On 14th April 2023, hard rockers L.A. Guns will be back with their latest studio album, Black Diamonds. The album, recorded over the course of 2022, follows the success of their recent albums, including Checkered Past and The Devil You Know.
L.A. Guns – Black Diamonds (Frontiers)
Release Date: 14 April 2023
Words: Lizzy Blayne Evans
Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis have a long musical history. After many years, the two are still a dynamic duo who continue to create music the fans love. Excited to work together yet again, Black Diamonds reaches new creative heights for the band.
The album opens with You Betray, which is heavy and sleazy from the opening riff. I immediately know this album will be a fun listen. It feels very L.A. Guns, but it will bring something new to their discography. Lewis’s vocals are electric and distinctive, and this song will certainly be on repeat for me. Second track, Wrong About You, has an ’80s swagger about it, with powerful drum fills and lyrics of “I think the boys are wrong about you.”
We see the softer side of the band with the third track, Diamonds. It’s a beautiful, power ballad song. “I know we’re broken, but we shine like a diamond now”, with melodic guitars, vocal harmonies and a stunning guitar solo.
Listening to Babylon, Lewis’ voice hasn’t aged a day. With his distinctive vocals still strong as ever, listening to new L.A. Guns music is just as fun as listening to their ’80s albums. This band continues to be tight and prove themselves an important band on the scene. It’s one of the best things about L.A. Guns – their music keeps up with the times but still sounds like ’80s hard rock. It’s nostalgic but fresh to listen to.
Gonna Lose is another power ballad-like delight. The band knows how to give us beautiful, melodic guitars thanks to the talents of Tracii Guns and Ace Von Johnson. The bassline work of Johnny Martin is fun and recognisable. It starts off gentle, almost cinematic and explodes into a hard rocking chorus. Probably my favourite track on the album, it’s dynamic in every way.
The album finishes strong with the heavier Like A Drug, bringing Black Diamonds to a close. The album feels like a strong representation of the band by demonstrating both their heavier rock songs like You Betray and Got It Wrong and their classic rock-inspired side with more acoustic tracks like Diamonds and Gonna Lose.
Listening, I can hear every band member’s parts and how cohesive everything sounds together. The album is a great mix of hard rock, and classic rock-influenced songs, making it enjoyable for any listener.
The second I finished listening, I went right back to the beginning again, knowing I would enjoy it and notice more the second time around.
L.A. Guns has tour dates in the USA this spring. Produced by Tracii Guns, Black Diamonds is out on 14 April on digital and CD, and fans can purchase a limited edition L.P. on 14 July.