Hollywood Vampires - 'Rise'

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Hollywood Vampires - 'Rise'

'Rise' isn't flawless, but it's still a really great album that I will keep going back to time and again.

Alice Cooper (vocals), Johnny Depp (guitars/vocals), Joe Perry (guitars/vocals), Tommy Henriksen (guitars/keyboards), Chris Wyse (bass) and Glen Sobel (drums) – now that's a proper super-group! For this release, the band are also joined by guests Jeff Beck and John Waters on one song. The other covers feature Depp singing a beautiful version of David Bowie's 'Heroes', while Perry delivers the vocals for Johnny Thunders' 'You Can't Wrap Your Arms Around A Memory'.

'Rise' is the sophomore album from the Hollywood Vampires and this time around it consists of mainly original tracks with only a smattering of really tasteful cover versions. It sounds better than the debut too; the group feel more fired-up, more cohesive and more focused, and the end result is a huge step up from the first release.

Fairly bristling with attitude and vibrant passion, the band have produced a truly timeless album; in fact, Cooper hasn't sounded this inspired in a while. Depp and Perry make for a fabulous twin-guitar attack because this pair really fire off each other as they trade licks and riffs with consummate ease. Let's hope Perry's (seemingly frail) health holds up given they have a sizeable forthcoming tour to fulfil. The Vampires have an "ace in the hole" with Henriksen who appears to be the linchpin of their song-writing team; his input seems to gel the others together and make the magic happen. He also produced the record and his efforts have given it a really warm, vintage feel that is very analogue – which is absolutely fine by me.



The album blasts into action with the epic 'I Want My Now' which features Cooper belting out an irascibly snarling trademark vocal. It's a thunderous number with the group sounding in fiery form and it's also the best thing I've heard Cooper put his name to in an age. 'New Threat' is absolutely Cooper in every respect and this track would comfortably fit in amongst any of his greatest hits; it's a snarling, belligerent, sneering, middle-fingered "fuck you" of a song! 'Mr. Spider' could be a Tim Burton/Danny Elfman/Depp cinematic nightmare that has been churned together into a nasty acid trip. It's sprawling, unnerving and almost nods to Pink Floyd in the midsection – this track is nothing short of genuinely brilliant!

'Rise' isn't flawless, but it's still a really great album that I will keep going back to time and again! The vampires are back and thank fuck for that!

Chris O'Connor

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