Devil City Angels - 'Devil City Angels'

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Devil City Angels - 'Devil City Angels'

To quote The Rolling Stones, "It's only Rock & Roll, but I like it." I'm damn sure you will too.

To quote AC/DC, "Rock & Roll ain't noise pollution, Rock & Roll is just Rock & Roll." That's exactly what this is, good ol' no frills Rock & Roll, plain and simple, exactly how it should be. And damn good at that!

Of course, that's to be expected when you take into consideration that Devil City Angels are made up of (predominantly) seasoned veterans of the scene. The band came together by accident when L.A. Guns guitarist Tracii Guns, Poison drummer Rikki Rockett and Cinderella bassist Eric Brittingham performed together at a John Entwistle/Keith Moon tribute show and people began chanting "Guns And Rocketts" as a joke. They agreed that the phrase had a nice ring to it and decided to start a band. Needing a singer to complete the ensemble, they enlisted Brandon Gibbs who had been performing with Brittingham (and his Cinderella band-mate Jeff LaBar) in Cheap Thrill. Brittingham would leave following the recording of this album, but in steps journeyman bassist Rudy Sarzo (Whitesnake, Quiet Riot etc.) to fill the void.

Naturally, you're going to find elements of all the members previous output in DCA's music, most notably LAG circa 'Hollywood Vampires' and Poison circa 'Native Tongue', namely straight-forward, commercial-tinged, melodic Rock & Roll shot through with a Bluesy streak and a confident swagger.

And though the choruses aren't exactly huge, after numerous spins they still become so damn infectious, most notably on the rabble-rousing opener 'Numb', first single 'Boneyard', the stylish 'No Angels', the Country Rock sound of 'Ride With Me' (that wouldn't sound out of place on a Keith Urban record), the almost Sixties-ish Pop of 'All I Need' or the album's solitary ballad 'Goodbye Forever'. 'All My People' is full of Aerosmith-inspired sass, while Guns borrows from one of his former employers for 'I'm Living', as the riff sounds suspiciously like that of Guns N' Roses' 'Mr. Brownstone'.

Yet while the pedigree of the senior members of the band is referred to throughout the album, it's the performance of the band's most unfamiliar (to most) member (Gibbs) that is the glue that binds DCA together. Bearing a likeness to Train's Pat Monahan on the more commercial members, his voice takes on a completely different tone as he pushes it into a higher register on the two tracks that close the album out, namely the rollicking 'Back To The Drive' and the grooving Hard Rocker 'Bad Decisions'.

To quote The Rolling Stones, "It's only Rock & Roll, but I like it." I'm damn sure you will too.

Ant Heek

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