LA Guns

Hollywood Forever

Written by: IM on 27/07/2013 18:01:49

LA Guns could be deemed quite a confusing band. Despite being formed in its first incarnation by Traci Guns in LA in 1983, they disbanded in 1985, following a merger with Hollywood Rose. After an incredibly complicated lineup change, with artists from bands such as Faster Pussycat and W.A.S.P coming and going, Phil Lewis now stands as the current vocalist. Original vocalist Traci Guns had another go at reforming/making his own version of the band, but got distracted by Nikki Sixx and Brides of Destruction. Just to make sure fans pay attention to which band they are listening to, both the Traci Guns and Phil Lewis bands, both called LA Guns continued to record until 2012, when Traci finally decided to pack it in.

The franchise of the band in question here, Phil Lewis’ group, has released “Hollywood Forever” following a continually high level of anticipation from fans for several years, having not released any material since 2005’s “Tales From The Ship”. Named after famous Hollywood celebrity haunt, or more precisely cemetery, “Hollywood Forever” is an enthusiastic, extravagant throwback to everything about 80s glam rock that fans of the genre love. With energetic, sleazy and aggressive vocals from British vocalist Lewis and a lot of traditional glam rock guitar twiddling, this release demonstrates that LA Guns have not let themselves go and given up whatsoever, unlike some of their counterparts.

An 80s glam rock bonanza, “Hollywood Forever” is definitely an album to write home about if you like big hair and men with women’s haircuts. Producer Andy Johns, who has worked with acclaimed artists such as Free, Van Halen, Cinderella and Joe Satriani, has not done a bad job. There are certainly similarities with fellow glam rockers Cinderella, in the style and format of the tracks, but if this is the genre for you, it’s most definitely not a criticism. “Hollywood Forever” has been critically acclaimed so far, with Stacey Blades being praised for his ‘fantastic solos and memorable riffs.’

Kicking off with title track “Hollywood Forever,” which some have compared to the material on “Hollywood Vampires,” it is immediately evidenced that the style of the album is in keeping with LA Guns’ previous work to date. The energy immediately sets the tone for a good piss up on the Sunset Strip. Despite the popular 80s style of music, the track manages to sound current, with more of a hard rock element and the sort of riffs which are more prominent on todays modern glam rock bands’ records. “You Better Not Love Me” starts with a moody intro, followed by rather pensive and reflective sounding vocals from Lewis, showcasing his range in styles. A very catchy chorus follows, making this a sound track. The bluesy guitars in the opening to “Sweet Mystery” are worth a listen, whilst Lewis’ signing provides a real 80s retro feel here. Amusingly titled “Bum” is a moody glam rock track, with a chorus that will have aspiring glam rockers reaching for their hairbrush, ready to sing along. With angsty riffs, “Dirty Black Night” provides an aggressive tune, an excellent backcombing soundtrack, however, the album slows down for the more melancholy “Underneath the Sun” and “Queenie” is more in keeping with the jaunty glam rock style and will have fans running for The Whiskey within seconds.

“Arana Negra,” a cover of psychedelic rock band Bicicletas’ track, provides an interesting sounding conclusion to what is overall, a very solid release, which any lovers of the 80s glam rock movement will be so delighted to hear, that it may prompt them to run to their nearest hairdresser in search of a Motley Crue mullet haircut. It will be great news for LA Guns fans everywhere that unlike Traci Guns, Phil Lewis’ band have not decided to throw in the leather trousers and call it a day just yet.


Download: Hollywood Forever, You Better Not Love Me, Dirty Black Night
For The Fans Of: Cinderella, New York Dolls, Hanoi Rocks

Release Date 05.06.2013
Cleopatra Records

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