Now for something completely different, or not. Here's an unexpected, but pleasant, surprise from guitarist Tracii Guns. He's put together a new band called League of Gentlemen, and cut what might be best described as a blues rock album, appropriately titled, The First Record.
None of this should be considered a reach for Guns. Any good rock guitarist should know and play the blues. It's simply fundamental. But those mostly familiar with his L. A. Guns or Brides of Destructions work might be a tad bewildered. Alternatively, I found this recording immensely refreshing. And there's more going on here than just the blues like things from Seventies to garage rock.
The blues element strikes early with the Mitch Davis penned Everything Everything and the Sonny Boy Williamson tune Sugar Mama, both rather raw and rumbling ala that garage rock. Then you get some of that with the cover of garage rockers The Sonics's The Witch, real gritty, real catchy. More traditional blues returns with Jealous of the Rain, Saginaw Blues, the longest cut here, and Painted Lady, written by Guns with Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx.
For things more towards traditional rock, yet flavored with those aforementioned elements, are Backside of the Moon and the immensely clever and catchy The Sound. Then there's Space and Time Collide which is fanciful and interesting odd combination of prog, blues, and space rock. To of the best songs here are covers of two wildly famous songs. First is One, written by Harry Nilsson and made popular by Three Dog Night. The second is Without You, written by Pete Ham and Tom Evans of Badfinger and made into a hit by the same Harry Nilsson. Both are simply fantastic. They also display one of the other great surprises about this album, and that's the dangerously talented Scott Foster Harris, the vocalist. His range and interpretations are simply magical: raw and gutsy on The Witch, smooth and passionate on Without You.
Bottom line: with League of Gentlemen, Tracii Guns has a great new musical quest, genuinely novel and very entertaining. Strongly recommended.
With League of Gentlemen, guitarist Tracii Guns has a great new musical quest, genuinely novel and very entertaining. Strongly recommended.
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