Sunset Strip indie band LOL!!!!

Then we're onto "Don't Need To Win", imagine AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, and Cold Chisel having a jam in a bar on Sunset Strip, a punchy rocker made for the stage.   "Down That Hole" is another sounding indie tune with a trippy feel. Showing LA Guns are stretching themselves musically.

Penultimate track "Another Season In Hell", a slow burner of a number, with Tracii wringing out his best Jimmy Page riffs. Phil Lewis soars on this one and Tracii lets loose on a blistering solo.   Bonus track and closer on the album "Boom" is as close to anything you heard on the first three LA Guns albums, a sleazy, rock n' roller that takes the listener back to the fun-filled days of seein' bands kick ass live.

LA Guns have been reinvigorated since Phil and Tracii got back together, both seem to enjoying making music together again and the live shows have been explosive and probably helped bring a cohesiveness to the band that has been missing. I've said it many times but Tracii Guns is a very, very under-rated guitarist, with a wide range of influences and isn't ashamed to show this on here.

 

Review by: Dave Brass

 

Tracklisting:

1.  Rage 
2.  Stay Away
3.  Loaded Bomb
4.  Devil You Know
5.  Needle To The Bone
6.  Going High
7.  Gone Honey
8.  Don't Need To Win
9.  Down That Hole
10. Another Season in Hell 
11. Boom

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