Alice Cooper’s supergroup’s newest delight
If one isn’t familiar with the name Hollywood Vampires, it would come, as a surprise to find out that they are a supergroup comprised of rock legends Alice Cooper and Joe Perry, and Hollywood actor Johnny Depp. The name Hollywood Vampires comes from a ’70s drinking club that consisted of Cooper, Keith Moon of The Who, Ringo Starr and John Lennon of the Beatles, Harry Nilsson and Micky Dolenz of the Monkees. Their second album Rise may not be as great as their debut album, but it’s full of energy, creativity, and features some great covers and vocals that make it well worth a listen.
The album begins with “I Want My Now,” which was written by the entire group and sang by Cooper. It’s a pretty typical rock song, featuring a catchy guitar riff in the beginning that immediately draws the listeners in before the loud clashing of drums come in. Cooper’s vocals give the song a sense of familiarity, and though it may not be the best song on the album, it’s a great solid beginning. Another notable early song is “Welcome to Bushwhackers” which features Jeff Beck and John Waters. The song has a bit of a country-rock feeling to it, and the rhythmic vocals give it a drinking song feeling to it and thus setting it apart.
The three covers on this album are “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory” by Johnny Thunders, “People Who Died” by The Jim Carrol Band and “Heroes” by David Bowie. “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory” is beautiful, featuring Perry’s unique vocals, and an uplifting sound. This version does the original more than justice, and it’s a perfect song to listen to as the summer comes to a close. “People Who Died” is one of the last songs on the album, and though it’s not the best of the three covers, the title and the content work well with the original inspiration of the group. Finally, “Heroes” is a phenomenal cover featuring Depp’s vocals singing Bowie’s poignant lyrics. It’s a known fact that Depp is a good singer, but this song solidifies how talented he is.
There are 16 songs on this album, making it difficult to hit on the elements of each one, but every track is worth a listen in their own right. The album ends with “Congratulations” which features acoustic guitar, spoken word/rap and quotes Psalm 23:4 “even though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil.” It’s an interesting choice to end the album, but it certainly will stick with listeners long after they are done listening.
Rise is available for purchase and streaming now, and it’s definitely worth a listen.