Tracii Guns' League Of Gentlemen – The First Record
Released On SHRAPNEL RECORDS
CD Review by Scott Thomas
Yo, yo, yo… Back again with another CD review for my brother in music Tracii Guns. Yes, the Tracii Guns from L.A. Guns. Tracii is an American guitarist best known as the founder of glam metal group L.A. Guns as well as the super-groups Brides of Destruction with Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx and Michael Schenker’s Contraband. And let us not forget he was also very briefly involved with the first lineup of Guns N' Roses but eventually left the group and was replaced by guitarist Slash. LA Guns went on to earn a couple of gold albums; a couple of gold video awards and a platinum record with their second release. Tracii Guns' League of Gentlemen's First Record deviates from the hard rock glam sound of yesteryear and moves into a new direction of rock and roll that leans heavy into 1970's British and American blues based rock.
In addition to Guns, THE TRACII GUNS LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN features Scott Foster Harris on vocals, Doni Gray on drums, John Bird on keys and Craig McCloskey on bass.
The album starts out with the first raucous inspired tune “Everything Everything”. The song is provocative with stimulating memorable lyrics. The second song “The Witch” is a down and dirty romp that sounds and reflects the song’s moniker. It has a touch of garage rock to it. Nothing fancy here… Furthermore, the song slows down towards the end of the tune and get’s into this Zeppelin-esque hypnotic psychedelia vamp closing the song and graciously sets up the next melody “Sugar Mamma” which has Robert Plant’s crotch shaking rock enthusiasms written all over it. The guitar tracks and percussions on this tune are strong and passionate. Tracii’s lead solo and call response between his guitar and singer Foster Harris’ scatting vocals is spot on and takes you back to the early 70’s arena rock for sure.
“The Sound” is the fourth song out of gate and has a lot of originality to it. This is one of those tunes that give Tracii’s new band its brand and street credibility. The next aural creation is the heartfelt ballad “Jealous of the Rain” and what a groovy composition it is. The accomplished musicianship, emotive vocals and attractive production on this song is definitely radio friendly and ripe for the Billboard charts. “Painted Lady” has a bit of flair of folk pop reminding me of the writing style ala the Robinson brothers of the Black Crowes fame. They make use of those ol’ Hammond organs, acoustic and slide guitars all the while making everything very organic in nature.
The seventh tune “Taste Your Fear” is dark, spacey and very mysterious sounding as with the later “Feathers in a Hurricane” with its somber vibe and melancholy arrangements. “Long Way to Heaven” is another colorful rock and roll song that laments “It’s a long way to heaven, a long way to paradise”. The tune uses old amplitude sonic sounds of days past. You can tell these Kats spent some time looking for vintage gear to paint their sonic images. The next song is the famously classic “One” from the band Three Dog Night whose cover in 1969 reached number 5 on the Billboard chart. The song is known for its opening line "One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do." What a great rendition... I’m impressed… This album is chocked full of great lyrical writing, classic blues rock guitar riffs, and intoxicating organ playing as with the next two inspirations “Saginaw Blues” and “Backside of the Moon”.
Once again, the guys throw in another oldie but goodie with Badfinger’s 1970 “Without You” off of the album No Dice. Tracii does a fine melodic lead acoustic guitar solo on this too. The last song “Space and Time Collide” is resonant, spellbinding, thought-provoking and definitely far out!!!
In a nut shell, if you like classic rock from the early early 70’s in the styles of Pink Floyd, Cream, The Doors, Led Zeppelin and the Yardbirds then you will certainly have a penchant for this fine collection of enjoyable musical numbers. And lastly, this is one of those albums that will grow on you after just a few listens.
Favorite Song: Jealous of the Rain