Review Summary: Alice Cooper once again displays his immortal qualities over humdrum rock music.
These days, you actually have to question whether Alice Cooper made a deal with the Devil before making his trajectory into shock-rock stardom. I mean with the exception of Rob Halford, who is also wiping the floor with the competition touching 70, Alice is 71 years old and his solid performances have segued into the pension era with unwavering vigour. Supergroups are never particularly glamorous things, frankly, they stink the place up for the most part; and Hollywood Vampires would be another fallen victim to add to the long list of out-of-touch stars trying to make a stroke on their ego’s, were it not for Mr. Cooper pulling the majority of the weight here. Like Alice Cooper’s last album, he sounds fantastic: from his snarling attitude on “Git from Round Me,” to the showman-flexed theatrics of the Pink Floyd tinged “Mr. Spider,” he brings yet another surprisingly well-executed and varied array of performances to the table. Better prospects also surround Rise
because it makes an attempt at making the band feel more fleshed out this time around, opting for a reverse in the creativity department by delivering more original cuts with a couple of covers than the other way around. “Mr. Spider,” “I Want My Now,” and the sinister takes of “Who’s Laughing Now” and “The Boogieman Surprise” are enjoyable numbers that emit a genuine chemistry the band has together – occasionally creeping above the levels of banality your typical supergroup would level themselves at.
Of course, that’s not to say the music ever overcomes serviceability; it’s mainly cumbered by derivative blues and punk rock riffs that have been played a million times over, with little footing being made by either Depp or Perry to make them feel otherwise. Then there’s the outright failures which plague the record. The covers in particular are horrible, from the shoddy production to the flaccid vocal takes – both Depp and Perry provide anaemic performances on the likes of “Heroes” and “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory,” hampering the album where it didn’t need to be. To make matters worse, the interlude tracks feel completely arbitrary and segregate the tracks into neat little piles rather than gelling them all together cohesively. Thankfully there’s only one serious misfire, in the form of the godawful “We Gotta Rise” – quality of writing that showcases a devastating decline compared to the rest of the songs on here; a track riddled with a pseudo, half-arsed political message made all the more obnoxious by its wacky flamboyancy. That said, however, even with its glaring issues, Rise
shows a lot of promise for Hollywood Vampires. If the band should ever choose to proceed further, an exclusive focus on original material seems like the best way to go, given that this is where Rise
displays its, and the band’s, strongest attributes.
FORMAT//EDITIONS: DIGITAL/̶/̶C̶D̶/̶/̶B̶O̶X̶ ̶S̶E̶T̶/̶/̶V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶
SPECIAL EDITION BONUSES: N/A
ALBUM STREAM//PURCHASE: https://www.hollywoodvampires.com/album