There is a plethora of old school ‘80s bands making comebacks just lately. Maybe it’s an attempt to recapture their glory days or relive their youth in some way? Whatever it is L.A. Guns are following the trend and jumping on the nostalgia band wagon with their new album ‘The Missing Peace’. It’s an album that will give the diehard L.A. Guns fans a lot to shout about.
‘The Missing Peace’ is very much on the same level as their early albums. Even the new album art work shows the piecing together of the original first album cover; the torn pieces fitting back together symbolising the coming back together of Tracii Guns and Philip Lewis. There’s quite a mix of songs, hard hitters, ballads and mid tempo numbers; all of which give the album a nice blend of everything for everyone, and in honesty that’s what this album is; it’s a nice walk down memory lane, revisiting the signature sounds that made L.A. Guns popular back then. Being a lover of 80s rock music it really is right down my street, if I was still living in the 80s that is. It’s not exactly an album that’s going to be hitting the top 10 in the rock charts any time soon. But, it’s a good album overall and definitely worth a listen if you like the old 80s sound.
‘It’s All the Same to Me’ is a traditional rocker with immense vocals and an electric riff throughout that leads you through the track, it’s fast paced and urgent with vocals from Philip Lewis towards the end of the song that screech their way into your eardrums and rattle your brain around a little. ‘Baby Gotta Fever’ has the same old school rock feel to it with teasing lyrics and a real upbeat feel.
‘Speed’ has a higher tempo, the beats are urgent and focused but the track kind of reminds me of those songs that you expect to find on the old Sega Mega Drive style racing games; it has an appealing chorus and catchy vocals that will have you bopping along without any doubt. ‘Kill it or Die’ has a good intro that builds nicely to the main part of the song (albeit a tad bit long for my liking); but the track as a whole really isn’t great. It’s too screechy, the lyrics are manic, and I feel like Lewis is shouting at me rather than entertaining me with his vocal prowess.
‘Don’t Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight’ is a hard hitter, with slightly less aggressive vocals than most of the tracks on the album. The riffs from Tracii Guns and Michael Grant are fierce and full of interesting chord progressions while the rhythm rattles, pulling you along with the lively bass and drums. ‘The Devil Made Me Do It’ is aggressive and fast paced, the guitars sound brutal and Lewis’ vocals are fierce making the culmination of all these into one awesome track. It’s probably my favourite of the hard-hitters on this album. ‘Sticky Fingers’ starts off with a heavy intro and a booming beat but for me the vocals seem to get lost in amongst the track as it progresses and it really doesn’t do anything for me. There’s some really weird effects going on during this track and the whole rhythm gets sucked up, shook up and spat out which just doesn’t sound good at all. ‘A Drop of Bleach’ is probably the heaviest track on the album; the bass from Johnny Martin really shines through on this track, though the vocals for me aren’t great unfortunately.
‘Christine’ is the first of the ballads, it’s very melancholy and makes me think that it’s a time warp song, the one on the album that will make you think what could have been, the if only love, the one that got away kind of song. The title track ‘The Missing Peace’ has a really amazing intro that sucks you in, making you believe that you’re going to get a soppy ballad before blasting you with a huge hit of intense drums from Shane Fitszgibbon. Lewis’ vocals sound a little strained on this track which is a shame because lyrically I think it’s a really great track.
The intro to ‘The Flood’s the Fault of the Rain’ reminds me of the finger picking pattern in the intro to ‘The House of the Rising Sun’’ by The Animals; only slower. It’s a great ballad, the lyrics are emotive, and Lewis’s vocals are softer which makes them much more appealing to me. ‘Gave it All Away’ is an emotionally intense track that seems to really portray a deep connection between the lyrics and Lewis; he seems to really convey pain and his intensity shines through on this track. Guns is, as usual, blasting some enticing riffs throughout this track, the hooks drag you in and keep you listening until the very end.
Overall the album isn’t bad, but it isn’t great either. For me the tracks were very hit and miss and I struggled to listen to some of them more than once, the vocals at times felt strained and screechy. Check out the L.A. Guns at:
It’s All the Same to Me
A Drop of Bleach
Baby Gotta Fever
Kill it or Die
Don’t Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight
The Flood’s the Fault of the Rain
The Devil Made Me Do It
The Missing Peace
Gave it All Away