I thought long and hard how to start this review as this really is an unfortunate situation for those of us who have liked L.A. Guns throughout the years. I added the * to the name here as I really don’t consider this L.A. Guns. The legal system can work out who owns the name, and I understand the line-up changes throughout the years as I remained a fan throughout them. When L.A. Guns released their debut self-titled album many years ago, I became a fan and loved the record more than Appetite by that “other” Guns band at the time. The band never shied away from trying new things over the years, and things really did not go sideways until after the release of ‘Vicious Circle.’ Records like ‘American Hardcore’ and ‘Shrinking Violet’ really served as a band trying to find their way through a musical world that had completely changed and took recording budgets and major labels with them. I cannot tell you the last time I listened to either album outside of a song or two. ‘Man in the Moon’ started to right the ship and found Phil Lewis singing again. The band then released the very good ‘Waking the Dead’ which I continue to play quite a bit. Of course, this is L.A. Guns so all kinds of line-up shuffles took place over the years with there not being one constant member throughout everything. Lewis and Tracii Guns though are who I think of when I think of L.A. Guns. When I found out that Steve Riley and Kelly Nickels were going to perform under this band name, all I could do was shake my head and wish they would have named it something different. With Guns and Lewis already recording and touring together again as L.A. Guns, this just seemed pointless, especially since those new L.A. Guns records have been very good. Alas, I am here with ‘Renegades’ and dealing with the dilemma of treating this like a brand new band or in the shadow of L.A. Guns. Does it matter at the end of the day? Perhaps, it doesn’t because every album should be judged on its own merits, but the past is always there too. I will also add that I really had no intention of ever listening to this record because it is “not” L. A. Guns. I wanted to at least acknowledge that bias on my part because, as it turns out, I would have missed out on a record I enjoy.

 

I hate starting out with something that works against the band and album, but one of the items that hinders them is starting with a song that has more of a L.A. Guns feel without that extra spark to make it a special song. By now, many people have heard the song in question- ‘Crawl.’ I don’t mind Kurt Frohlich’s vocal here, but my gut tells me I should be hearing Lewis whose voice is L.A. Guns in my book. Nickels though has written a song that really taps into the L.A. Guns spirit. It has grown on me with multiple listens but goes back to trying to treat this album in a vacuum. The album kind of stays in the traditional hard rock mode with ‘Why Ask Why.’ It faired better on my first listens because it felt more like its own thing, and I really like the guitar work by Scott Griffin and Frohlich here. It helps change the tone of the album with ‘Well Oiled Machine’ feeling more like a L.A. Guns rocker. This song has been another grower for me. Frohlich does not have a wide vocal range, but his vocals work with the music which is what is ultimately important. I have no doubt that Riley and Nickels are enjoying themselves as the rhythm section is a great team with plenty of experience working together.

 

Next though is when the band really starts to find its stride with ‘Lost Boys’ mixing things up as a mellower rocker in the verses before kicking it up a gear for the pre-chorus and a cool singalong chorus. The guys have crafted a great song here with Frohlich delivering an excellent vocal. Griffin delivers a solid solo as well. This is also the longest song on the album but seems to go by in a blur. ‘You Can’t Walk Away’ then comes in as a soft rocker with the band going for some big backing vocals more in line with the likes of music from 60 years ago. This was where the band tightened their grip on me during my first listens. In the past, lighters would be swaying in the air during this one throughout the chorus… Back when we had live music… It closes the first half of the record in style.

 

Starting the back half, the guys maintain their momentum with the hard rocking ‘Witchcraft’ being another highlight from the album. This currently stands as my favorite from the album with the band combining perfectly on every level. The chorus is addictive and completely different from what they have done elsewhere with great work by Frohlich. Riley and Nickels push the rhythm in some excellent ways with Griffin adding some brilliant guitar. This would have been my first single from the album. ‘All That You Are’ continues the hard rocking and keeps the body moving to the music. The beat by Riley and Nickels gets props again with Frohlich delivering another really good performance and using some different techniques throughout the song. The band then go acoustic with ‘Would’ which gives the album a different texture. This feels more like a 70’s hard rock ballad. It is definitely not my favorite from the album, but it is also not one that I am going to skip when the record is playing. I think Frohlich is better served with the other songs here though as this one kind of swallows him in my opinion.

