L.A. Guns - Tales From The Strip - 2005 - Shrapnel Records
1. It Don't Mean Nothing 2. Electric Neon Sunset 3. Gypsy Soul 4. Original Sin 5. Vampire 6. Hollywood's Burning 7. 6.9 Earthshaker 8. Rox Baby Girl 9. Crazy Motorcycle 10. Skin 11. Shame 12. Resurrection 13. Amanecer 14. (Can't Give You) Anything Better Than Love
Recently I was out at Best Buy shopping for some AC/DC reissues (those pretty digipaks that are floating around the $9.99 mark) and I stumbled on a brand new L.A. Guns release. After quickly shoving this aside thinking it was a live album, the upper right hand sticker caught my eye. It said 14 brand new studio tracks. Being the big 'Guns fan that I am, I had no clue that this record was in the works. So there you have it, your beloved metal scribe has dropped the ball. A new record crept up on me and I had no idea that it even existed. So let me proceed with the telling of this Sunset Strip tale.
The band pretty much put out THE comeback album in 2002 with "Waking The Dead", a phenomenal blockbuster rock album that rumbled and tumbled into my headset just about every week for about 65 weeks in a row (if I'm lying I'm dying). With that release gaining absolutely no press whatsoever, I just about put my final nail in the 'Guns coffin. But that digging has started yet, with plenty of rock never stops attitude brewing from this tap. Yes, Phil Lewis and the boys are back in business, rolling through fourteen cuts of fine tuned hard rock sleaze with "Tales From The Strip". This is the goods ladies and gentlemen. Right here, right now, L.A. Guns stepping up in a big way with this mammoth rock and roll slab, a mighty middle finger lifted high to the suits and ties that demand good sleaze rock die, die, die.
The lineup is pretty much intact other than the disappearance once again of famed guitarist Traci Guns. His replacement is ex-Pretty Boy Floyd henchman Stacey Blades, who cranks up the amps to deliver some excellent chops and hooks, all done in that down 'n dirty blues style made famous by the band to begin with. Long term fans of the group will find plenty to like about "Hollywood's Burning", "Shame", and "Gypsy Soul". The group offer up two delightful ballads here, one being the catchy "Electric Neon Sunset" and the other being the soul stirring, introspective piece "Vampire". Those of you looking for more punk flavored dishes will enjoy the frantic "Crazy Motorcycle" as well as the street grime of "Rox Baby Girl". My personal favorites are the new wave flavor of "Original Sin", the fully charged "Resurrection", and the perfect trashy opener "It Don't Mean Nothing".
Bottom Line - "Tales From The Strip" is a rousing, fired up frenzy that is fun and enjoyable from beginning to end. This band never ceases to amaze me and once again they have delivered the BEST rock album of 2005!
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details