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L.A. Guns: Checkered Past
L.A. Guns - Checkered Past Album Art

L.A. Guns: Checkered Past

Melodic Hard Rock
4.5/5.0

At 30 years past, the days of Eighties classic rock seems a longtime ago, and it is. While there have been many bands from that era that have made resurrections, mostly sporadic and inconsistent, L.A Guns featuring Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis is not one of them. Even with splits and personnel turmoil the band has been releasing albums since 1998. As of late, since 2016, L.A. Guns has been more consistent, and successful, then their late Eighties heyday. Now, the band returns with their 13th studio album, Checkered Past.

Heart Line - Click For Larger Image

Heart Line

And like recent efforts, Checkered Past is another solid, well-crafted, and entertaining album of classic, guitar-driven, catchy melodic hard rock. If that's the summary, then here's the conclusion: buy Checkered Past; you will not be disappointed. But here's some specifics that elaborate upon both summary and conclusion. Once more, Tracii Guns is in fine form, delivering rich riffs that bring both energy and harmony to the songs, and his solos are abundant, badass, and blistering. Phil Lewis on vocals remains forceful, yet clear, walking that thin line between hard rock gusto and punk nastiness. The songs rise with plenty of rock groove and gallop with the benefit of a pronounced bass line. Then these things are wrapped up in some things very simple, but for some bands hard to grasp, brisk song melody and catchy refrains for AOR accessibility.

All these musical facets are self-evident across the album, but some favorites require mention. Like the fast and heavy rockers Cannonball and Dog with its fret burning intro. Straight up riff rockers arrive with Better Than You and That Ain't Why wherein Guns riffs are rabid and beastly. You can really hear that aforementioned bass line within Bad Luck Charm and Get Along. A slow-burning, heavy ballad comes with Let You Down but, in the context of the rest of the rocking album, some listeners may hear it as an interruption of the party. All in all, as said earlier, L.A. Guns' Checkered Past is another terrific album of the band's signature and consistent melodic hard rock. Recommended.




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The Take Away

Like recent efforts, L.A. Guns' Checkered Past is another solid, well-crafted, and entertaining album of classic, guitar-driven, catchy melodic hard rock. Buy it; you will not be disappointed.

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