As we reach the end of the record, we are greeted with the title track which gets us back to a hard rock tempo with some guitar accents dancing around the beat. The chorus here doesn’t hit the mark for me, and I think the band could have delivered some backing vocals around Frohlich to help him. Wrapping up the album is ‘Don’t Wanna Know’ where the band strut to a hard rocking blues beat that ends the album on a good note. Vocals here fit like a glove as they feel down and dirty. Griffin lets loose with some classic rock n roll guitar notes. In some ways, the comparison that comes to mind here would be Tora Tora. It ends the record each time with a favorable impression.

As I said at the beginning, the context of this album presents some challenges, and I never intended to give it a listen. That would have clearly been a mistake, and I think fans of the genre will find an album they enjoy. They have some definite bumps in the road, but I do enjoy the album overall. Production wise, it is pretty raw which helps at times but also serves to the detriment of the title track where I think some finesse and added elements would have really helped. I am not changing the * beside the name as I really don’t see them as L.A. Guns. I see them as a band of experienced musicians though who are having fun, and we get a good record in the process.

‘Renegades’ is out November 13th.

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Author: Gerald Stansbury

 

 

In these strange times you can always rely on the RPM singles club to come up with a full basket of tasty Easter treats from the 7″ department of some of the best independent labels (and some major ones too) We have a slimmed download this month for obvious reasons but a pandemic won’t stop the rock, no sir. Let me introduce some of our picks from recent releases and ones about to come out from New York to Europe and everywhere in between check out these pretty pieces of plastic that came our way…

Watts – ‘Seventeen’ (Rum Bar Records) You want Rock and Roll in these tough times? sure you do what about FREE Rock and Roll? Hell Yeah! Well, hit up the link and download yourself some stonking foot-stomping bullshit-free Rock and Roll courtesy of those dudes Watts and rum Bar Records. It’s got keif Richards riff-a-rama on the guitar and those rasping hard-living vocals wrapped around a shitgrinning rocker get on it already.  ‘When The Party Ends’ is a more ‘morning after’ feel but it’s an absolute belter oozing Rock n Roll. Hit the link and grab it now and let the good times enter your life Here  Record of the week? Hell Yeah! not because it’s free but because it’s so damn good.  Watts and Rum Bar are a match made in heaven and this is as good as it gets, timeless and class.

 

Sin City – Hold On (self Release) Holed up in Alicante Spain Two Cavemen recorded a couple of bluesy American classics in the shape of ‘Hold On’ and ‘Broken Hearted Man’ obviously being quarantined has seen them open their beat-up soul.  Recorded with one mic, an acoustic guitar, an electric piano, a tambourine and whatever else they could find lying around the house. So plug it in, turn it up and let Sin City and their Mojo Machine get to work on ya! hit the link for the Bandcamp page Here Hell they’ve even worked out how to press record on their phone to shoot a video. It’s taken from a download album that’s rather tasty to be fair showing their not just drunken marauding animals who like fast n loose they can chill out and plonk da blues. Check it out Here

 

 

 

The Dollyrots – ‘Make Me Hot’ (Wicked Cool Records)  With a cracking chorus The Dollyrots have got themselves a banger of a seven inch single.  ‘Make Me Hot’ is a blast of power pop that should be heard across the globe this summer blazing from radios everywhere.  flip it over for a rip ride cover of Lisa Loeb ‘Stay (I Miss You)’ in all its unashamed glory pop music rocked up. This will sell out no doubt as the band go from strength to strength with a hugely confident single.  Buy Here

