L.A. Guns - The Missing Peace

L.A. Guns The Missing Peace cover
L.A. Guns
The Missing Peace
Frontiers Music Srl
Well, L.A. Guns had more ups and downs and lineup changes, featuring some of their main proponents through the years. Early on (pre-debut) lineup included the core of people including Axl Rose that after merging with Hollywood Rose would turn into “Guns ‘N’ Roses” (and you can see here where that bunch got their name from).
They debuted and had considerable success with Girl’s Phil Lewis as a frontman, a bit later, sort of started disintegrating as the 90s proceeded featuring almost everyone in the greater LA on vocals, including a younger Ralph Saenz (aka Michael Starr of Steel Panther) in the later part of the 90s. Later there was much infighting over the name with both main “people” Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis touring with their own respective “versions” post millennially. All these years later – the two main guys seem to have reconciled and Phil joined Tracii’s version of the band, to “Reunite” under the L.A. Guns banner and release “The Missing Peace”, the first album to feature Phil Lewis on vocals in many a moon.
And it ain’t a bad album by any means… seems like when you put together some people sometimes, a special chemistry and mood can be reignited. Not always, but in a fair few cases… which L.A. Guns 2017 seems to fall under.
“It’s All the Same to Me” is a dirty rocker, with a great riff and Lewis showing he hasn’t missed a step since the old days… cool opener/single, I guess.
“Speed” is more sleazy and mid-tempo, with quite a sultry beat. Another great song that wouldn’t feel out-of-place in an Alice Cooper album.
“A Drop of Bleach” begins with massive attitude and riff – a bit like old school guns, before it withers out a bit to a somewhat weaker chorus than its very tight verses that prep you for something much better… it’s still quite pleasant though…
“Sticky Fingers” is another rocker that’s quite minor and like parts of “Speed”, did remind me of a less lingering and dramatic Vain, with a very inspired solo as well.
“Christine” is a sweet ballad that you sort of expected to popup at some point and it’s rather nice and effective, with a cool chorus.
“Baby Gotta Fever” is a lot more RnR and sleazy in a nifty cool way; sultry rock that pleases the soul and “Kill it or Die” is also groovy and sexy with some really edgy, screaming vocals from Lewis that make it oh, so cool.
The ironically title “Don’t Bring a Knife to a Gunfight” feels as silly as the title suggests, but in a good way… you know, it’s a brag and the song is as pulsating with machismo as it should to not descent into self-parody, even if it flirts with that… but a neat solo takes the focus off that and before you know it it’s over. Bang.
“The Devil Made Me Do It” has quite the grove and Lewis spitting out some ultra-sharp verses… in a very excitable way and keeping up with the theme of “obvious” and somewhat “silly” titles, we’ve got.
“The Flood’s the Fault of the Rain” is a power ballad, strongly reminiscent of Alice Cooper as is “The Missing Peace”, the next song, which follows a same format, but is “darker” in its themes and mood.
“Gave It all Away” is one of the most passionate songs on the album; heck, you got to experience it, listen to it and it’s highly unlikely that it will not get you… if you got any feelings; probably one of the best if not the best songs on the album and Guns lays down a truly spectacular series of solos on this one, before its finale and the normal albums conclusion, since there is also an acoustic rendition of “Christine” that feels quite different compared to the original and not a “filler” as in many cases these things tend to be. I tend to like this stripped down version of “Christine” a bit better than the original.
I must admit I didn’t expect to like the album as much as I did, as it manages to recapture a lot of the “past” but also offer some songs that feel deeper and more mature at the same time; both Lewis and Guns shine respectively when it comes to their performances as does the rest of the band. The sound is just as it should be and… damn… give the album a spin, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.