March 25, 2019 L.A. Guns – The Devil You Know (Album Review)
Representing gritty 1980s Rock-n-Roll rebellion, L.A. Guns – Phil Lewis (vocals), Tracii Guns (lead guitar), Ace Von Johnson (rhythm guitar), and Johnny Martin (bass) – will drop their new album, The Devil You Know, on Friday, March 29, 2019 via Frontiers Music S.R.L.
Birthed from the original California Hard Rock circuit, the name L.A. Guns has been synonymous with fast, dirty, Punk Rock inspired, Rock-n-Roll excess, that just wants to make your ears bleed. Time and again, L.A. Guns have released album upon album of ripping music where nearly every song is great and should be blared from car speakers. Though L.A. Guns have seen their share of lineup changes, including the most recent, Scot Coogan (Ace Frehley, Lita Ford) taking over for Shane Thomas Fitzgibbon who amicably parted ways with L.A. Guns to pursue an exciting career opportunity. All that said, the current incarnation of the band is as tenacious and united as ever.
Back in the saddle, L.A. Guns have been recording and touring like madmen ever since Lewis and Guns reunited in 2017, seeing the band return to proper form with their two most classic members. In fact, barely a year and a half has past since L.A. Guns dropped their last album, The Missing Peace, back in October 2017. More proof Rock is not dead, The Missing Peace debuted at No. 16 on the U.S. Billboard Top Hard Rock Albums Chart. Not looking to waste any time, L.A. Guns have been on a tear ever since and could not wait to drop this brand new LP with The Devil You Know.
Striking while the iron is hot, L.A. Guns are building on the momentum from The Missing Peace by offering The Devil You Know, a collection of eleven new tracks with influences shifting from the sounds of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Kyuss, and The Hellacopters. Getting right into it, The Devil You Know begins with the raunchy Punk Rock tune “Rage” followed by the hooky and sharp “Stay Away.” From the start, it is evident that Lewis has not lost a ounce of his remarkable vocal ability.
Some noteworthy material, L.A. Guns are not messing around, and the proof is in tracks like “The Devil You Know.” Covered in grim riffs, pretty much the first true Metal song by L.A. Guns, it is a fine way to unearth a new side to these Rock soldiers. Thereafter, The Devil You Know picks up steam with the shock of “Needle To The Bone” and the heavy melody from “Going High.” Reminiscent of The Cult, “Gone Honey” gives way to the eclectic edge of the L.A. Guns sound. For fans of the track “Over the Edge,” off 1991’s Hollywood Vampires, “Another Season In Hell” is a slow portrayal of passion and affliction offering an emotional tirade of guitar. Lastly, a bonus track, “Boom” closes out The Devil You Know the only way L.A. Guns can – with an onslaught of Rock-n-Roll.
Not slowing down, L.A.Guns’ don’t give a damn attitude is in full swing on The Devil You Know, delivering more balls out Rock licks spoken for by killer vocals that make a point. A band on a mission, L.A. Guns are in perfect form and sound fantastic. That being said, fans of L.A. Guns will want to get acquainted with The Devil You Know. For these reasons, Cryptic Rock gives The Devil You Know 4 out of 5 stars.