 

 

 

Mickey Leigh – ‘It Felt Like Love’ (Wicked Cool Records) If you want a distraction from the global pandemic it seems Wicked Cool has happened upon one antidote for the self-isolation blues and that’s by releasing a bunch of wicked cool singles.  Mickey Leigh being one such 45.  If your wondering who is he well, let me introduce you to Joey Ramones brother who has a wonderful slice of rock and roll with the A-side that reminds me of Stiv Bators solo era. A wonderful track that has a great hook on the chorus as the song just chugs along effortlessly. Keep digging though because the B Side is a real vibrant cracker ‘Trouble Man’ motors along.  His brother would be proud of these tunes and the playing is fitting and really impressive, I like this a lot.  Buy Here

 

Primo! – ‘Machine’ (Anti-Fade & Upset The Rhythm) Jangly Power Pop courtesy of Melbournes Primo! lifted off their album ‘Songi’ which will be released later this month.  Check out their hotrod video now

Electric Frankenstein / Scumbag Millionaire (Ghost Highway Records) If ever there were two bands best suited to do a split single then these two would certainly be contenders. USA v Europe yet bonded by a love of loud guitars and some Garage Punk Rock n Roll attitude. EF contribute the riff-a-rama of ‘One Step Away’ with its bruising riff its classic EF then on the flipside you have the brutal and rapid riffs of Scumbag Millionaire ‘Strike Me Down’ its reminiscent of when Hellacopters broke onto the scene with the same vocal style and crash bang wallop of the verses colliding with the chorus and then smash – we’re into the soaring solo.  Winner by a country mile!

Buy Here

 

Twisted Wheel – ‘I Am Immune’ (The Orchard Music (on behalf of Independent) Taken from their brand new album ‘Satisfying The Ritual’ Your left in no doubt that this is a right banger folks. Check it out and pre-order the album Here why don’t you?

 

Bloodshot Bill – ‘Its The Out Of This World Sounds Of…Vol 2’ (Ghost Highway Records) 1950 rockabilly inspired rock and roll just like The Cramps used to mess with your brain and some. ‘It’s A..Aa,a.Aaaggghhh!’ B Movie rock n roll from Bloodshot Bill its certainly out there from another planet ‘Moon Rocketing’ then ’50 Megaton’ sparse and authentic but totally fucked up and wonderful. Then you have the acoustic ‘Be My Satellite’ sounds like it was recorded on moonshine round an old wireless in the woods.  Its got whistling n all so whats not to like.  this is what makes the wonderful world of Rock and Roll so entertaining. Facebook

 

 

The Dahlmanns / Tommy & The Rockets – ‘Scandinavian Affair’ (Beluga Records/Ghost Highway Records) Yes through times of adversity you can always rely on some people to keep the spirits high.  Another great team up in splitsville as One side is the Dahlmanns with the power-pop piano lead of ‘Part Girl’  it’s like an early ray of sunshine on a cloudy day.  Music that should be on the radio playlists everywhere but isn’t but don’t let that get you down just let this ray of sunshine into your life. Then you have Tommy & his rockts turning the amps up for another slice of power pop but from another angle.  ‘you Don’t Know What You Do’ again like The Dahlmanns they just ooze classy power pop and if you ever had a hankering for something pop but with guitars then Tommy & the gang are for you.  Pick it up from Beluga or Ghost Highway before they’re all gone. Buy Here 

 

The Cocktail Slippers – Nighttrain (Wicked Cool Records) Oslo Norway isn’t the place I thought would throw up some cool street power pop not a million miles from Blondie rockin out had you said Queens then I’d have assumed it present and correct.  Its got the swagger of the lower east side These ladies have got themselves a catchy glam rockin slice of power pop.Buy the track Here  / Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

Aborted Tortoise – Scale Model Subsistence Vendor (Goodbye Boozy Records) 

