Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tracii Guns' L.A. Guns ~ Shrinking Violet



(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: hard rock
Label: Perris
Year: 1999
Home: Los Angeles

Members: Jizzy Pearl ~ vocals
Tracii Guns ~ guitars
Johnny Crypt ~ bass
Steve Riley ~ drums

Additional: Teddy Andreadis ~ keyboards

Guest: Gilby Clarke ~ guitar


This album featured new lead singer Jizzy Pearl, which cracked the L.A. Guns fan base with controversy & in turn made this the only L.A. Guns album to feature him. But for everyone else unfamiliar with the legacy of the 9 singers that have passed under the L.A.G umbrella Jizzy is without a doubt the most noticeable thing on this album with a raspy near-falsetto voice that seems to become something new with each song like a cast of characters on parade (i.e. "Bad Whiskey"). For all the controversy surrounding what he didn't bring to the band compared to his predecessors he makes this album stand out from similiar bands & even similiar albums. I've never heard a voice like Jizzy's & rarely have I heard such a range of vocal styles on one album ... sadly the band isn't able to give him what he needs musically to shine. Honestly, Shrinking Violet largely comes across as just another album from just another L.A. glam band half-heartedly chugging away half-heartedly on quasi-memorable songs that mix hard rocking riffs with occasional forays into creeky Pink Floyd-wannabe experimental territory highlighted by tired power ballads, acoustic guitars & keyboards. If it wasn't for Jizzy I probably wouldn't review this album. Jizzy has one of the more unique voices I've heard in a while & I can see why they would recruit him. I would do the same if I had a band. Actually, I wouldn't mind singing like him. He should probably be more famous than he is. He later fronted Ratt from 2000-06, which was probably a good fit for his particularly raspy & odd tones ... albeit they weren't exactly chart-toppers at the time. This may or may not be the greatest L.A. Guns album & Jizzy may or may not be the best singer the band has had, but this release certainly stands out from other albums & even the rest of the L.A.G catalog. The highlights of the album "Shrinking Violet" & "Girl You Turn Me On" open the album, though sadly it's a hit or miss affair afterwards of weak arrangements occassionally brought back to life by hard rockers (i.e. "I'll Be There"). This is not the raw garage band that L.A.G has become known as, but largely sounds like a band on it's last legs & trying something new because they have nothing to lose. It's an interesting affair I'd recommend for the singing. You probably won't come away with any feel of what type of band L.A.G is, sadly. For those who don't know L.A. Guns was founded by guitarist Tracii Guns of whom Guns'N'Roses is named for, as it was a combination of bands L.A. Guns & Hollywood Rose with Axl Rose that was the original line-up of GNR ... only to have all L.A. Guns members replaced ... Tracii by Slash. Today two bands exist with the L.A. Guns moniker, one with Tracii & one with fav' L.A.G vocalist Phil Lewis.


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