You know a band has gone through a lot of lineup changes when there’s literally an entire Wikipedia page dedicated just to listing its past members. The notorious Sunset Strip rockers L.A. Guns have had a revolving line up over the years, but this was par for the course for the L.A. Glam metal scene where bands would literally form one night in the Rainbow Bar and Grill parking lot and disband a week later. Of course, in true L.A. Guns fashion, they took it to the next level in the late 2000’s and had a period when there were two versions of L.A. Guns touring. Fans will be happy to know though, this has all been cleared up. The band’s core foundation of vocalist Phil Lewis and guitarist Tracii Guns are back together and have released two albums, The Missing Peace and The Devil You Know, since reforming.
Currently, L.A. Guns has just released Another Xmas In Hell; a digital EP featuring covers of holiday songs by the Damned, Ramones, Slade, and Billy Squier. On top of all that, there is a surprising guest appearance by William Shatner making this EP intriguing before even hearing it. (Apparently, Captain Kirk is hanging with L.A. Guns now that he’s retired from Star Fleet.)
Overall, Another Xmas In Hell is a fun little gem of an EP. The opener, The Bills/Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You, is a Billy Squier cover with some wicked guitar work and an interlude featuring a long rambling voice mail from Shatner giving L.A. Guns advice on their set list!? It’s pretty random, but wholly entertaining. The rest of the EP delivers an array of glammed out covers including an 80’s style make-over of the 70’s English glam band Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody; a 30 second punk rock version of Dreidel; a gritty cover of The Damned’s There Ain’t No Sanity Clause; and finishes off with a heavier more rock n’ roll version of Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight) by the Ramones. This is definitely the perfect thing to put on at a drunken Christmas party and would be nicely paired with Twisted Sister’s A Twisted Christmas.
Keep in mind though, Another Xmas In Hell is really meant to hold fans over while L.A. Guns are working on their third studio album since reuniting. Tentatively due for release in late 2020 on Frontiers Records, it should prove to be as gritty and Glam Rock flavored as the other albums they’ve made since getting back together.