Their new EP, ‘Scale Model Subsistence Vendor’, is one that backs this up once again. Arriving via cult-adored Italian punk label Goodbye Boozy Records, the EP brings together another four tunes bursting with energy. Moulding rock with heavy punk  It’s sharp and succinct, ‘Making A Mint’ is frantic and will get yer blood pumping then ‘Factory’ is more laid back (really? Laid back?) ok, its not so rapid on the verse and sounds like its hanging on by a thread as the guitars chop away its got Pavement meets the Dead Kennedys running through its blood stream but so much more going on besides.  Perth Australia has never sounded so inviting. Flip it over for the frantic ‘Violent Consumer’ before ‘Plastic Orgasm’ takes this EP home with its sharp romp to the finish line.  Aborted Tortoise make it sound easy but being this good isn’t easy.  Cracking EP from the artwork to the noise in the grooves buy it! . Bandcamp

Wyldlife -‘Automatic’ (Wicked Cool Records) I’ve not had the pleasure yet of hearing the new long player but have had a couple of glimpses through the window so to speak and of course I’ve loved what I’ve heard, why wouldn’t I?  I’ve always loved Wyldlife and on hearing the new single ‘Automatic’ I can fanboy swoon once again and tell everybody I know that the album is coming.  With the loud guitars and understated melody, it’s exactly what I wanted to hear in these dark times.  A band who are nailing it every time and this new Wicked Cool Record is going to blow away the opposition – great tune – simple buy it! Inspired by a mutual love of Jesus And Mary Chain with a friend this is Rock and Roll Year of the snake be damned it’s the year of Wyldlife get on it pop pickers it’ll brighten up your social isolation  Facebook

 

The BD3 – ‘Snowfake’ (Dischordia Records) Bradford ner do wells The BD3s have a double-sided single out and with the understated menace ‘Snowfake’ cruises along with a lovely slice of post-punk edge with a rasping buzzsaw guitar and spoken/chanted vocal jarring away its got some of the Fall happening its the audio equivalent of being poked in the chest and told whats what.  Much like Greater Manchesters Cabbage The BD3 have carved out their own niche and they sit comfortably in there or should that be uncomfortable?  the other tune on offer is the raging ‘Sypharus’ with a wicked riff and jarring lyrics its post punk for the 21st century and on this introduction, it sounds bloody good. Facebook

 

 

SHVPES – Lions Den (Spinefarm) Ahead of a decent UK tour and new record these rockers knock out another interesting video for ‘Lions Den’ Keep up to date Here

 

Tyla’s Dogs D’Amour – ‘Lightnin’ Bar Blues’ (King Outlaw Records) Tough times currently can be made easier by some sweet tunes and Tyla and his Dogs D’Amour have covered the classic Hanoi Rocks ‘Lightnin’ Bar Blues’ Tyla style.

Its all for a good cause don’t you know.  Get on over to the Bandcamp page and drop a virtual quid in the box and own this most wonderful take of a wonderful song. Originally Hanoi put the track on their ‘Oriental Beat’ album but this take on a classic is very different but totally Tyla (if you know what I mean).  Pour yourself some ripple wine and turn it up. You know it makes sense now what are you waiting for?  Fark Orf if you’d be so kind and click Here

 

L.A. Guns – ‘Crawl’ (Golden Robot Records) Having recently signed to Golden Robot Records part of the Golden Robot Global Entertainment Group, the legendary L.A. Guns are set to release their new single ‘Crawl’ on April 20th‘Crawl’ Pre-Order / pre-savehttps://smarturl.it/LAGuns-Crawl Not to be confused with the other band called L.A. Guns of course. Not really having a clue where I stand on this name game but as far as songs go this one is alright and sounds like you’d expect L.A. Guns to sound but don’t think its the Phil Lewis vocals because it’s not this one is Kurt Frohlich on vocals. With a very 80s sounding track ‘Crawl’ is turning back the clock for all you cock rockers. Facebook / Instagram / Label link

 

 

Johny Skullknuckles – This City (Self Release)  Free music? Johny Skullknuckles is giving away a tune? Today just got a lot better.  We love free music and we love Johny Skullknuckles and we love ‘This City’ as it drifts in on an acoustic strum and meanders toward the chorus with just a bass drum and occasional snare and acoustic (and a voice or two) Skullknuckles opens his heart about his town and how time moves on and places change and not always for the better.  Cheer up Johny you’ve still got yer memories and the ability to write proper rock and roll tunes keep it up and we look forward to your next offering already.  Get it Here kids you know it makes sense.

