L.A. Guns: ‘Cocked And Loaded Live’

Released on July 9, 2021 (Frontiers Music Srl)

I love L.A. Guns. In fact, if I had to choose one band’s catalog to take on a one way trip to a deserted island with and that would be all I would be able to listen to for the rest of my days, L.A. Guns would either be that band or at least be on the short list. So, with my admiration for Phil Lewis, Tracii Guns, and the boys now being fully known, it should be of no surprise I sought out and picked up the new live CD even though this is by far not the first time I’ve slapped down some cold hard cash for this collection of songs. In fact, I can say I picked up this original album back in the early ’90s when I first discovered L.A. Guns. I’m only 39 so I was a little late to the party but I’ve been along for the exceptionally bumpy L.A. Guns ride for about 30 years now. Anyway, I also bought Cocked And Re-Loaded in 2000 which was pretty damn amazing and superior, in my estimation, to the original. These re-recordings were later included on Black Beauties, Ultimate L.A. Guns, and another European L.A. Guns compilation CD featuring a chick with an exceptional ass holding a gun. And, I own them all…. I also own the 2005 live album which has many tracks from this album on it, the Made In Milan live CD/DVD, another live CD they put outlast year with a strange band line-up, and now this one… So, if Phil Lewis ever needs a night off, I probably could sing every song… Not as well! But, I’m saying, I might have heard them before.

So, how does Cocked And Loaded Live compare? Not bad… Not bad at all! The audio was taken from L.A. Guns‘ second pandemic live stream where they performed the whole record… and one song off The Missing Peace. This live stream featured a very small crowd and was a lot better received than the sterile live stream I watched with no crowd at all. Even Eddie Trunk managed to talk about this live stream on his talk show and he often ignores those types of things in favour of gassing about dull topics.

The album’s highlight, for me, is probably “Wheels of Fire.” While I still favour the Cocked And Re-Loaded version of the song to this, this really breathed life into a song that was and probably will remain overlooked by the L.A. Guns fan base. It really is a great song in every way. The production on the recording is solid. The band is a little quiet and Phil is louder than the music which gives it a less heavy vibe than the Made In Milan CD/DVD. This doesn’t have quite the piss and vinegar energy of the Milan CD/DVD either which could be the result of not having a real crowd or the absense of Michael Grant. But, I digress.

You know, Super Mario started out as an Italian immigrant from Brooklyn and was played by Captain Lou Albano on the Super Mario Super Show. But, as the years have gone on, he’s become less from Brooklyn and more of an Italian even spouting out jibberish that is vaguely Italian that could offend our European friends… And with how bored people have been during the pandemic, they may well gripe at Nintendo for “racism.” Anyway, I say this because Phil Lewis, who has lived in the US for 30 plus years now, seems to have become more English in his speaking expressions as time has gone by. Did anyone else notice this? And, yes. I realize that was a long way to go to land at this point.

I really liked hearing “Speed” thrown in the batch of songs even though it wasn’t on Cocked And Loaded. The “Highway Star” by Deep Purple inspired rocker really fits the classic sound of the band. And, I’m one of the few at shows that actually looks forward to hearing the new stuff performed… Is that weird? No other real surprises here. No Easter Eggs. It just is the audio from the second live stream. If you go in knowing this, you’ll be happy. And, I am. Phil sounds like a billion bucks as does the band. They always deliver and this is no different. I just hope the next studio album is more like Cocked And Loaded or The Missing Peace, and less like The Devil You Know which I hated and try as I might, I still have zero admiration for. It is the band’s worst album since American Hardcore… But, we’ll all pull for something better!

Track List:
01. Slap In The Face
02. Rip And Tear
03. Sleazy Come Easy Go
04. Never Enough
05. Malaria
06. The Ballad Of Jayne
07. Magdalaine
08. Give A Little
09. Speed
10. 17 Crash
11. Showdown (Riot On Sunset)
12. Wheels Of Fire
13. I Wanna Be Your Man

Band Members:
Phil Lewis – lead vocals
Tracii Guns – guitar
Ace Von Johnson – guitar
Johnny Martin – bass
Scot Coogan – drums

Band Websites:
Official Website

Reviewed by wrestlingepicenter.com for Sleaze Roxx, July 2021

L.A. Guns‘ “Wheels of Fire” single (from Cocked And Loaded Live album):