Review by Jeff Maki
And to think, I just re-purchased L.A. Guns’ classic album, “Cocked & Loaded,” on CD. On eBay—I really did. It was like $4. I had been waiting out its greatest hits, “The Very Best of,” to price down, and I was going to snatch that up, too. It turns out, with this fantastic new live album, “Made in Milan,” I don’t need ’em.
Recorded at the 2017 Frontiers Rock Festival at Club Trezzo in —you guessed it—Milan, Italy (the home of Frontiers Music), this is L.A. Guns’ classic tracks, its greatest hits, turned up to fucking 11, firing on all cylinders, louder, more raucous and wild than ever put to tape (like their cassette tapes I once owned). Tracii Guns’ soloing is on fire, and Phil Lewis sounds like his younger self and is fantastic. It’s how we all remember them. It’s so loud you can’t even hear any crowd noise except between songs, but it’s got that genuine, raw live feel with no overdubs or editing.
After many years, guitarist Tracii Guns and vocalist Phil Lewis finally settled their differences and reunited in 2017—probably due to the fact that having two versions both named L.A. Guns was beyond absurd. They released a strong comeback album, “The Missing Peace” (read Live Metal’s review) and successfully reinvigorated fans’ interest in the band, including mine. Back in its heyday, L.A. Guns were somewhere on the same level of popularity of bands like Kix, Great White, Skid Row and even Poison during the “The Ballad of Jayne” height of its popularity. I remember writing in my review of “The Missing Peace” how I’d think the L.A. Guns live show would be one wild, memorable time. Now we have the evidence with this live album and accompanying DVD/blu-Ray.
Highlights include “Electric Gypsy” (who doesn’t think of the accompanying motorcycle MTV video anytime they hear this?), “Over the Edge” (who doesn’t think of the beach party scene in “Point Break” anytime they hear this?), the up-tempo rocker “Speed” (the sole representative from “The Missing Peace”), “Never Enough” (who doesn’t think this is on the same level as “Sweet Child o’ Mine?”) and “Rip and Tear” (who doesn’t think this is L.A. Guns’ unofficial theme song?).
Frontiers Music, March 23, 2018