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LA GUNS
MAN IN THE MOON

Spitfire Records
Produced by: LA Guns

Released: April 23 / Website
Closest Relative:
GENRE: Hard Rock
OVERALL: 80%

  1. Man In The Moon
  2. Beautiful
  3. Good Thing
  4. Spider's Web
  5. Don't Call Me Crazy
  6. Hypnotized
  7. Fast Talking Dream Dealer
  8. Out Of Sight
  9. Turn It Around
  10. Scream

The recent soap opera like goings on with LA Guns could have seen the band finished for good. I am more than pleased to see the mainly original line up back together, but call for it to be the exact original line up for the next album.
Steve Riley, Traci Guns, Phil Lewis are back, with Mick Cripps juts joining in time to lay down some keyboards for the album. Bass duties are covered by new guy Mark Dutton, formerly of Burning Tree.
The band have recaptured part of their classic sound, with parts of Man In The Moon sounding like excerpts from their debut album, Cocked & Loaded, Hollywood Vampires and maybe even a little from Vicious Circle.
But what is absent is some of the urgency and bite that Vicious Circle brought to us so well.
That album really had an attitude and this album, as welcome a return it is, still needs a little extra energy.
What might be to blame is the production. The production here is so much better than the band's last album without Phil Lewis, but still lacks the edge their previous albums had.
It could have been a little cleaner and it sounds like the guitars and energy of the album have been toned down a little too much.
Having said that, it's great to see the song writing returning to form. I hope the guys continue to play together and will record a new album feeling like a complete unit and a real band again. The guys certainly have the PR trail well alight, so I hope news of this album reaches the masses.
Man In The Moon certainly kicks things off in a positive way. It's not overly heavy, or in your face, but the rough guitar riff's of Tracii Guns are there and the trademark snarl of Phil Lewis is there, even if he doesn't sound like he want to bite the listeners head off anymore.
Beautiful may be a good track, but having this slower and more psychedelic pop rocker follow the more aggressive opening track slows the pace of the album down immediately. The track is a pleasant pop rock number that would previously have been an instant radio hit. It just might have worked better as track 3 or 4 and have a few tidy hard rockers open the album.
Good Thing changes style again. Darker and heavier and a little psychedelic again, the chorus lets the song down by being a little cheesy.
Spider's Web is much better. This is like the aggressive hard hitting LA Guns of old. It would have made a better track 2. Dark and heavy guitars and some tight Phil Lewis vocals sound much closer to the traditional style of the band. Cool track.
With it's intro, you think Don't Call Me Crazy is going to shred, but it is in fact a rock ballad in the vein only LA Guns do well. Slow, moody and mellow, building to a more hard rocking chorus and some pleading Lewis vocals. Old time fans will like this track.
Hypnotized is next up. And it's straight back to some hard rocking guitar driven psychedelic sleazy stuff indeed. It hasn't quite the vocal punch that it should, but Traci's guitars are almost enough on their own.
Fast Talking Dream Dealer continues fat fast riffing, fast talking rock n roll. This is another track that harks back to the band's early days and will again please long time fans.
Out Of Sight could have been lifted from Cocked And Loaded or Hollywood Vampires. It's a good song, but without a sting in it's tail.
Turn It Aroundis a cool number and something a little left of center for the band. It really hasn't got a big hook, but works well being an overly moody and dark pop ballad. Interesting track that works well.
Scream finishes the album as we would expect. Big guitars, fast uptempo beat and a more aggressive vocal from Phil Lewis, which is nice to see. A good song to end the album with and one of the better ones on the album.
BOTTOM LINE: It's been a long time coming since this almost original line up recorded and it's great to see them back. The album is good and will please many long time fans, but it could also have been a little better. The album has a couple of fillers on it, but is a great attempt to recapture a feeling many thought long gone. The album could have been a little tougher and had a more aggressive edge, but some of that studio magic might have been lost in the mix. Maybe next time around it will be just perfect.
PRODUCTION: 77% SONGS: 83% VIBE: 75%ATTITUDE: 85%
ESSENTIAL FOR: Most long time LA Guns fans and fans of Los Angeles era sleaze rock.
DISCOGRAPHY: LA Guns . Cocked And Loaded . Hollywood Vampires . Cuts . Vicious Circle . Shrinking Violet . Greatest Hits & Black Beauties . A Nite On The Strip . Man In The Moon


23/12/01: dokken6008 - ----
Rating: 80
I'm with Andy, this album does lack some balls and the energy of the band's former releases. I would say 5 of the 10 tracks are total filler (I think a few others mentioned this), but the title-track "Man in the Moon", "Scream" and "Spider's Web" are great tunes. "Beautiful" and "Don't Call Me Crazy" are good, too. Phil finally sounds good again; he not straining like he was on some of the songs on Black Beauties. Well, it's nice to have the band back making new albums; I think that the Guns will make a better album next time.
Here's hoping