 

 

 

Brassick – ‘They Say’ (TNS Records) Brassick seem to have been around for an age and when they used to turn up and play Slugfest they always turned in a thoroughly convincing and passionate set and when I’ve seen them at Rebellion the same.  I did wonder what they would be like on record and don’t quite know how I managed to avoid it thus far and to be fair this is a belter.  You get taken on a roller coaster of a journey from the bass rumble that will loosen any fillings to the soaring chorus. To the Buy the track Here  ahead of the album release later this month.

Hooray for The L.A. Guns.  I was secretly hoping that someone would make a Christmas record and I wasn’t bothered if it was original or cover versions to be fair I just wanted it to be good and low and behold who steps up to the plate with an EP of Christmas themed bangers but my old muckers The L.A. Guns.  Now I raved about their new album (rightly so)  and I loved Cuts when they did that EP especially the Japanese version because it had more tracks and ones that should have been more widely available because they were so good.  Anyway I digress.  L.A. Guns whilst toured and seemed happy to be lumped in with a lot of absolute dross in the 80s and onwards and haven’t always made it easy to follow the band and what they were doing and to negotiate the often soap opera goings on with the bands personal but when they did settle down and let the music do the talking they were more than a step up from a lot of if not 99.9% of the hair metal tosh they were wrongly lumped in with. those early records were great and still sound great and when they went over the edge they twisted the melon and introduced a little Gothic flavour into the mix but they also always had taste outside america, maybe due to Phil and his previous workings but covering Generation X and the Damned always sounded fantastic to me and the versions they did showed they were people who got it and understood the task they were facing.  Lots of band fuck it up and miss the point so badly but not the Guns. So, Onto 2019 and this Christmas offering well, it might only be an EP of five tunes but one is a Ramones cover, a Slade cover and A Damned cover whilst for the opener they bring out William Shatner for a cover of the Billy Squire tune ‘The Bills/Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You’.

Now don’t snigger at the back this is serious. bloody brilliant having the Shats on the intro is classic.  All hail the L.A. Guns and Shats you guys nailed it. There are those who say you shouldn’t touch a classic especially one like Slades Merry Christmas Everybody’  but fuck it, they nailed it again and obviously Lewis is no Holder but they take on a beast of Christmas tunes and own it. ‘Dreidel’ lasts nine seconds what else can I say?  Now onto the highlight of the EP and the Damned  ‘(There Ain’t No) Sanity Clause’ and again they prove they just get it and a finer Christmas tune doesn’t exist so I’ll take this every day of the week.  Well done you lot. To finish it off the Ramones ‘Merry Christmas I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)’ is exactly what you’d expect of a Ramones cover of this nature.

 

That’s it in a nutshell an admirable effort that hits the spot and when anyone round my gaff asks for some Christmas tunes I know what I’ll be playing.  Same time next year boys?

Author: Dom Daley

This really is a huge one for the HRH family – the very best in sleaze rock all under one roof for a weekend of bands and booze over the 29th and 30th of August 2020

 

Tickets: Here

HRH Sleaze Cycle IV has gone into overdrive – we are bringing you one of the most exciting lineups ever, with bands from around the globe descending on The O2 Academy in Sheffield! Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis return to HRH Sleaze with the classic lineup of L.A. Guns – every time this iconic L.A. band hit the HRH stage we are treated to a masterclass in sleazy hard rock and Sleaze IV will be no different. Take a listen to their latest live album “Electric Gypsy Live” and you’ll soon hear why this legendary band are back to the very top of their game. https://youtu.be/hdpRskEqsgo

A firm favourite of the HRH family, former Hanoi Rocks frontman Michael Monroeimpressed everyone present at HRH AOR V with an incendiary performance that will be long remembered.  The latest single by Finland’s finest – “One Man Gang” – is testament to his seemingly un-faltering talent.

