Devil City Angels
Devil City Angels
Release Date: 9/18/15
Devil City Angels is the new “supergroup” that features Tracii Guns (L.A. Guns), Eric Brittingham (Cinderella), Rikki Rocket (Poison), and vocalist/guitarist Brandon Gibbs. Since the recording was completed, legendary journeyman bassist Rudy Sarzo has replaced Brittingham. The album was recorded in L.A. and Nashville with Anthony Focx.
Devil City Angels may have a sinister sounding name and a Century Media logo on it’s spine but you’ll quickly find that this album has basically nothing in common with any other album in the Century Media catalog. The songs are sure footed and pristinely produced but they are pretty straight forward AOR flavored classic rock.
“All I Need” is probably the penultimate example of this. It’s a bouncy pop tune with catchy choruses and big vocals. I want to like it because it’s so stinkin’ happy sounding but in the end I keep thinking, “This is the same guy that made American Hardcore right?” Along those lines, “No Angels” has classic rock paint by numbers feel to it, but I still like to crank it up. It makes me want to dig out my Foghat and Bad Company records to be honest.
As far as favorites go, the late eighties/early nineties Bad Company flavor of “Boneyard” is pretty excellent. It’s got a pretty driving rhythm and the vocals are pretty damn near perfect. Gibbs has a classic sounding voice and, in my opinion, he’s at his very best on this track. “Bad Decisions” is another favorite of mine because it’s the one moment where the band gets a little gritty and it gives listeners a glimpse of what Tracii Guns does best….big city, back alley guitar work. Meanwhile, “Goodbye Forever” is an eighties ballad delivered to a “T” by many of the guys that helped invent the term.
While I truly dig this album, I’d be misleading you if I didn’t say again that this has little in common with any of the members former bands. While L.A. Guns, Cinderella, and Poison all may have been uber-polished musically, they also all had a streetwise grit that shined through and connected to listeners. Devil City Angels is very much an AOR album with some classic rock moments similar to what the last few Bon Jovi albums have sounded like.
Reviewed by Mark 1340