02/06/01: bigburn - bigburn@knac.com
Rating: 94
I am a huge fan of L.A.Guns and was dying for this release with Phil Lewis back at the helm. I was not disappointed!!! I think one thing I've learned with the Guns is to go into each album with an open mind...If you expect standard fare or assume you know what's going on you might be let down. This goes for Phil Lewis' solo stuff and whatever incarnation Traci has presented as the "L.A.Guns" over the last few years. I agree, I never could make it through "American Hardcore", but I really enjoyed "shrinking violet" and "wasted". This new album is a great new album that doesn't sound rehashed or dated. I think it has a fresh sound and it just goes over well. If you pick it apart, some songs are definately stronger than others, but the album as a whole is exactly what I wanted! Give this a fair chance, because it deserves it!

19/05/01: Chris Foley - laazrockit@aol.com
Rating: 95
I am truly thrilled with "Man In the Moon". As an old fan of the first 3 releases (and sickened at "American Hardcore")this Cd is exactly what you would want in a LA Guns CD. No rap beats, distorted vocals or any other gimmicky tricks. Just a solid catchy rocking collection of songs, from the kick ass riff of Man in the Moon, the hook filled Beautiful (should be a radio hit, if radio didn't suck) to the epic Don't Call Me Crazy. All in all a great return to form, don't be afraid if you were burned by the Phil Lewis-less Cd's this is an excellent CD well worth your $. Watch for the summer tour with Faster Pussycat as well.

02/05/01: Cadillac Jack - CadillacJack91@webtv.net
Rating: 0
Great album. Man In The Moon, Beautiful, Spiders Web, Turn It Around, Scream, Don't Call Me Crazy are classics and worth the CD price alone. But the rest of the songs (Good Thing, Dream Dealer, Out Of Sight) are filler.

27/04/01: Brendon Snyder - brendonsnyder@hotmail.com
Rating: 85
It’s been 7 years coming and finally the L.A. Guns have re-grouped with original lead vocalist, Phil Lewis and released the new studio album of all original music Man In The Moon. The songs on the album pick up where the 6 new tracks on Greatest Hits & Black Beauties left off. The writing has reached a whole new level and musically it sounds like they haven’t missed a beat especially the smoking fret work by lead guitarist and name sake Tracii Guns. Lead off track and the first single “Man In The Moon” kicks with an amazing assault and presence announcing the return of one of the 80’s most rocking bands. The second track “Beautiful”, has hit written all over it with its catchy melodic hooks and distinctive singing. The album is a good mix between the rawness of 1989’s Cocked & Loaded and the more groove oriented and mature 1991 album Hollywood Vampires. A wide array of subjects are delt with on this album which helps give the boys in the band a new footing in today’s market. It shows that they aren’t only about sex and parties, even though there are a couple of great 80’s through backs on the record. Songs such a “Spider’s Web” and “Hypnotized” could have easily fit next to the singles from their self titled album in 1988 or the aforementioned Cocked & Loaded. Overall Tracii Guns, Phil Lewis, Steve Riley (d), Mick Cripps (g) and newcomer on bass Muddy, rock in a way that makes us wish more bands where of their caliber

25/04/01: Adam - FictitiousEmailAddress@yahoo.com
Rating: 90
I honestly agree with the majority of the "main review" for this album, I just had a few extra comments... I believe the Production of the album is far superior to the last few releases by L.A. Guns, and the continuity of the album is the most solid since Hollywood Vampires. Personally I think "Man In The Moon," "Beautiful," and "Don't Call Me Crazy" are the best songs of this newest offering, although the entire CD is quite enjoyable for any L.A.G. fan. There are a few songs that have rather repetetive lyrics ("Good Thing" springs to mind!), but it really doesn't detract that much from the album. Honestly, there is some premier song-writing here with multiple tracks, but it's really a great representation of what L.A.G. does best - that certain "je ne sais quoi." This album is definitely a hybrid of Cocked & Loaded and Hollywood Vampires! I think Phil Lewis' return was essential to retain me as a fan, as the last few albums were rather horrid. To anyone that detested Jizzy Pearl and Chris Van Dahl (as I did) "Man In The Moon" will be an album you will welcome whole-heartedly and enjoy thoroughly. There are 10 great tunes here to check out (even if "Spider's Web" is way too reminiscent of "Never Enough" in sound) so please do yourself (& L.A.G) a favor and pick this album up! I'll look forward to seeing Phil/Tracii/Steve/Muddy perform at the Hard Rock in Cleveland! I hope this is somewhat helpful, I assume someone else will post something more technically-oriented/full breakdown song by song, so I'll leave my review at this. Take care everybody and keep rocking! I'll continue enjoying this exemplory site!


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