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LA GUNS
MAN IN THE MOON

Spitfire Records
Produced by: LA Guns

Released: April 23 / Website
Closest Relative:
GENRE: Hard Rock
OVERALL: 80%

  1. Man In The Moon
  2. Beautiful
  3. Good Thing
  4. Spider's Web
  5. Don't Call Me Crazy
  6. Hypnotized
  7. Fast Talking Dream Dealer
  8. Out Of Sight
  9. Turn It Around
  10. Scream

The recent soap opera like goings on with LA Guns could have seen the band finished for good. I am more than pleased to see the mainly original line up back together, but call for it to be the exact original line up for the next album.
Steve Riley, Traci Guns, Phil Lewis are back, with Mick Cripps juts joining in time to lay down some keyboards for the album. Bass duties are covered by new guy Mark Dutton, formerly of Burning Tree.
The band have recaptured part of their classic sound, with parts of Man In The Moon sounding like excerpts from their debut album, Cocked & Loaded, Hollywood Vampires and maybe even a little from Vicious Circle.
But what is absent is some of the urgency and bite that Vicious Circle brought to us so well.
That album really had an attitude and this album, as welcome a return it is, still needs a little extra energy.
What might be to blame is the production. The production here is so much better than the band's last album without Phil Lewis, but still lacks the edge their previous albums had.
It could have been a little cleaner and it sounds like the guitars and energy of the album have been toned down a little too much.
Having said that, it's great to see the song writing returning to form. I hope the guys continue to play together and will record a new album feeling like a complete unit and a real band again. The guys certainly have the PR trail well alight, so I hope news of this album reaches the masses.
Man In The Moon certainly kicks things off in a positive way. It's not overly heavy, or in your face, but the rough guitar riff's of Tracii Guns are there and the trademark snarl of Phil Lewis is there, even if he doesn't sound like he want to bite the listeners head off anymore.
Beautiful may be a good track, but having this slower and more psychedelic pop rocker follow the more aggressive opening track slows the pace of the album down immediately. The track is a pleasant pop rock number that would previously have been an instant radio hit. It just might have worked better as track 3 or 4 and have a few tidy hard rockers open the album.
Good Thing changes style again. Darker and heavier and a little psychedelic again, the chorus lets the song down by being a little cheesy.
Spider's Web is much better. This is like the aggressive hard hitting LA Guns of old. It would have made a better track 2. Dark and heavy guitars and some tight Phil Lewis vocals sound much closer to the traditional style of the band. Cool track.
With it's intro, you think Don't Call Me Crazy is going to shred, but it is in fact a rock ballad in the vein only LA Guns do well. Slow, moody and mellow, building to a more hard rocking chorus and some pleading Lewis vocals. Old time fans will like this track.
Hypnotized is next up. And it's straight back to some hard rocking guitar driven psychedelic sleazy stuff indeed. It hasn't quite the vocal punch that it should, but Traci's guitars are almost enough on their own.
Fast Talking Dream Dealer continues fat fast riffing, fast talking rock n roll. This is another track that harks back to the band's early days and will again please long time fans.
Out Of Sight could have been lifted from Cocked And Loaded or Hollywood Vampires. It's a good song, but without a sting in it's tail.
Turn It Aroundis a cool number and something a little left of center for the band. It really hasn't got a big hook, but works well being an overly moody and dark pop ballad. Interesting track that works well.
Scream finishes the album as we would expect. Big guitars, fast uptempo beat and a more aggressive vocal from Phil Lewis, which is nice to see. A good song to end the album with and one of the better ones on the album.
BOTTOM LINE: It's been a long time coming since this almost original line up recorded and it's great to see them back. The album is good and will please many long time fans, but it could also have been a little better. The album has a couple of fillers on it, but is a great attempt to recapture a feeling many thought long gone. The album could have been a little tougher and had a more aggressive edge, but some of that studio magic might have been lost in the mix. Maybe next time around it will be just perfect.
PRODUCTION: 77% SONGS: 83% VIBE: 75%ATTITUDE: 85%
ESSENTIAL FOR: Most long time LA Guns fans and fans of Los Angeles era sleaze rock.
DISCOGRAPHY: LA Guns . Cocked And Loaded . Hollywood Vampires . Cuts . Vicious Circle . Shrinking Violet . Greatest Hits & Black Beauties . A Nite On The Strip . Man In The Moon



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