A mere two years after their comeback album “The missing peace” LA GUNS have returned with their latest studio offering “ The Devil You Know” with vocalist Phil Lewis and guitarist extraordinaire Tracii Guns keeping the flame burning bright with almost non stop touring and a creative surge of studio work, once again they have delivered another 11 tracks for this release.
With a count of 1,2,3,4 introducing opening number “RAGE” its a frantic punk like pace that oozes out the speakers and smacks you straight between the eyes and reminds the fans that the group have lost none of their pissed off venom as the years have passed. With this angst ridden nasty opener you get all the trademark LA GUNS,and they can be relied upon to deliver, from the catchy as hell chorus and Tracii Guns inventive guitar licks, and incendiary drumming swirling together to give a collective thumbs up and triumphant start to The Devil You Know.
“STAY AWAY” with its crunching guitar intro that you can feel in your stomach is less hectic than the opening number but contains all the sleazy swagger of yesteryear with Phil Lewis sounding just the way he use to in the bands hey day hitting the high notes like they are going out of fashion. When I saw the band live last year I was mesmerised and full of praise for Tracii Guns his guitar work was at times spellbinding and the solo on “STAY AWAY” takes me back to that night, sounding like a engine roaring it is just an amazing sexy wall of musicianship.
“LOADED BOMB” with its rattle snare introduction accompanied with a LED ZEPPELIN guitar riff is just damn rite filthy and is up there with any dirty sounding MOTLEY CRUE song you care to mention, with plenty of funk and rock mixed up with slide guitar this experimental track throws a curve ball into the mix before it all breaks down into a quiet section before kicking back in. I don’t think the group would
be offended if I was to say they were wearing some influences on their sleeves with the song but the most important thing is how they have kept it sounding so fresh.
Title track “THE DEVIL YOU KNOW” is very much a surprise with the tempo slowed down with a doom ridden crunchy pace with Phil Lewis adding his dark scary vocals, slowly the tempo starts to build with a clattering of metal percussion before that insane guitarist is allowed to reek havoc again, a very inventive song and way different from what you would expect LA GUNS to put their name too but yet again its place among the 11 tracks is very welcome indeed.
“GOING HIGH” with its smooth rock n roll classic style and some superb lead vocals stretching “Phil Lewis” to his very limit is a real gem and so far my favourite song from the album with so much aggression and anger that many bands half their age couldn’t hold a light to, in fact the pace of the song with it being mid tempo adds to the dramatics rather than it being heads down 100 MPH effort.
“GONE HONEY” and “DON’T NEED TO WIN” 2 songs back to back showcase vintage LA GUNS with the sleaze and the swagger and those tongue in cheek lyrics that we have all come to love, of course most importantly the good feel feeling that music can give the listener. Listening to this album its almost like the enjoyment has been released from the studio onto the album.
A nice drum introduction welcomes in “DOWN THAT HOLE” with more slide guitar and a flowing groove gets the juices in overdrive and before long you find yourself tapping a beat along with the song. Very simplistic and easy arrangement but mighty effective with its chorus that repeats itself and refuses to leave.
“ANOTHER SEASON IN HELL” wow what a way to finish the album proper, clocking in at 6 and a half minutes, with its soothing vocal/guitar intro you can feel it brooding and brewing into something
huge, a fantastic vocal performance with lyrics being sung with meaning and feeling it just draws the listener in, then a well crafted guitar solo that to these ears is just beautiful and echo the vocals perfectly. I don’t confess to be a massive LA GUNS fan but from what I have heard and seen from the group over the years “ANOTHER SEASON IN HELL” has to be one of the best things they have ever recorded a fantastic climax to a cracking album, from a artist that in 2019 that are still so relevant. Such a pleasure and a joy to review something so good.
Review by : Steve Bruty for metalplanetmusic