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L.A. GUNS, LONDON QUIREBOYS PLAY LOUD BUT LACK LUSTER

For two bands with such impressive publicity and number of albums sold, Tuesday night's concert was a bit underwhelming.

Back in Salt Lake City for their second time in about seven months, L.A. Guns pulled few surprises and even sported the same tattoo-parlor-and-porno-shop set. While they're adequately talented and have plenty of raucous energy, there's really not much to set them apart from other heavy metal groups - the majority of their songs are standard gutter-rock fare, played with the usual volume of, oh, a vacuum cleaner after a hangover.And that's just fine with their fans.

The roughly 2,000 fans who crowded the floor of the Coliseum seemed pleased enough with the show; Tracii Guns' scorching guitar solo and their ripping blur of sliding chords and sweet choruses evidently made up for the homogenous quality of the rest of their music.

"They've got their stuff together," conceded Jon Paul Smith, 22, a concertgoer from Kearns, "even though there's like something missing; like it's not a real full sound."

On numbers like "Electric Gypsy," the mesmerizing, intense "Malaria," "Wheels of Fire," "I Wanna Be Your Man" and "The Ballad of Jane," L.A. Guns proved they can play right up there with the rest of the bad boys of hard rock and keep a crowd's attention - as long as you're not looking for anything truly unorthodox or trend-setting.

But the unofficial consensus on The London Quireboys was that they were unequivocably bad.

Ben Frandsen, 21, of Kearns, said the British rockers were just "wannabes" and had absolutely no energy.

"I mean, look at the crowd," he said. "They hardly have their hands up in the air."

In all fairness to the Quireboys, they sound much better on their album, "A Bit of What You Fancy," which has gone gold all over Europe. On numbers like "Sweet Mary Ann," "7 O'Clock," "Hey You" and "Take Me Home Tonight," they have a pared-down, naked guitar sound that's appealing - but it certainly wasn't evident during Tuesday night's performance.

With muddy vocals, overpowering bass and a barely discernible melody line, the Quireboys sounded anything but angelic. Ed Dose, 24, of Brooklyn, N.Y., defended them, saying, "Well, they're good, but they have different equipment, and people don't know them here as well."

Those who care to acquaint themselves might need a little patience.