Veteran rock band L.A. Guns unveiled another preview of its new album Renegades this week. The band debuted the album’s new single ‘All That You Are.’ The album’s fourth single – behind ‘Crawl,’ ‘Well Oiled Machine,’ and the album’s title track — it is just one more example of what makes the record a positive new offering from the band. ‘Why Ask Why,’ which comes between two of those singles early in the album’s 39-minute run, is another notable addition to the record. It will be addressed shortly. ‘You Can’t Walk Away’ is another intriguing addition to Renegades. It will be discussed a little later. ‘Don’t Wanna Know,’ the album’s finale, is yet another show of the album’s strength. When it is considered along with the other noted songs, the record’s existing singles and its four remaining songs, the whole becomes a widely appealing record for rock fans across the board.
L.A. Guns’ latest album Renegades is a presentation that will appeal equally to the band’s longtime fans just as much as it will more casual listeners and rock fans in general. The four singles that the record has now produced support the noted statements without question. They are just some of the songs that show what makes the record so appealing. ‘Why Ask Why,’ which comes early in the 10-song record’s run adds to that appeal in its own way. That is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement. The arrangement in question is a straight forward, guitar-driven classic rock style opus that throws in a touch of a modern rock element for a whole that is instantly infectious and keeps listeners engaged and entertained throughout its nearly three-and-a-half minute run time. The energy in the fiery musical arrangement serves well to help translate the message in the song’s lyrical content and its associated emotion.
The lyrical content in question comes across as a familiar story of someone dealing with a toxic relationship. Whether that relationship is romantic or plutonic is left to interpretation, but it seems relatively clear as front man Kurt Frohlich sings in the song’s lead verse, “I don’t know everything you feel/But I know that what I’m feeling is unreal/Can you show us what’s on my mind/Will you walk the wild side blind/Why ask why/I don’t mind.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “Can you reach through inner space/Will you choose to meet me face-to-face/Are you two-faced/Yeah, you get on my last nerve…Why ask why/Why ask why/So don’t mind/’Cause I don’t mind.” A small portion of the lyrics is difficult to decipher sans lyrics to reference, but the bigger picture here is relatively clear. The energy in the song’s musical arrangement works to help translate the feeling of frustration obviously going through the main subject’s mind. That is especially the case considering the tone in the guitar and bass. To that end, the pairing of the noted musical and lyrical content here is certain to help the song connect with listeners and in turn, make the song accessible. It all comes together to make the song just one example of what makes Renegades a positive return for this lineup of L.A. Guns. ‘You Can’t Walk Away’ is another of the album’s notable entries.
‘You Can’t Walk Away’ is such an interesting addition to Renegades because it really defies everything that audiences have come to expect from L.A. Guns throughout its life. Yes, there is a little bit of a ballad type of approach here. At the same time though, the production, the choruses, and the instrumentation really throws back to the 1960s and some very distinct influence of The Beatles. It really is the album’s most surprising and engaging work because of that approach. That musical aspect, with all of is production and emotion works with the song’s familiar lyrical content about a relationship, to make the song even more appealing.
The noted lyrical theme is mad clear right from the song’s outset as Frohlich sings, “Nothing’s right/Gonna be a long way home tonight/A lover’s fight/I’ve been away too long/Another day rolls by/And it feels like an old friend/But nobody wants to do it/No one seems to care/And nobody wants to listen anyway/You can’t walk away/Something inside is telling you/Why is it so hard to do/You can’t walk away/When it all falls apart/Leave with your heart.” The theme is made even clearer in the second verse, in which Frohlich sings, “Nobody pays your precious way/Thought it was an easy thing to do/But when you turned around something told you/Go back to where they know you/You can walk away/Something inside is telling you/Why is it so hard to do/You can walk away/Still it all falls apart/Leave with your heart.” Keeping all of this in mind, the song’s lyrical theme remains relatively clear. This deals with the emotional difficulties that come with a breakup. The addition of the song’s subdued musical arrangement adds even more to the song’s overall impact. The two elements jointly make this song one of this album’s most notable and important works. Together with ‘Why Ask Why,’ the two songs show even more clearly what makes Renegades an appealing new offering from L.A. Guns. The two songs are just a glimpse into the album’s appeal. ‘Don’t Wanna Know,’ the record’s finale, is one more of the album’s most notable entries.
‘Don’t Wanna Know’ is a good way for L.A. Guns to close out its new album. That is because this song’s musical arrangement is pure 80s hair metal. The light, almost bouncy feel of Scotty Griffin’s guitar work and that of drummer Steve Riley works with Frohlich’s equally loose vocal delivery to take listeners back to the heyday of L.A. Guns, Motley Crue and Poison. It is a fun, upbeat work that is certain to appeal to plenty of listeners, especially considering the more straight forward feel of the album’s opener, ‘Crawl’ and the rest of the album’s work. It’s like this song is a reward to listeners for having made their way through the rest of the record. Interestingly enough, as light and upbeat as the musical arrangement is here, it makes for an interesting contrast to the song’s lyrical content.
The lyrical content that is featured in ‘Don’t Wanna Know’ comes across as perhaps an indictment of someone going through addiction of some sort. This is inferred as Frohlich sings in the song’s lead verse, “Heard it from my best friend/Heard it on the street/What’s going down/You puttin’ me down/Sayin’ I was obsolete/Heard it from your mother/Said you’re not the same/Tellin’ lies/With bloodshot eyes/Bringing the family shame/I’ve been this way too long/Too long/Nothing right or wrong.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “Heard it from your doctor/You’ve been running late…never sleep/Losin’ all your weight/Heard it on the telephone/Picked it up to call/Got no place to hide my face/Even on a bathroom wall/It only hurts my soul/Don’t wanna know/Makes me lose control.” What is interesting here is that all of this comes across in an almost frustrated yet sarcastic fashion. It really makes for an interesting listen, again, especially when it is paired with the song’s high energy musical arrangement. Maybe this is meant to be someone who is fed up with hearing about what a person is doing to himself/herself through the noted supposed addiction. This is all just this critic’s own interpretation. Regardless, the song offers audiences plenty of reason for engagement. It all comes together here to show once more why Renegades is such a positive return for L.A. Guns. When this song is considered along with the others examined here, the rest of the record’s songs and its singles, the whole of the album proves the album to be a widely appealing new offering from the veteran rock band.
Renegades is an interesting new offering from the veteran rock band L.A. Guns. Its musical and lyrical content alike offers listeners so much motivation to remain engaged and entertained throughout its nearly 40-minute run time. That is evidenced in all three of the songs examined here. The same can be said of the four singles that the album has now produced and the album’s other songs not addressed here. Each song is notable in its own right to the whole of Renegades. All things considered, the album proves itself to be another example of why L.A. Guns remains one of rock’s elite acts.
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