L.A. Guns have been around for over three decades, and they’ve been making solid rock ‘n roll since their self-titled debut album in 1988. But it’s been a few years since they’ve put out an album as good as “Black Diamonds”. Produced by founding member and guitarist Tracii Guns, this album is a tour-de-force of hard rock with just the right amount of punk attitude.
Right from the opening track, “You Betray”, the band establishes that they’re not here to mess around. The song is an energetic rocker with a hard Led Zeppelin vibe, with a great hook that’ll have you grooving along in no time – the guitar riff is a real earworm too. This song sets the tone for the rest of the album: heavy guitars, pounding drums, and Phil Lewis’s classic LA Guns vocals.
The standout tracks on the album are “Diamonds”, “Gonna Lose”, and “Babylon”.
“Diamonds” itself, may be the best LA Guns song to date. It’s a slower track with a great melody, and it really showcases Lewis’s voice. The guitar solo in this song hits all the right marks. “Gonna Lose” has a Led Zeppelin ballad feel to it, mixing some acoustics with pounding drums and a hard section driving the song home. It’s a cool rock track that’ll get your head nodding in agreement. And “Babylon” is another standout – it’s got a killer riff and a great chorus that reminds me of the older and more creative Alice Cooper classics.
One of the things that sets “Black Diamonds” apart from some of L.A. Guns’ previous albums is the production. Tracii Guns did a great job of capturing the band’s live energy in the studio. The guitars are crunchy, the drums are pounding, and the vocals are front and center. But at the same time, the album doesn’t sound too polished – it’s got just the right amount of grit.
“Black Diamonds” is the best L.A. Guns album in years and the band sounds re-energized and focused this time out. It’s got just the right amount of swagger, mixed with Tracii’s signature guitar sound and Phil Lewis’s classic LA Guns vocals.
The album gets its CD release on April 14, 2023.