Outlaw Blood

Rating: 70%

outlawblood_ob2In 1990, the Hair Metal scene was getting dull. Many bands that were signed to major labels were seeing a new trend coming down the road in the form of Grunge. It was a matter of time before Hair or Glam Metal was done. Many of the bands signed in the late 1980’s or early 1990’s had to separate themselves from that movement. A new wave of Blues influenced Hard Rock as part of the Hair Metal scene came about, but it still wasn’t enough to stop the Grunge movement.

In 1991, Outlaw Blood managed to record their only album. This self titled album is a bluesy influenced Hard Rock that I swear sounds like Billy Idol meets Bang Tango. If you’re familiar with bands like Tangier or Tora Tora, these guys are right there along those lines.

The musicianship is not bad. You had vocalist Marc McCoy, guitarist Marti Frederiksen (who helped to write many songs for the big bands), lead guitarists Rick Harchol, bassist Nick ‘The Hammer’ Parise, and drummer Larry Aberman. Song structures are very basic for the time. Several hard rockers, one ballad, and a few slower songs. There are some decent riffs and some great leads. Other than that, what we have here is an average band who got caught up on the Hair Metal scene as it was fizzling out.

Track listing:

1. Tower of Love
2. Body and Soul
3. Last Act
4. Sink My Teeth
5. Every Day I Die
6. Soul Revival
7. I’m N Shock
8. Red Hot ‘N’ Blue
9. Slave to Love
10. Fall Thru the Cracks
11. Hollywood Babylon

Self Titled: L.A. Guns

Rating: 90%

220px-Lagunsselftitled.jpgIn 1988, during the high water mark of the Glam or Hair Metal scene, L.A. Guns released their debut album. I must admit, I wasn’t much of a fan of the Glam Metal scene, but L.A. Guns, stuck out to me from most of the other bands. L.A.Guns consisted of vocalist Phil Lewis, lead guitarist Tracii Guns, guitarist Mick Cripps, bassist Kelly Nickles and drummer Nicky Alexander. Nicky was replaced after the recording was over by Steve Riley. Their music wasn’t like what you heard on the radio. In fact our local radio stations didn’t play anything off this album until after their second album “Cocked and Loaded” was released.

This album to me was their best. The music and song structure is really good. This album has some really nice melodies, good tempos, song arrangements, nice riffs, great leads and strong vocal work. Not bad for a band made up of outcasts from other bands. As you may know, Tracii Guns is the guns that at one point made up Guns n’ Roses. Lyrically, this album deals with love, sex, everyday life and women. There’s almost a certain degree of sleaziness in the band’s music.

Tracii Guns is one hell of a talented guitarist. His leads are great. Phil Lewis’s vocals are clear and strong.  Production is well done. All musicians are heard throughout the album. Although there are not bad songs on this album as the entire album flows very nicely, “No Mercy”, “Sex Action”, “One More Reason” and “One Way Ticket” stand out. The saxophone in the background on “Nothing to Loose” is a nice touch to the chorus.  “Cry No More” is a classical acoustical piece that is the intro to “One Way Ticket” which is a more upbeat ballad.

Track listing:

No Mercy 2:45
Sex Action 3:38
One More Reason 3:05
Electric Gypsy 3:24
Nothing To Lose 4:12
Bitch Is Back 2:50
Cry No More 1:20
One Way Ticket 4:17
Hollywood Tease 2:43
Shoot For Thrills 4:24
Down In The City 3:58