The La Guns are in the house and this time they look and sound happy as pigs in shit and that my friends is reflected in the music. Now I won’t ever shy away from letting people know how much I love hearing Phil Lewis sing and that goes way back when he was in Girl right through the mighty Torme and into LA Guns who for me were never really part of the heart of cock rock or hair metal although they’ve picked up the flag and ran with it through their career no doubt about it. The La Guns have always been a bit more than that. they always had a certain spirit about them for me that’s a flame that burns bright inside Mr. Lewis’ heart always has always will no doubt.
I wouldn’t want to speak for the band but when they did the cuts CD way back they opened up their heart and having Queen alongside Generation X and Hanoi Rocks confirmed for me that my judgment was right. I’ve not always loved everything they’ve done not at all but I’ve always been drawn back and like an old friend hoping that they still have that spark and can deliver and feeling smug when I can nod my head that the LA Guns are in the house and they’re as good as they ever were and that’s also better than most of their competition and pretty much all the so-called hair metal or cock rock bands. There was always something about seeing that logo that gets the blood pumping and with this being their 30th year together it feels like they have their mojo intact and are chomping at the bit playing constantly and honing their tunes to reach this point so as the metaphorical needle drops I get ready to dive head first into the new long player ‘ The Devil You Know’.
Kicking off with the lead track ‘Rage’ is everything you want to hear a great big dirty stinking riff that’s biting and snarling and sounds like a band that’s hungry as fuck! great vocal too. Woohoo! LA Guns are in the house boy! They weren’t joking when they said they were going to capture Zepplin and The Hellacopters in a bottle and shake it up.
The next few tracks are upbeat and varied just like LA Guns of old sure Tracii is playing like his life depends on it but it does sound like he’s playing off the rest of the band and the rhythm is solid and tight and on the grinding title track they have groove for sure. ‘Needle To The Bone’ has a great ‘guns melody and I’m a sucker for those gang vocals. ‘Going High’ is certainly in that Zepplin riff ballpark it sounds huge. ‘Gone Honey’ clocks in just under six minutes but takes the listener on an epic journey and I’m all ears as Lewis tells his story on top of some really cool riff-a-rama. More than a touch of old Alice Cooper here.
As we are flying through the albums eleven tracks I have to say that whilst it’s no bullshit Rock n Roll I’m loving it and it sounds fresh and there is a tonne of energy captured throughout the record. This album is coming out swinging and this is up there with their best – I kid you not. Without a ballad in sight, we reach the penultimate cut for something even remotely slow or balladlike although the title might give you a glimpse into how this is heading ‘Another Season In Hell’ is pissed off and spitting feathers along the same lines as ‘Over The Edge’ if you’re looking for a pointer, Lewis delivers a magnificent vocal and turns the clock back and shows his peers how to belt out a passionate vocal and then for Guns to set fire to his fretboard – was that really over six minutes long? an epic slice of driving hard rock n roll to end the album proper but wait they turn up the amps one more time and let rip with ‘Boom’.
To be fair I enjoyed that more than I thought I was going to and without the slightest hesitation I’d recommend it to anyone who ever bought an LA Guns record and thought their best was long behind them because this is right up there with the first couple. If this is Cock Rock then I’m fuckin’ having me some because maybe it is better ‘The Devil You Know’ if the devil you know is this good. Turn it up!
Buy ‘The Devil You Know’ :Here