L.A. GUNS – The Devil You Know

L.A. GUNS - The Devil You Know
  • 9.1/10
    L.A. GUNS - The Devil You Know - 9.1/10


Label: Frontier Music
Release date: March 29, 2019

User Review
8.5/10 (2 votes)

Glam Metal bands enjoyed the most success between three and four decades ago. Today most of the legendary acts have either retired (like Twisted Sister did in 2016) or are on their last tour (KISS). One might assume that there is not much left for the Glam Metal fans to enjoy. But there are some bands that don’t think about retiring yet – and praise be upon them for that, especially when they happen to release an album that is an absolute gem. Just like The Devil You Know, the freshly released record by the Los Angeles legends L.A. Guns.

The Devil You Know is the first LP by L.A. Guns to feature the band founder Tracii Guns since Waking The Dead, which was released in 2002. It certainly is what all fans of genuine Los Angeles Hard Rock music had been waiting for years. It starts very dynamically and can bring various legendary bands to mind: Whitesnake, Mötley Crüe or Guns N’ Roses – to name just a few. That can easily be said about the first two songs: “Rage” and “Stay Away.” Especially the latter is one of those songs that true fans of Glam Metal do not want to miss out on. It would be extremely hard to find one single thing about it that could be described as negative. There is kick here, there is power and, there is melody and one even more important thing: the groove that makes one move. Despite not being particularly heavy, “Stay Away” kicks a lot more effectively than songs by quite a few Bay Area Thrash Metal bands.

Those who think that a true Glam Metal is all about explicit lyrics – fear not, this album has some of that too! Although another great thing about the most recent L.A. Guns album is the diversity. Yes, the spirit of Glam Metal is present in every song.  But the third song, titled “Loaded Bomb” certainly does have a bit of the funky Red Hot Chili Peppers sound to it. If that’s not enough of diversity, then the sixth track (“Going High”) and the penultimate one (“Another Season In Hell”) should suffice to silence the very keenest of all critics. “Another Season In Hell” is not quite as punchy as the rest of the album, but it may as well be the most sophisticated song on it.

There is nothing negative to be said about the production either – that especially concerns the bass guitar, which often seems to have gotten lost somewhere between the wall of guitar sound and the drums. Not on The Devil You Know. The cocksure bass lines are very distinct and it’s nice to hear that the bassist actually does put some effort into his playing.

Those who consider themselves fans of GLAM (Great LA Music, not “Gay LA Music” like Dave Mustaine mentioned in his autobiography) should definitely give this album a listen. It proves that despite various new trends, even in the world of Rock and Metal, there still is some amazing music out there. Because what can be said about a Hard Rock band that has more kick to it than quite a few Thrash Metal bands? There still are amazing bands out there and they still release music that just as great. It’s all about knowing where to look for it.


  • Miłosz Mikołaj Nizioł

    Miłosz is a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He was born somewhere in Europe and now lives elsewhere in Europe. Miłosz is a writer and it has always been his passion. Aside from that, Miłosz is also a bass player - back in his UK days he played in various bands, some of which made it to have their place in the history of Metal; this includes an English high speed Thrash Metal act Rager that got mentioned in Contract in Blood: A History Of UK Thrash Metal (Glasper, I., 2018).   When enjoying live music as a member of the audience, Milosz never says no to circle pits and a good wall of death. Besides Metal, Milosz has a very wide range of interests that don't need to be specified here since they're not about Metal. One of them can be, actually: Milosz LOVES coming up with parodies of various songs lyrics.   Milosz's Top 25 bands (in the following order) are: The Beatles Deep Purple & Black Sabbath Queen ]v[ E G A D E T ]-[ (until 24.05.2021, but still) Judas Priest Iron Maiden (first three albums mostly) Twisted Sister Mötley Crüe KISS (preferably with Ace and Peter) Exodus Overkill Pantera Rainbow (and DIO of course) Savatage Running Wild Testament Pink Floyd ABBA Red Hot Chili Peppers Death Dire Straits Alestorm Motörhead

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