LA Guns, The Missing Piece
LA Guns are back and with the combined forces of Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis they have tapped right back into the spirit of the first album, high octane headlong rock n roll with sufficient rough and tuff attitude to give it an attractive and dangerous edge.
First track we should mention is single ‘Speed’ with the same driving urgency of ’One More Reason’ it’s frenetic and just what you wanna put on before a night out to the sleaziest rock club to get you in the mood and that’s an ultimate measure of whether something has legs, in my collection at least. ‘Guitar, guitar, guitar’ – there’s no doubt that Tracii Guns pays his way in this gang with an almost classical phrasing, but far more plugged into the crotch that anything Yngwie might do it’s designed to hit the right spot mainline. That backbone riff is only exceeded on the album by the seismic riff of Sticky Fingers and with the vocal of that track mirroring the introductory riff it’s a sequence that burns into the memory like a flamethrower.
Phil brings to the party attitude and the cocksure authenticity of an old Skool rockstar that’s seen and done it all. Self doubt it not in his dictionary and those tired of the legacy of the tortured 90s will lap it up in spades. With roots from a different era this is everything a longtime fan of LA Guns has been praying for at the altar of the profane. Phil brings street alley cat-cool and style that you just can’t buy.
But it’s not all nuclear explosions and the sniff of soho back alleys. The ballad ‘Christine’, a love song, is the Sunday morning version of LA Guns, but it’s no less infectious and contains a nice low key effortless guitar solo which reflects the professional that knows what fits a song well and that a little bit of contrast only sets off all material concerned to advantage. Fans of ‘Ballad of Jayne’ will get a new favourite. ‘Baby Got Fever’ and ‘Don’t ring a Gun to a Knife Fight’ have more rock n roll style guitar. ‘The Floods the Fault of the Rain’ has more of a New Orluns bluesy swing. Co written by former band mate Kenny Kweens “Devil Made Me Do It’ has a tinge of punk and title track ‘Missing Peace’ and closer ‘Gave It All Away’ have more of a slow burn.
By getting back together Tracii and Phil have managed to relight the flame of the old days. Genuine excitement and vibrancy throbs throughout this album. Just another living proof that when he says ‘Rock is Dead’ Gene Simmons just couldn’t be further from the truth.