On June 5th, L.A. Guns released their first album of original material since 2005’s Tales From The Strip, entitled Hollywood Forever. In light of the fact that there have been two active versions of the band, it is noteworthy to mention that this is the Phil Lewis version, not Tracii Guns.
Hollywood Forever boasts a whopping 14 tracks, a few of which could have been scrapped during the final cut. One that specifically comes to mind is Arana Negara, which is apparently a cover of a song by Bicicletas, and is done completely in Spanish. It doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the album, or even with L.A Guns for that matter.
Others that could have been passed on are Raquiem (Hollywood Forever), which is a mediocre ballad that really I Won’t Play which is catchy, but seems more like bubblegum pop than rock n’ roll.
That being said, there are several standouts on the album that fans will enjoy rocking out to. A few to note are Queenie, Dirty Black Night, Venus Bomb, and the title track, Hollywood Forever. Guitarist Stacey Blades is the star of the album, with some really sweet riffs and solos.
Dirty Black Night has a killer guitar riff that’s probably the best on the album. It’s near impossible to listen to it without tapping your foot along. Queenie is the song where Lewis’ vocals really shine and it pretty much blows all of the others out of the water. These will be the two songs you’ll want to play over and over again.
Venus Bomb and Hollywood Forever are both fast paced, up-tempo songs that will get your blood moving. Hollywood Forever has a nice little intro as well as a nice guitar solo. Truth be told, most of the songs have some kind of noteworthy guitar work, courtesy of Blades.
All in all, it’s a decent effort by L.A. Guns for their first new material in 7 years. They produced a solid album with a few stellar tracks on it, a couple they could’ve done without, and some that could be considered fillers, but still good enough to listen to. Instrumentally, it’s great and Lewis’ vocals were strong for the most part. There were only one or two songs that were somewhat questionable as far as vocals go, however Queenie alone makes that irrelevant.
This album isn’t necessarily a throwback to the band’s heyday so those expecting or hoping for that might be left a little disappointed, though there are moments that are reminiscent of that time. Those who are willing to embrace the bands evolution should be more than pleased with the final product.