The HRH Family surely need no introduction to The Quireboys – suffice to say that their latest album, the critically acclaimed Amazing Disgrace, is making waves in the music world.  Spike, Guy and the gang are as busy – if not busier than they have ever been, with the quality of their recorded and live work still as vibrant and strong as it was back in 1990 when they took the world by storm with “A Bit of What You Fancy”.

Another welcome return to the HRH fold is the legendary Jizzy Pearl – one of the most recognisable voices in rock, he brings his Love/Hate to the O2 Academy Sheffield to treat us to classics from timeless albums such as Blackout in the Red Room and Wasted in America.

True veterans of the sleaze rock scene, Californians Jetboy were formed in 1983, and are in their second active spell having re-formed in 2006.  Their latest album – 2019’s Born to Fly – is a staple on Hard Rock Hell Radio and is the band’s first full album of brand new music since 1990.

Hollywood leather boyz Pretty Boy Floyd have been playing with their electric toyz since 1987 with just a 5-year break in the ‘90’s – and a minor spat in the 2000s.  Although they have only released 3 studio albums (the latest being 2017’s “Public Enemies”) the band are still very much active on the sleaze circuit playing iconic venues such as The Whisky and Rainbow Bar in Hollywood – the capital of sleaze.

Set to deliver a huge kick in the balls for HRH Sleaze IV next year will be Americans Kickin’ Valentina.  With ex-Jetboy singer D.K. Revelle now on board the band are going from strength to strength as one of the leading lights of the new wave of sleaze rock.

The quality of bands at HRH Sleaze IV is beyond compare – in addition to L.A. Guns, Michael Monroe, Jizzy Pearl’s Love/Hate, The Quireboys, Jetboy, Pretty Boy Floyd and Kickin’ Valentina we are stoked to announce a further 15 incredible bands:

Sweden’s Confess are making their HRH debut and we can’t wait – also hailing from Sweden are Pretty Wild as they continue their goal of taking over the world with their “in your face” live set, having just released their latest album “Interstate 13” this year.

Now based in L.A., Bullets and Octane have toured with the very best from Avenged Sevenfold to Stone Sour, releasing 6 albums in almost 20 years.

One of the most active bands on the UK sleaze rock circuit are Midnite City.  Formed by Tigertailz frontman Rob Wylde, the band are filling rock clubs around the country on a regular basis, and have just announced a tour of Japan.

Also joining us for HRH Sleaze IV are 3-piece The Spangles, featuring members of The Main Grains and The Idol Dead – they list cider as the band’s main interest, so that could get messy.  Self-proclaimed bastards of rock’n’roll, RanKelson are back after a 32-year break – and ready to carry on where they left off.  Circus Junkie Rebels make the short hop from Stoke, and Bare Knuckle Messiahs – led by former Tigertailz frontman Kim Hooker – make the trek from Wales.

Playing on their home turf at HRH Sleaze IV are Sheffield based Silverjet, while Londoners Paradise Alley have been active in one form or another since 1992.  Finland are represented by veterans Plastic Tears, formed in 1992 and making a rare UK appearance while Nottingham’s Todd Michaels and the Screamin’ Heartstake a short ride up the M1 to join us in Sheffield.

Last but not least, we welcome Southampton’s The Smokin Prophets, The Suicide Notes who describe themselves as the “illegitimate sons of punk and sleaze”, and hard rockers Liberty Slaves from nearby Huddersfield.

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