Consisting of two CDs, this release from Alice contains twelve new songs, two of those performed live by the original Alice Cooper band and six live bonus tracks of classics from his touring band. It took us a little while to get into the studio recordings on this release, but after a few listens we really began to appreciate it as a fine album. It is more like Alice of the ‘Steven’ era than of the ‘Poison’ era, perhaps unsurprising due to the presence of the original band, but with the same fine axemanship we have come to associate with him due to the parade of great guitarists he has now had in the band. Featuring special guests such as Billy Gibbons and Roger Glover, it is also peppered with stardust throughout.
Opener ‘Paranormal’ is an atmospheric start, a slower track punctuated with riffs, it’s a creepy number about a voyeur. ‘Dead Flies’, almost more spoken than sung, with some masterful guitar playing, is a warning about just how rotten human society can be. ‘Fireball’ is a 70s style rocker with emotionally charged guitar, vocal effects and an organ contribution by Producer Bob Ezrin. ‘Paranoiac' is very typically Alice on the subject of mental illness it has that opinionated intense urging typical of his live vocal work and some haunting guitar. ‘Fallen in Love’ has a southern rock swing with Billy Gibbons easily recognisable by the boogie woogie feel of his work. ‘Dynamite Road’ is a fast paced rock n roll tale of a party on the road gone bad. ‘Private Public Breakdown’ would be a straightforward soft rock number, but the subject matter, delivered with the insouciance of the insane gives it that Alice edge. ‘Holy Water’ has the feel of the Hollywood Vampires material Alice did with Johnny Depp and with a horns section has a bit of a feel of a Movie Soundtrack. ‘Rats’ is more typical rock n roll number with that ambivalent relationship that Alice has with his audience written through it like a stick of rock. The last studio track ‘The Sound of A’ is a real surprise with a strong Pink Floyd narcotic influenced feel.
Bonus CD starts with the two new tracks played by the original band. ‘Genuine American Girl’ is a parody of the American cheerleader culture and could easily have been a Rocky Horror Show track.
‘You and All Your Friends’ is a cheerful sounding song about the power of the disenfranchised exercised through violence with Alice, master of the uncomfortable subject matter going close to the bone as usual. These first two tracks with the original band are a little less metal than ‘No More Mr Nice Guy’, ‘Under My Wheels’, ‘Billion Dollar Babies’, ‘Feed My Frankenstein’, ‘Only Women Bleed’ and ‘School’s Out’ the classics from the 2016 touring band that follow. While it’s nice to have these excellently executed (geddit!) live tracks this release is really all about the new material. Back with this really quite diverse album Alice shows he’s not quite the one trick pony he’s sometimes painted.