L.A. Guns - “The Devil You Know” [Album Review]

- Mar 29, 2019 at 05:01PM
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When L.A. Guns dropped its eponymous 1988 debut record, it became clear in short order that the brash young Hollywood-based band oozed what many of their contemporaries lacked — dirty, street-smart authenticity. Buzzing with brazen urgency, the gold-selling set featured such noteworthy, penicillin-charged staples as “Sex Action,” “Electric Gypsy” and “Hollywood Tease.”

Fueled by the guitar-driven essentials, “Rip and Tear,” “I Wanna Be Your Man,” “Never Enough” and the Top 40 sensation, “The Ballad of Jayne,” the band's 1989 sophomore effort, Cocked & Loaded also achieved gold status, further cementing the combo’s cred as a formidable up-and-coming force. Record #3, Hollywood Vampires, featured the high-octane tracks “Some Lie 4 Love,” “Over the Edge” and “It’s Over Now” — catching fire in the summer of ‘91 — just before the bottom dropped out of the arena rock market.

Since those initial glory days, the L.A. Guns story has been muddied by confusing stylistic overhauls, revolving door lineups, and (now) various splintered incarnations — each claiming to be the genuine article. However, in 2016, founding guitarist, Tracii Guns reunited with classic lineup frontman, Phil Lewis — and in 2017, the Guns N’ Lewis configuration released the acclaimed comeback album, The Missing Peace.

These are the weapons of mass rock destruction that currently comprise the L.A. Guns.


Less than a year and half later, L.A. Guns is serving up its latest, The Devil You Know — an impressive 11-song collection that possesses the band’s signature-style nuts and guts, while also providing a few surprises.

Kicking off with a mighty triple threat — “Rage,” “Stay Away” and “Loaded Bomb” are straight-up legit re-enactments of the band’s most celebrated, hard-hitting early tracks, while the infectious, pop-flavored “Gone Honey” also makes for another of the record’s more irresistible highlights. But it’s the the slow chug of the “Sweet Leaf”-inspired title track and the Song Remains the Same-style “Another Season in Hell” that just might hit ya the hardest.

In sum, for those who still crave the classic street sounds of the beloved, golden L.A. rock scene, The Devil You Know will likely be a 2019 must-have treasure.

Not sure about you, but this song makes us want to “Rage”!


The Devil You Know Track Listing:

01 Rage - 4:00
02 Stay Away - 4:02
03 Loaded Bomb - 4:50
04 The Devil You Know - 5:20
05 Needle To The Bone - 4:02
06 Going High - 4:27
07 Gone Honey - 5:45
08 Don't Need To Win - 4:06
09 Down That Hole - 4:31
10 Another Season In Hell - 6:22
11 Boom (Bonus Track) - 3:15

Run Time: 50:40
Release Date: March 29, 2019
Record Label: Frontiers Music s.r.l.
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