Thursday, March 14, 2019

LA Guns : "the Devil You Know"

12 albums later the band survived the 90s so they are not going to be giving up any time soon. I think the fact that they had more of a metal edge than their peers all along helps with this.  The opener sounds like they are clocking in on their heavier , where "Stay Away", does a better job of that . The vocals are way up front in the mix , while Phil sounds great for his age, I could use more guitar. The bass is lost and the drums patter in the background. It is clear these guys are aware it's 2019 and the world has moved past hair metal and now needs something heavier. They stay true to who they are and deliver this on the title track.It's not that they are trying to be Five Finger Death Punch in an attempt to do this. It still sounds like LA Guns.  Their is more of a Guns and Roses feel to "Needle to the Bone". I could also hear this song on the first Motley Crue album, though it's less metal and has more of a bluesy sleaze.

There is more of the metallic great that the title track had on "Going High" . There is more of a rock swagger to "Gone Honey".  Warmer and more organic, it's certainly not the most interesting song they have written , in fact it sounds like warmed over Cult with Lewis singing. The more uptempo "Don't Need to Win" is pretty much color by numbers middle of the road rock not unlike the previous song, though Lewis' voice carried more of a sharp barb to it making it very AC/DC. Despite the fact that it's a good song, "Down That Hole " reminds me of Stone Temple Pilots more middle of the road moments. The best song on every level is " Another Season In Hell". The guitar playing is great. Phil sounds at his peak. There is a ton of emotion and sonic layers. It's also one of the album's darker moments which I am sure sways me to some extent. I like the intensity the guitars are strummed with on the chorus. I suppose in some ways this is a power ballad.

The album ends on a playful almost punk note with "Boom". Punk has always been an influence on the dirtier side of glam rock. It's not the best song on the album. The way the gang vocals chime in might be a little too heavy handed, however over all the song works with what these guys do. I'll give this album an 8.5, it's pretty fun and easy to listen to. I liked "the Missing Peace" a little better , but this works as well and proves these guys are holding up better...musically than the bulk of their peers from these time. Yeah some of the guys in Skid Row or Motley Crue might look better, but these guys might have made their heaviest album yet, which is more than you can say for those bands.

No comments:

Post a Comment