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Steve Riley's L.A. Guns: Renegades
Steve Riley's L.A. Guns - Renegades Album Art

Steve Riley's L.A. Guns: Renegades

Melodic Hard Rock
4.5/5.0

So, I say, "Dude. L.A. Guns is coming out with a new album. Renegades." Wherein, you say, "Which L.A. Guns would that be." A very good question and so the conundrum before us. This would be the Steve Riley version of L.A. Guns, as opposed to the Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis quintet. (Of course, Guns and Lewis are currently suing Riley over the band name.)

L.A. Guns - Click For Larger Image

L.A. Guns

Besides Riley, this L.A. Guns, formed in 2018, also features Kelly Nickels (bass) and Scotty Griffin (drums), both of whom have played with other versions of L.A. Guns. The odd man out is vocalist and rhythm guitarist Kurt Frohlich who apparently has had no (musical) affiliation with L.A. Guns in the past. Their latest album, Renegades, is the first for Riley's L.A. Guns.

Aside from the confusing controversy, one thing remains the same: Riley's L.A. Guns plays melodic hard rock, perhaps with a metal edge, in the great Eighties Sunset Strip tradition. They have that street wise attitude, but more importantly that great sound the roared through a decade taking no prisoners. L.A. Guns has the riffs, rhythm and groove, memorable melodies, catchy refrains, and slick guitar solos. For his part, Frohlich is a fine rock vocalist, singing clean and easily carrying the song melodies.

As for the songs, you'll find some strong and fast riff rockers with Why Ask Why, Renegades, and the loose and sleazy Well Oiled Machine. The first single off the album, Crawl is simply catchy melodic hard rock, thanks to the sweet groove from the riffs and rhythm section, and Nickels' fine bass solo in the center. Something more hard and heavy comes with Witchcraft with its strong riffs and thumping rhythm section.

Being a classic rock band, are there ballads? You betchya. Two. You Can't Walk Away and Would. The former is heavier, moving slower, yet you can hear a strong bass line, some acoustic guitar, and a lingering guitar line that leads to a solo. Frohlich brings the vocal harmony to add some softness. Would is softer, moving mostly upon voice over acoustic guitar with the bass and drums rising to add rhythmic emphasis to propel the tune.

All said, with Renegades, Steve Riley's L.A. Guns offers a fine album of genuine and classic melodic hard rock. Perhaps its the first shot over bow in the likely impending L.A. Guns feud. Recommended.




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The Bottom Line

All said, with Renegades, Steve Riley's L.A. Guns offers a fine album of genuine and classic melodic hard rock. Perhaps its the first shot over bow in the likely impending L.A. Guns feud. Recommended.

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