“Renegades” is the debut release from the Steve Riley/Kelly Nickels version of L.A. Guns. Musically this 10 song record sounds nothing like vintage L.A. Guns; the vocals are where the sound differences are most notable due to Kurt Frohlich’s style being younger and American.
The first three L.A. Guns records are essentially all the casual fan cares about and that’s where I feel this band will lose out. If Riley wanted to continue a band under the name L.A. Guns he had no need to ever record new music; by recording new music under the name L.A. Guns he is stuck with the stereotype that the band will sound like cliched 80’s cock rock. “Renegades” is not cliched 80’s rock; it has a modern feel and the tragedy is that this new music will forever be weighed down with the baggage that the name L.A. Guns carries.
Here’s a track by track break down of the record.
“Crawl” - opens the record and this song was previously released as a single. Groove, hooky, and memorable after several listens.
“Why Ask Why” - Upbeat, fun, and mid tempo - like most of this record it requires a few listens before you gather a true opinion on it. Musically this one is one of the best written on the record.
“Well Oiled Machine” - The song starts with the sound of an old truck starting, it has an absolutely horrible chorus. There’s potential here but the song feels like it’s missing something at times.
“Lost Boys” - A deep album cut that’s solid and moody. This song is a great one but the overall production feels thin.
“You Can’t Walk Away” - Absolutely killer ballad, this one has a 70’s lazy vibe to it and this is where Kurt shine’s brightest. This is my personal favorite off the record.
“Witchcraft” - starts off similar to “Animals” by Nickelback but the hook and groove between the guitar and drums are the glue that hold this song together.
“All That You Are” - The riff for this one feels off which is what makes it work. The chorus for this song is solid and this is another stand out track on the album.
“Would” - not to be confused with the Alice in Chains song by the same name, this song is a ballad and sounds old school in both vibe and tone. This song proves my point that calling this band L.A. Guns is holding them back because this is nothing like L.A. Guns at all, it sounds fresh, different, and way younger than anything L.A. Guns would ever be affiliated with.
“Renegades” - The opening riff is a theme on this record; at times I am reminded of The Ramones and this is the theme song for the record.
“Don’t Wanna Know Me” - Loud, fast, and in your face, this three minute opus closes the record with fury and passion.
As a complete body of work “Renegades” is a solid record but it takes several listens before you can truly form an opinion because nothing jumps out at first listen. My biggest complaints is the overall mix; there are parts that feel thin and that’s not the case when you see the band live.
THE GREAT KAT
“Beethoven Mosh 2”
The Great Kat is a virtuoso guitarist and her latest single is a metal version of “Violin Concerto” by Beethoven. Kat’s driving guitars, classy rhythm, and devilish darkness make this song a unique experience. The song itself is slow and brooding yet precise and to the point.
This song clocks in at one minute and forty six seconds with no vocals; the accompanying music video is a fun companion to the song because Kat is a visual performer and her glam/goth look enhances the experience of witnessing her live performance.
To purchase a copy of this single or anything else from The Great Kat go to www.greatkat.com