The Missing Peace
For L.A. Guns die hard fans, the reunion of Phil Lewis and Tracii Guns is certainly a day they thought they would never see. The two last played together 14 or so years ago and their very public issues with the band’s moniker are almost Spinal Tap level in scope. But, for now, all that is in the past and bygones are left to be bygones. For now, the Sunset Strip is resurrected with The Missing Peace.
I have to be honest, I really didn’t like this album much throughout the first couple of spins. The production is very thin and, in my opinion, Phil Lewis is way too loud in the mix and sounds like he’s trying too damn hard. Somewhere midway through the third or fourth listen, I found myself humming a couple of the tunes throughout the day and then it started to click (especially musically).
The title track was the first to really get stuck in my psyche. Lewis really calls on his eighties roots vocally and the keyboards add a depth to the song that much of the album doesn’t have. It reminds me of the original albums and, let’s face it, that’s what any fan wants from a reunion. The opening track, “It’s All the Same To Me,” is about as cock rock as they come with sleazy guitars, wailing vocals, ample innuendos, and a healthy dose of tambourine to round it all out. It’s a fun ride and one of the songs that seeps into your brain.
But it wouldn’t be a reunion without a country-tinged ballad from the boys right? Well, they got ya. “Christine” is quite likely my favorite song on the album. It’s acoustic base and big ballad feel is laden with steel guitars and a solid rhythm to keep it all on track. It’s as classic as “Without You” “Patience,” “Heaven,” or even “The Ballad of Jayne.” While I doubt that modern music will accept it as that, I’m telling you, it’s that good.
Overall, The Missing Peace is a grower. It takes a minute to get into the mindset that this album is born from. Also, once you have heard what Guns was able to do on American Hardcore, everything else feels like a step backward. There isn’t a lot of this kinda thing out there anymore. If you like the band’s original trio of albums then you will find a lot to love here for sure. The production value isn’t quite the level of those albums but the energy is there and that goes a long way in my opinion.
Reviewed by mark1340