L.A. Guns - Loud And Dangerous: Live In Hollywood
I like one thing about this album: the band rocks like a gang, punky but dark, definitely not like a happy hair band. L.A. Guns' songs are under-rated, and the last few albums, especially Man In The Moon, have been solid. Still, as a live album, this is sub-par. The cover art's bad, there's not much of a booklet, and Phil periodically sounds out of tune and varying in volume - to the point of distraction, i.e. you don't feel comfortable (and it's not that the backing vocals tilt the situation back to anything positive). The production's not great either, thin on guitars, but not entirely horrible, just raucous, live and dirty. Nice hearing a Rose Tattoo cover, and Steve Riley and Adam Hamilton are a blast as a rhythm section. It's hard to shake the acrimony of the supporting story though - Tracii Guns ain't on this record, so there's a spreading patina of rot.
Tank - War Of Attrition Live 1981: Expanded Edition
Maniacal is an occasional label out of the DC area specializing in reissued rarities, often on vinyl - I've been to Mike's vinyl lair and it rules. In any event, I'm not entirely sure how many times over the years we've seen this material and in what formats, but, man... Tank always crack me up. What you get here is an onslaught of Algy and the band's excellent son-of-Motorhead songs, in various stages of undress. Coolest bits are the two rare demos on the end, typically solid, memorable Tank songs, but shame about the lack of treble. Same muffled sound for the two live in Holland tracks and the bootleggy radio sessions songs (geez, rife performance of Don't Walk Away though). Elsewhere, the demos sound raw and rockin' and goodly punked like The Damned (Algy's other claim to fame), and the eight live tracks at the front kick ass with acceptable fidelity and lots of steel-on-steel thunder. This band had the songs, there's no doubt about that, and Algy's voice exudes rock 'n' metal cool. Blood, Guts And Beer and Stormtrooper gotta be two of the top NWOBHM classics ever, and they're here, along with lots of boozy, incendiary, Lemmy-proud raucous roll. Long live Algy (and don't die).