L.A. Guns

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Wasted Review

by Jason Anderson

This 1998 Standback Records release is the only L.A. Guns disc to feature the lineup of Ralph Saenz on vocals, Johnny Crypt on bass (not to be confused with original rhythm guitarist Mick Cripps), Steve Riley on drums, and band constant Tracii Guns on lead guitar. Seanz is probably most famous for his dead-on David Lee Roth impersonation with early Van Halen copy band the Atomic Punks. In shows all over the U.S. during the mid- to late '90s, Seanz aped Roth's stage persona perfectly and sang better than the original Van Halen vocalist could ever dream of in a live setting. The slightly heavier sound of Wasted (when compared to L.A. Guns' more successful late-'80s recordings) is a little bland and predictable, as the group works a kind of Alice in Chains vibe that many hard rockers uncertain how to proceed through the decade of grunge/alternative adopted in a limp attempt at timeliness. Seanz's vocals are fine, but when the singer isn't literally copying another artist, his work is rather undistinguished. Guns' low-end guitar riffing is gutsy, but without strong material or a motivated supporting cast there isn't anything gained through the musician's efforts. Uninspired and ambiguous, Wasted is one of the softer later-day L.A. Guns offerings.

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