July 13, 2021

These days, the first question you have to ask when a new L. A. Guns album pops up is which version of the band it is. Is it the Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis version or is it the Steve Riley version now officially known as Riley’s L. A. Guns following a court case to resolve the name issue which was finally sorted earlier this year. Indeed, both versions of the band are in fine form with Riley’s L. A. Guns releasing the excellent Renegade album last year with the Tracii Guns version also putting out the neat The Devil You Know in 2019.

Cocked and Loaded Live is the latest from Tracii Guns and team and is, as you have already gathered, a live album recorded at a specially arranged gig at the Fremont Country Club in Las Vegas to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the second studio album Cocked and Loaded. A 31st anniversary seems a strange one to commemorate but, what the hell, at least we have a new album to enjoy. Indeed, this can be considered almost as the hors d’oeuvre as a new studio album is planned for release sometime in the autumn and is most eagerly awaited.

Cocked And Loaded Live was a streamed event and it seems that only the audio is being released but maybe the video could follow later, who knows? On stage we have Guns (guitar) and Lewis (vocals) backed by Scot Coogan (drums), Ave Von Johnson (rhythm guitar) and Johnny Martin (bass) and an excellent team they make too which is good news because if your name is Ace then you have to be the best otherwise life could become unbearable. A quick check of the set list below will show that this is virtually the full album and in original running order too except, for some reason, the opening track Letting Go is not included and neither is the short but explosive guitar solo that is I’m Addicted but Tracii Guns is on fine form as he lays down his trademark riffs and thundering solos that continue to thrill and amaze so, in the context of a live album this studio track is not really that necessary. They do, however, play a relatively new track in Speed from the The Missing Peace album of a couple of years back and this grungy little number fits perfectly into the set list with Lewis stating that it wasn’t on the original album but they sure wish that it was!

The band is hot, Guns is on fire and Lewis turns back the years to give a classic performance and the man still has plenty of fire in his belly. This is not the album of a band going through the motions but one with a proud past and every intention of keeping on going for years to come. If you know L. A. Guns then you know that you are going to get a hard rock tinged with sleaze metal set that will leave you exhausted and satisfied. As a rather brilliant band once said, “long live rock and roll.”

Cocked And Loaded Live

  1. Slap In The Face (4:15)
  2. Rip And Tear (4:30)
  3. Sleazy Come Easy Go (4:50)
  4. Never Enough (4:25)
  5. Malaria (5:33)
  6. The Ballad Of Jayne (5:26)
  7. Magdalaine (6:19)
  8. Give A Little (4:18)
  9. Speed (3:55)
  10. 17 Crash (3:31)
  11. Showdown (Riot On Sunset (3:12)
  12. Wheels Of Fire (5:20)
  13. I Wanna Be Your Man (5:11)