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L.A. Guns – The Devil You Know [2019]

American hard rock/glam band have returned with an album that reaches incredible artistic height. Experienced fans of the genre would probably know that the record label behind this release (Frontiers Records) would make sure that the album is of high quality, so yes you do get tons of hard rocking guitar riffs, twin guitar melodies, thunderous drumming and large choruses and though most fans would be content with all that, “The Devil you Know” completely overshadow the technical aspect mentioned previously simply because the delivered above all an album with a personality of its own.

All performances are great, still they seem like a minor detail when considering that the band have managed to artistically express themselves to the maximum. The evidence supporting this point of view is that every song on the album has its own essence, hence delivering an entirely different atmosphere that affects directly the mood of the listener.

The production is a little rawer than most of their previous albums with Phil Lewis, but this adds quite a rocking edge to an otherwise finesse band. The songs are equally as raw and aggressive as the album’s production making the band seem a little more dangerous than perhaps, they really are. The musicianship of the record also sees the band in top-notch form, with the guitar and rhythm sections really adding a thick layer of kick to the songs overall sound quality. Every song is listenable and fairly enjoyable, there is a tiny amount of filler on the album that keeps it from five-stars, but it’s pretty tough to complain about an album this good.

Collectively the material on “The Devil you Know” is awesome to say the least. This is probably the most confident, aggressive and definitely heavy work that L.A. Guns have come up with. The two lead guitarists demonstrate their class throughout the album exchanging shredding solos and twin guitar harmonics. Fitzgibbon’s performance is devastating, more than living up to his reputation as he includes all his signature licks and tempos. The bass never sounded heavier for the band than on “The Devil you Know”, as from the opening track to the closing Martin’s lines are perfectly audible and at times distorted. Finally, Philip Lewis puts once again such a stellar vocal performance.

One can literally not get enough of this album, the guys have kept all the elements of the classic L.A. Guns and made it heavier, more metallic with more guitar leads and upfront drumming than before. “The Devil you Know” is probably going to prove a hard album for L.A. Guns to top next time they enter the studio. One of the best releases of L.A. Guns to date.

Band Members
Philip Lewis – Vocals
Tracii Guns – Guitars
Johnny Martin – Bass
Shane Fitzgibbon – Drums
Ace Von Johnson – Guitars

Tracks
01. Rage
02. Stay Away
03. Loaded Bomb
04. The Devil You Know
05. Needle To The Bone
06. Going High
07. Gone Honey
08. Don’t Need To Win
09. Down That Hole
10. Another Season In Hell
11. Boom Bonus Track – CD Only

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