Review L.A. GUNS ‘Checkered Past’

L.A. Guns started in the heydays of sleaze rock in the ’80s and what began successfully with three well-crafted records led to line-up changes, reunions and even two versions of the band. Today, we have a look at L.A. Guns, the band of Tracii Guns, Phil Lewis and bandmates.

As all the other releases these days also ‘Checkered Past’ was written und recorded under special circumstances. Guns and Lewis are the driving forces of the band, are responsible for the song writing and a pandemic couldn’t stop them in creating this record. That this combination can shape well-done rock songs was not only apparent in the first era of the band. Also the last two records, ‘The Devil You Know’ and The Missing Peace’, are vivid ambassadors of sleaze rock and the new longplayer doesn’t change the formula.

L.A. Guns stay true to themselves on ‘Checkered Past’ and stick to their trademarks. Rock’n’roll meets blues meets a bit of metal. That is how you could describe what you get offered by the eleven songs on the new longplayer. The bluesy feeling comes to surface by songs like ‘Get Along’, an acoustic ballad with a heart-warming intention. The next tune, ‘If It’s Over Now’ belongs to the soulful songs too, although only the verse is kept calm and slowly builds up to the chorus that showcases the rock roots in a good manner.

In general though the album lasers in on the rock’n’roll passion of Guns and Lewis. The opener ‘Canonball’ gives the album the right drive right away and further down the tracklist it’s songs like ‘Better Than You’ and ‘Dog’, unleashing the hard rock beast.

The new longplayer from L.A. Guns shows the entire bandwidth of sounds of the hard rock veterans. Older? Yes. Passionate? Yes. Lively? Yes. All that is ‘Checkered Past’ or better phrased, stands for the band that wrote and recorded the songs for this longplayer. Good stuff for your ears.

Rating: 8 out of 10.


  1. Cannonball
  2. Bad Luck Charm
  3. Living Right Now
  4. Get Along
  5. If It’s Over Now
  6. Better Than You
  7. Knock Me Down
  8. Dog
  9. Let You Down
  10. That Ain’t Why
  11. Physical Itch

Label: Frontiers Music

Genre: Sleaze Rock

Release Date EU: November 12th, 2021




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