From the outset, L.A. Guns have crafted a hard edge in both their recordings and performances that make most glam metal acts look every bit as airy-fairy as they really are. During the late 1980s, these tattooed, hell-bent-for-leather monarchs reigned over the Sunset Strip metal scene when it served as a spawning ground for a seemingly endless supply of new metal acts. The failure of subsequent releases to duplicate their early success led to a series of lineup changes; throughout each, the band has maintained a loyal core of fans that support the refusal of Tracii Guns and co. to compromise their gutsy, raucous sound. Anyone eager to write L.A. Guns off as has-beens should listen to their 1999 release Shrinking Violet before making such a claim -- though public tastes have changed and the band will never again achieve its former notoriety, this album's material is as fine as they've ever done.