HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES – ” Rise “

Posted: June 22, 2019 in Classic Albums, MUSIC
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The Hollywood Vampires return with their explosive second album, “Rise”. Rock and roll royalty Joe Perry, Hollywood superstar Johnny Depp and shock rock icon Alice Cooper join forces once again for the unmissable rock album of 2019. Seconds into the opening track ‘I Want My Now,’ it’s clear this supergroup has created something special – the chemistry between the individuals is unmistakable when they come together on stage or in the recording studio. Forget the star-studded lineup’s individual reputations, Rise is some of the purest, unapologetic and most enjoyable rock and roll of the year, made by masters of the craft and true fans of the form.

when Hollywood Vampires first hit the scene with their 2015 self-titled debut album, expectations were understandably high. Sadly, the majority of what was delivered was a glorified covers album from Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, the godfather of shock rock, Alice Cooper, and Hollywood royalty, Johnny Depp. Don’t get me wrong, the album was great and a tribute to rock legends lost over the years, but there was a desire to hear some original tunes from some of the most talented men to take to the stage.

Rise actually demonstrates the talents on offer. Opening with “I Want My Now,” over seven minutes of extravagant guitar riffs and Cooper’s instantly recognizable rasping vocals, it would be a Guitar Hero player’s wet dream to nail this tune on expert level! You would be forgiven for comparing the opening of “Who’s Laughing Now” to industrial metal bands such as Nine Inch Nails or even Rammstein, but that feeling is short lived as the tune descends into a dark, yet riff-tastic cut with Cooper’s vocals being complimented by his bandmates.

In the spirit of the Vampires’ original mission, three covers of songs originally written and recorded by some fellow rockers who died far too young: an intimate and intense version of David Bowie’s “Heroes”, beautifully performed by Johnny Depp; the late Jim Carroll Band’s “People Who Died,” and Johnny Thunder’s “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory,” sung by Joe Perry. Raucous rock anthems like “The Boogieman Surprise” and “Who’s Laughing Now” (the first single from the new album), capture the natural, raw, celebratory attitude of Hollywood Vampires displayed in their rowdy shows around the world. But the album shows off their range as well with tracks like “We Gotta Rise” – a tongue-in-cheek politics song in the the tradition of Alice’s “Elected” – to the psychedelic gothic epic of “Mr. Spider.” “‘Rise’ is not only a totally different animal than the first Vampires album, it is unique to anything I’ve ever been a part of. I approached it very differently than I usually do when working on an album. Each of us; Joe, Johnny, Tommy and myself have written songs on this album. What is different though is that I didn’t try to change any songs to be more “Alice-like.” Because each of us has different influences, the sound of this album is very cool. I think that with this album, we are establishing what the Vampires’ sound really is, whereas with the first album we were more tipping our hats to our fallen rock n roll brothers.” – Alice Cooper

Where Rise really shines is when the players, especially Cooper, steps out of their comfort zone for the bluegrass-inspired “Welcome to Bushwackers” (featuring Jeff Beck and John Waters). This is such a fun song that is also very unexpected. In order to give an analogy, imagine The Blues Brothers playing to beer-guzzling rednecks but having to adjust their set to avoid an ass-kicking. Now imagine the Blues Brothers are Hollywood Vampires! Now, that would be a show worth seeing. “Mr. Spider” further demonstrates the variety of styles showcased on Rise. It is a psychogenic acid trip through the dark and twisted sub-conscious of Cooper, Perry, and Depp, a terrifying, yet enticing rabbit hole to journey down.

The tone then shifts dramatically to a politically-driven, punk rock sing along with “We Gotta Rise.” Much like “Welcome to Bushwackers” it is an unexpected change of pace to what you would expect from these three musicians. It is this that makes Rise really shine: the unexpected! This album is bold, adventurous, unafraid and unapologetic. It is a credit to Cooper, Perry, and Depp as they are sure to be aware that their fans would be looking to hear a mishmash of Aerosmith and Alice Cooper, which, of course, they have delivered, but alongside that they have produced tunes that essentially gives the middle finger to what you, I and the world expects them to deliver. In conclusion, these vampires do not suck at all!. Also featured on Rise is a cover of the iconic David Bowie song “Heroes.” Check out this live video of Hollywood Vampires performing last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

“Rise”  2019 Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel. Released on: 2019-06-21

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