L.A. GUNS – Black Diamonds (2023) *HQ*

L.A. GUNS - Black Diamonds (2023) - full

Legendary ’80s Hollywood hard rockers L.A. GUNS do not stop: they will release the new album “Black Diamonds” via Frontiers Music. Produced by founding member and guitarist Tracii Guns, “Black Diamonds” is a tour-de-force of rock ‘n roll that fans have come to expect from the long-running hard rockers.
Written and recorded over the course of 2022, “Black Diamonds” sees Tracii Guns, Phil Lewis, and company continuing on the same successful and inspiring sonic journey that they’ve been taking on their most recent albums, “Checkered Past”, “The Devil You Know”, and “The Missing Peace”.
The band doesn’t shy away from flexing their hard rock influences as they always have, but also incorporates more introspective acoustic tracks reflective of their classic rock influences from the ’70s. This makes for a potent and highly listenable cocktail of an album in “Black Diamonds”.

Since their self-titled debut in 1988 to their widely praised recent suite of “comeback” albums, L.A. GUNS, led by Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis, have always delivered solid rock ‘n roll to their fans. When core members Tracii and Phil reunited under the banner of L.A. Guns in 2017, a rekindling of the band’s creative energy has been continuing unabated over the course of, now, four studio albums.

“Black Diamonds” shows no signs of this renaissance slowing down… L.A. Guns never looked like the pretty poster boys that so many of their peers did, but more the band that you would be terrified to bump into in an alley as they would likely be carrying switchblades and ready for a fight.
But despite having many songs to back up that image, the band could also write powerful ballads (see the smash hit, “The Ballad Of Jayne” for Exhibit A of this argument) that showed there were some serious songwriting chops in the band.

Right from the opening track, “You Betray”, the band establishes that they’re not here to mess around. The song is an energetic rocker with a hard Led Zeppelin vibe, with a great hook that’ll have you grooving along in no time – the guitar riff is a real earworm too. This song sets the tone for the rest of the album: heavy guitars, pounding drums, and Phil Lewis’s classic LA Guns vocals.

“Diamonds” itself, may be the best LA Guns song in recent time. It’s a slower track with a great melody, and it really showcases Lewis’s voice. The guitar solo in this song hits all the right marks. “Gonna Lose” has a semi-ballad feel to it, mixing some acoustics with pounding drums and a hard section driving the song home. It’s a cool rock track that’ll get your head nodding in agreement.
And “Babylon” is another standout – it’s got a killer riff and a great chorus that reminds me of the older and more creative Alice Cooper classics.

One of the things that sets “Black Diamonds” apart from some of L.A. Guns’ last albums is the production. Tracii Guns did a great job of capturing the band’s live energy in the studio. The guitars are crunchy, the drums are pounding, and the vocals are front and center. But at the same time, the album doesn’t sound too polished – it’s got just the right amount of grit.

“Black Diamonds” is the best L.A. Guns album in years and the band sounds re-energized and focused this time out. It’s got just the right amount of swagger, mixed with Tracii’s signature guitar sound and Phil Lewis’s classic LA Guns vocals.
Feeling inspired and excited like they did when they first started out, but with many years of wisdom and experience under their belts, and most importantly, a renewed and stronger creative and personal relationship, Guns, Lewis, and L.A. Guns as a whole are at a creative peak.
Highly Recommended


1. You Betray
2. Wrong About You
3. Diamonds
4. Babylon
5. Shame
6. Shattered Glass
7. Gonna Lose
8. Got It Wrong
9. Lowlife
10. Crying
11. Like A Drug

Phil Lewis – Vocals
Tracii Guns – Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Mellotron
Ace Von Johnson – Electric Guitars
Johnny Martin – Bass, Electric Electric Guitars
Shawn Duncan – Drums (live)
Adam Hamilton – Drums (studio) & Strings


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1 Response

  1. Jayman says:

    wow! 0DAY, you are on fire today with all the good music! Thnx again for all you do!

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