Do Not “Stay Away” from the New L.A. Guns Song
L.A. Guns have such a long and complicated history that to try and make generalizations about their overall body of work would require, like, all the asterisks. But the short version is basically this: anytime guitarist Tracii Guns and vocalist Phil Lewis make an album together, that album is good. From 1988’s eponymous debut to 1991’s Hollywood Vampires to 2002’s (vastly, painfully undervalued) Waking the Dead to 2017’s The Missing Peace, these dudes are more creatively consistent than any other major glam band, including ones who enjoyed a much greater level of fame and commercial success than LAG ever did.
Which is just a long-winded way of saying if you appreciate quality hard rock, you should be chuffed for the release of L.A. Guns’ new album, The Devil You Know, which will drop March 29 on Frontiers. I mean, just look at the album art: it should have been on the side of someone’s van circa 1987. I do not mean that as a diss.
Just as satisfying is the first single from the album, “Stay Away.” It’s a money-maker-shaker of an arena rock anthem if ever there was one; it’s not going to get stuck in your head so much as it’s going to move in and squat there until you legally evict it. Phil Lewis is 62-years-old — two years older than Bruce Dickinson — and he still sounds great. And Tracii’s solo is just, MWAH!, so, so good. Guns has never used one note when he can use one-hundred, but he also never loses the thread and lets his playing devolve into a shit swamp of unintelligible noise.
I really like this song. Can you tell?