L.A. Guns released their 14th album, titled Black Diamonds, this Friday. It’s their fourth release in a row since Traci Guns and Phil Lewis reunited in 2016. Although it’s “Metallica Friday” today, we’ve decided to take a look at Black Diamonds first. This isn’t going to be a traditional album review since we’re living in a time where album reviews don’t carry as much weight. Consider this an instant reaction to the release. You can find additional information of the album on Wikipedia anyway.
To grade this album, we’ll be using the 0-1 system. Legend has it that this system was created by Michael Butler, a well-known host of The Rock and Roll Geek Show podcast. While we have our own system called Albummeter, which can be a bit complicated sometimes. So, for simplicity, we’ll be using Michael’s system to grade Black Diamonds.
The system: 1 point for the song we like, 0.5 points for something in between and 0 for the song that we don’t like.
Black Diamonds ratings by Junkyard Rock Stories:
01. You Betray 0,5
02. Wrong About You 0
03. Diamonds 1
04. Babylon 1
05. Shame 0,5
06. Shattered Glass 1 H
07. Gonna Lose 0,5
08. Got It Wrong 1
09. Lowlife 0
10. Crying 0
11. Like A Drug 1
Ratings — 6,5/11
Album cover — This is the fourth album in a row released as a variation of their original moniker. Perhaps they could have considered changing it up this time.
Roughly speaking, a slightly lower rating for this album is not due to bad music or too many misses. It’s something else. It seems that L.A. Guns leaned too much towards that Led Zeppelin sound on this release. It’s perfectly fine to make one or two songs in that style, but during the album’s listening, such similar songs began to pile up one after another, so there were too many of them in the end. Too many for a band that has almost 40 years of career and millions of records sold. Is it a desire to get on that New Wave Of Classic Rock train? But why would someone like L.A. Guns do that? That should be left to young bands.
Therefore, the songs that received a lower rating are totally in that Led Zeppelin style. Of the songs that can be highlighted as L.A. Guns songs, Shattered Glass is certainly the best on the album, but also the songs Babylon and Like A Dog. The latter is guitarist Ace Von Jonson’s idea. It’s good that they included one of his songs, just to break up that Zeppelin direction that Tracii and Phil mostly went in. All in all, this is a quality album from experienced musicians who may have gone a little too far in the same direction. It may also be due to a slight saturation since this is the fourth album in a row that the band has released at intervals of two years.
If we had to choose between the four latest albums that L.A. Guns has released, it’s possible that Black Diamonds and Chakered Past would fight not to be in the last place. All in all, we would rather hear a new Waking The Dead than an album sprinkled with songs that resemble Led Zeppelin. No offense.