At this time, Alice Cooper were a more or less world famous band. They were still looked down on by churches and parents alike, but they had made their mark. Their combination of blues, metal and punk had blended perfectly and what was even more impressive was that punk hadn't even seen daylight at this point and metal was still struggling to its feet.
This may not be the most famous of all Alice Cooper albums, but you can be sure that a good number of the songs here ended up on the compilations. Everything here looks the part, let's here how it sounds�
A squealing riff and frantic drumming fall into a balls-to-the-walls blues song that works well in the sense that it's catchy, melodic and fairly heavy. There's not a dying moment on this song, but this is only the first few minutes. The guitars really stand out here and the drumming is consistent and fast. The vocals are stern, sharp and aggressive. Pure Alice Cooper.
Was Angus Young doing a cameo on 'Be my Lover'? No, but it doesn't sound completely farfetched (only this was a few years before AC/DC). This is a straight-forward, enjoyable rock song. It doesn't take any dissection to know what this song is about. The lead guitarist is playing a simple blues high-pitched tune for the most part while the rhythm is writing the textbook on rock.
Towards the end of the song, it reaches a crescendo, the drums fall apart into an enraged outburst and Vincent is still yelling while there's a frantic combination of licks crying in the backdrop.
'Halo of Flies' is an interesting piece. It's reminiscent of the band's early psychedelic works and over 8 minutes long. The organs are used more than subtly, yet you're still left with an enjoyable track. Once it gets to the third minute, it goes prog-rock and then unleashed to a raw, high-energy rhythm.
Another schizophrenic moment enters when the bass pummels away and the drums are rolling. After which a new riff merges and carries on, building up speed until an abrupt ending. It seems like a lesser song on this album, but soon grows on you.
'Desperado' starts with an acoustic riff and reverse cymbal, this particularly mellow intro applies to each verse and the short chorus is hard-hitting and strong. It then ends softly and would have worked just as well lined up at the end of the album.
'You Drive Me Nervous' is another fine track. The energy is great and works well with the rhythm. It's a short, yet forceful song with a loose, enduring riff.
The song-writing is really focused in 'Yeah, Yeah, Yeah' and the originality of it is the variations of bass-lines, drum parts and guitar parts until the piano and harmonica enter and play out for a diminutive amount of time.
'Dead Babies' may sound like a grotesque song that highlights why Alice Cooper were at the centre of so much bad press, but if you actually listen to the lyrics, it's a song about the horrific nature of child abuse.
It's eerie in the verses and the lyrics are daunting, yet the chorus is brutal and sharp. Near the end of the third minute, Vincent says good-bye to Billy, who died from neglect and abuse. It ends with screaming from a court room, where the case of abuse may have been held (if it holds much relevance to the song).
The first few seconds of the title-track 'Killer' start with the dying cries of the court room.
A flange riff plays at each line with the killer's dialogue about what his life means and is written with a great form of sympathy for those who, for one reason or another, felt they had to be driven to murder.
After 4 minutes, an unexpected end to one part of the song. A choir, organ and repetitive drum-line take the song away before a chaotic, indescribable sound force this album to an end. An epic of sorts, I suppose.
There was the album before Alice Cooper released 'School's out' and were truly noticed. If you've heard Alice Cooper before and like what you heard, then give this album some thought. If however, their works haven't appealed to you, don't expect this to change your mind.
: 'Under my Wheels', 'Be my Lover', 'Dead Babies'.