LA Guns - Covered In Guns (Deadline)

Wayne Madden | Wednesday, 20 October 2010

LA Guns - Covered In Guns (Deadline)

LA Guns have had it rough. Originally founded in 1979 by guitarist Tracii Guns as a High School 'project' for his own talents, the band have gone on to have more members then the London Symphony Orchestra, with everyone from Axl Rose to Tracii's own son Jeremy having been a member from one time or another.

To exacerbate matters further, there are currently two bands touring under the name LA Guns, having done so since 2006. Both bands claim to be the "original founding" LA Guns and both bands, believe it or not, are completely correct. One line up, the band who have recorded this album, features classic vocalist Phil Lewis and classic drummer Steve Riley – while the other band contains Tracii Guns and Jizzy Pearl – both original vocalist and guitarist at some point in LA Guns' illustrious history.

The band's new studio album is made up entirely of covers. Cover albums are only really made for three types of people: the first being the band themselves, the second being die hard fans, and the third being those who would be on the fence as to whether they would want to see the band on tour down their local one night. This album proves that LA Guns can play classic rock and maybe allows for the odd cover version to lure the naysayer in.

As such, having already released 2004's Rip the Covers Off as a welcome to their current guitarist Stacey Blades, Phil Lewis' LA Guns have now come back with another covers album. Whereas RTCO was primarily 60s and 70s tunes, this album is a more contemporary rock album in comparison, covering artists as diverse as Def Leppard, Alice In Chains and the Beach Boys.

Def Leppard's 'Pour Some Sugar On Me' get's a decent outing, without the energy of the original, and 'Don't Fear The Reaper' is an excellent choice that shows the musicianship of the band. Surprisingly, 'Check My Brain' from Alice In Chains' long-awaited comeback album Black Turns To Blue is featured, perhaps being the first professional cover of this track released anywhere. And it sounds incredible, with Stacey Blades outdoing himself during the guitar solo.

The album dives off a little after that, with the Beach Boys' 'Little St. Nick' being a completely unnecessary Christmas song of no musical value. 'Just Between You And Me' is a perfect ballad, and one which LA Guns could have written themselves, perhaps if they'd bothered to put pen to paper as opposed to making a covers album. As it happens, this track is from Canadian band April Wine. 'Break My Stride' is a fun track, seeing as it's not to be taken too seriously, and Steve Riley's drumming is top notch.

Another stand-out track is 'Cry Little Sister' (originally recorded by Gerry McCann) which is actually the theme to the film The Lost Boys. This is another excellent recording and proves incredible vocals from Phil Lewis. 'I Love Rock And Roll', on the other hand, is a bit creepy; Lewis is nearing 50, and singing about seducing a 17-year-old girl doesn't make for happy listening.

Overall, this album provides an excellent outlet for a jamming session by a seasoned rock band.

Rating: 3/5