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L.A. Guns - Loud and Dangerous

By Debby Rao, Boston Contributor
Sunday, October 1, 2006 @ 8:31 AM


On Shrapnel Records

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Take a stroll down Sunset Strip, as "Loud and Dangerous" brings you back to a time on Sunset Strip when Metal ruled the world. LA Guns have just released a new live Cd, "Loud and Dangerous" that captures all of the intensity of their live sound. Infused with bit of retro, pop, glam-slam metal that has become La Guns Signature sound, "Loud and Dangerous" brings you back to a genre where music was fun and meant to be played loud.

The band that put the sleaze into Glam-rock is back on track, with their latest release that will make you think the 80's are still alive and well. Many LA Guns fans wondered what direction the band would take with the departure of Tracii Guns. "Tales from The Strip" featured the strength of the songwriting with the core of the band remaining including Phil Lewis on vocals, and Steve Riley on drums, plus new musicians Stacey Blades on guitar and Adam Hamilton on bass. If you had any doubts whether LA Guns could pull off the same raw, energized set that the fans have come to love, well doubt no more. "Loud and Dangerous" showcases the strength of the band in a real, unpretentious, live concert setting, The Whiskey. .

"Loud and Dangerous" recaptures the raw, hard-core punk sound that is prevalent at a LA Guns Concert. I recently asked Phil Lewis why the band chose to record the new live CD at The Whiskey and what was going through his mind at the time of the recording. Phil says, "The Whiskey for us, is like sacred grounds. It is something that we do, once one or twice a year. We take that place very seriously. We had a great crowd that night. It was amazing. I wish we could record every show that we play there.

To be honest with you, I didn't know we were going to be recording for the CD. I knew we were recording, but I didn't know the extent. I didn't know if it was just going to be a bootleg, I didn't know it was going to end up becoming a major release on Shrapnel. I was very laid back, I had a couple of bottle of wine, and I was a bit nippy that night. So unfortunately a lot of had to get cut out, it was a bit X-rated. They would have trouble putting it on the shelves of Wal-Mart. The left out some of my profanity, some of my stories. We have an unedited version floating about."

Opening with "No Mercy", Phil Lewis takes charge of the band, giving a performance that is energized and spontaneous. "Loud and Dangerous" contains many of the LA Guns favorites such as "Sex Action", in which the band puts the X back into Sex so to speak, with their relentless passion.

One of the interesting aspects after listening to this album is the wonderful job that Stacey Blades does in pulling off the signature Tracii Guns riffs. One of the main reasons, I was so drawn to the early LA Guns sound was Tracii's distinctive guitar style. I must admit Stacey has a style that is very modern, but at the same time very old school with underlying Ramones overtones. I asked Phil, how the new line-up of LA Guns compares to the original line-up. Phil says," You know is it like a different band, don't you think? When Stacey came along, it made a big difference to us; it gave us a lot of confidence. We started off with a cover record, to see how we recorded together, that sounded great. Then we went ahead, and did an original one. It is a different band. Steve and I are from all of the records really; it is classic LA Guns with a second wind. These younger guys, who are a generation younger that Steve and myself really give it a lot of fire and add a lot of fuel to it."

"Loud and Dangerous" captures you from the get co and holds your attention with catchy lyrics, and the snappy drumming of veteran LA Guns drummer Steve Riley. Steve never misses a beat, on the classic La Guns tunes such as "One More Reason" and Electric Gypsy". Another highlight is the remake of "Ballad Of Jane."" Phil Lewis really showcases his diversity as a singer on this song. "Rip and Tear" takes you band to the early beginning of "LA Guns" with its punk metal vibe.

One of the of highlights of "Loud and Dangerous" is that it contains 2 video clips from 2 new songs on "Tales From The Strip." The videos include, Hollywood is Burning", and "It Don't Mean Nothing." The concept of both Cd and video really gives the fans a new look at the re-birth of LA Guns. LA Guns have a new a whole new attitude with their current line-up, and the new enthusiasm of the band really shines on their latest release". It is refreshing to see 80's bands such as LA Guns stick to the pop metal Glam-sleaze style that they are known for and not try to re-invent themselves to fit in with the ever changing genres of music.

I also asked Phil how he came up with the title, and concept of "Loud and Dangerous". Phil says, "I am a big Thin Lizzy fan and they had a record, Live and Dangerous. I typed in "Loud and Dangerous" into a search to see if anyone had used it, and they hadn't, so I wanted that name. That is my finger and my guitar on the front cover with blood on it. That is the dangerous part to "Loud and Dangerous." The shot was taken from a show that we did in New York, a few months earlier. One of our fans took a picture, and just gave it to me one night at a gig, and I went wow that is fantastic. We will use it. It is a fan photo, and it ended up as the cover of the live CD, how great is that"?

"Loud and Dangerous" returns to time in music that was fun and uninhibited. There is no better way to reclaim your title as one of the first 80s bands that put Glam-Slam sleazy rock and roll on Sunset Strip, then to relive it all over again and recapture the moment live with this exciting new LA Guns line-up. . Who ever said rock and roll isn't better the second time around anyway? LA Guns prove that 80's metal is still alive and well on "Loud and Dangerous."

****


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