When you ask most people who they think the best hard rock band in the world is, most will say Guns N Roses and will reference songs like Welcome to the Jungle or Sweet Child O’ Mine but what if I was to tell you that there was a better band than guns n roses out there, that play the same style of rock, that are still touring to this day and are set to release a brand new album in October well there is such a band and they go by the name of L.A. Guns.
L.A. Guns for me is one of those bands that set the standard for what hard rock should be and continue to this day to keep real rock and roll alive. L.A. Guns formed from the ashes of Hollywood Rose the same band Axl Rose fronted before G’N’R. Hollywood Rose was formed in 1983 the members consisted of Axl Rose on vocals, Izzy Stradlin on rhythm guitar, Rob Gardner on drums and Tracii Guns on lead guitar. When Hollywood Rose ended Axl and Izzy went on to form G’N’R and Rob and Tracii teamed up with singer Phil Lewis and went on to form the mighty L.A. Guns .
L.A. Guns debuted their first self titled album in 1988 blasting into the charts with songs like Electric Gypsy, Bitch is Back and Sex Action. Welcome To The Jungle? More like Welcome To The Warzone! For me L.A. Guns’ first album absolutely blows Appetite For Destruction out of the water. These guys were not messing around. They were bad ass. These guys lived hardrock. Their songs were raw, unapolagetic, and animalistic but most of all they were cool. They even looked cool. A year later they released their second album Cocked and Loaded. This album upped the ante and gave us a more sleazy version of hardrock and with hits like ‘Never Enough’, ‘Maleria’ and a heart felt ballad called ‘The Ballad Of Jane’
in 1991 they came out with their third album Hollywood Vampires which featured another ballad called ‘It’s Over Now’ which charted at number 62 on the Billboard Hot 100. It seemed like L.A. Guns were on the up and up so your probably asking yourself at this point why weren’t they as popular as G’N’R and why the hell have I not heard of them? Well the answer is quite simple the music industry was going through a massive change in the 90s bands like Poison and Motley Crue were being systematically phased out in favour of Grunge, Boybands, Gangster Rap and Rave. The only genre of rock to sustain popularity throughout the 90s were the more heavier bands like Metallica and Pantera.
Despite the change in the music industry L.A. Guns would soldier on and continue to release albums throughout the 90s and 2000s but during these two decades the band would go through many lineup changes to the point that there ended being two different bands using the the name L.A. Guns. Tracii Guns L.A. Guns and Phil Lewis L.A. Guns but in recent times Tracii and Phil have reunited with each other and have recently been signed by Frontier Records.
They have just been on tour to promote their new album called The Missing Piece due to be released in October I highly anticipate its release. One of my closest friends was lucky enough to join them on the U.K. leg of their tour. When I got to see them in Belfast I was absolutely blown away by how good they were live. The band were better than pitch perfect, while singers like Axl Rose and Sebastian Bach don’t perform as good as they used to. L.A. Guns, like a fine wine, seem to just get better with age. I was fortunate enough to hangout the band after the gig on their tour bus and all I can say is they were a really nice bunch of guys. We hung out listened to Zeppelin and just talked about music. So if you love Rock N Roll like myself I highly recommend you give these guys a listen. Be sure to check out their new music video for the song Speed on Youtube.