L.A. Guns – L.A. Guns (1988, PolyGram Records/Vertigo Records)
1. “No Mercy” … 2:47
2. “Sex Action” … 3:42
3. “One More Reason” … 3:07
4. “Electric Gypsy” … 3:25
5. “Nothing To Lose” … 4:14
6. “Bitch Is Back” … 2:53
7. “Cry No More” … 1:18
8. “One Way Ticket” … 4:20
9. “Hollywood Tease” … 2:52
10. “Shoot For Thrills” … 4:30
11. “Down In The City” … 3:56
Phil Lewis – Lead Vocals
Tracii Guns – Lead Guitar
Mick Cripps – Rhythm Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Kelly Nickels – Bass, Harmonica, Whistle, Backing Vocals
Steve Riley – Drums (credited but did not play)
Nickey “Beat” Alexander – Drums
Alan Jones – Sax
Paul Kaufman – Washboard
Producer: Jim Faraci
I’ve seen some critics call L.A. Guns a combination of Guns N’ Roses and Poison. That’s a pretty good description of them, though I think there’s a dash of Motley Crue as well. The Guns have always seemed to straddle the line between the seedy, sleazy life that GNR wrote about and the sex & party world of glam metal poster boys Poison. It makes for some good rock ‘n’ roll and L.A. Guns have never fully gotten the respect, success and credit that they should have despite having two platinum albums in their catalog (this one and Cocked & Loaded)… They should’ve sold more!
Anyway, this a really good debut. Phil Lewis rocks, guitars are great (Tracii also does not get the respect he should), there’s plenty of sleaze and fun for everyone! But the band has a softer side — there’s “Cry No More”, a pretty instrumental, to break up the album and it leads into the ballad “One Way Ticket”.
“Sex Action” was a small hit for the band, but I tend to think that’s an overrated song. It’s a good song, but I’ve often seen it mentioned as a LAG fave but I think there’s plenty of other songs here that overshadow it. “One More Reason” is my favorite from the disc. Cocked & Loaded is regarded as the quintessential L.A. Guns release. That album is a bit more catchy and melodic, but this one is heavier. I like them both equally.
Original LAG drummer Nicky “Beat” Alexander played on the album, but it was Steve Riley (coming over from W.A.S.P.) who got the album credit and his face in the band photo as he joined the band just before the album was released. Most of these songs were written with L.A. Guns’ previous singer Paul Black. Maybe that’s why Phil was able to get “Hollywood Tease” (from his previous band Girl) on the album?
Picked this up online for about $6. Definitely worth the cash. The cover is really cool too — you’ve got guns, a skull and a Hollywood night in the background. The art was done by Tyler. I wonder if he’s ever done anything else in the hair metal arena?
Highlights: “No Mercy”, “Sex Action”, “One More Reason”, “Electric Gypsy”, “One Way Ticket”, “Shoot For Thrills”