12 Songs, 52 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Tat, hat, and nose-ring specialists LA Guns rose famously out of '80s Hollywood, and their founder-guitarist Tracii Guns even did time in an early incarnation of Guns N’ Roses. This 1991 album (the band’s third, named after a ’70s drinking club that included Harry Nilsson and Alice Cooper) is noteworthy because it defines a fleeting moment in L.A. rock history, just like Guns N’ Roses did in 1987, like X did in 1980, and Buffalo Springfield did in 1966. The riff-heavy songs sound like Sunset Strip’s waning days, and personal apocalyptics (“Over the Edge,” “Crystal Eyes,” “Kiss My Love Goodbye”) mostly replace the band’s heavy metal party ride of the Reagan years. Polished by producer Michael James Jackson (Kiss, The Animals), the album’s darker undercurrents feel like the end of something—the band, the city of its origin, or hard rock in general. Interestingly, the quintet brought in hitmaking songwriter Jim Valance (Aerosmith, Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart), and the results were pretty near-perfect on the suitably titled ballad “It’s Over Now,” which traces the Faces-like steps of the band’s earlier (Top 40) hit “The Ballad of Jayne.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Tat, hat, and nose-ring specialists LA Guns rose famously out of '80s Hollywood, and their founder-guitarist Tracii Guns even did time in an early incarnation of Guns N’ Roses. This 1991 album (the band’s third, named after a ’70s drinking club that included Harry Nilsson and Alice Cooper) is noteworthy because it defines a fleeting moment in L.A. rock history, just like Guns N’ Roses did in 1987, like X did in 1980, and Buffalo Springfield did in 1966. The riff-heavy songs sound like Sunset Strip’s waning days, and personal apocalyptics (“Over the Edge,” “Crystal Eyes,” “Kiss My Love Goodbye”) mostly replace the band’s heavy metal party ride of the Reagan years. Polished by producer Michael James Jackson (Kiss, The Animals), the album’s darker undercurrents feel like the end of something—the band, the city of its origin, or hard rock in general. Interestingly, the quintet brought in hitmaking songwriter Jim Valance (Aerosmith, Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart), and the results were pretty near-perfect on the suitably titled ballad “It’s Over Now,” which traces the Faces-like steps of the band’s earlier (Top 40) hit “The Ballad of Jayne.”

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