Dear old Black Eyes is back at it like a jack rabbit once again. Alice Cooper could have comfortably crowned off his career with Paranormal and we’d have all understood. Yep, that would have made a decent exit album. Who knows? He might have left it there and kept messing about with those Hollywood Vampires but… Then came the pandemic. Then the lock downs and the forced introspection of sitting at home. Vincent Furnier’s first instinct was to help in anyway he could think of. He seldom publicizes his charitable work but there’s is a lot of it. So, let’s stick to the music. Just like AC/DC were galvanized to bring the big guns back to the huddled masses yearning to rock out, AC (Coop not /DC) gave us the spoken word Don’t Give Up to keep the tiller steady and help people see through the haze of now to a brighter day back in Lock Down: Episode I The Phantom Menace.
His words of kindness and encouragement juxtaposed with a microscopic real life villain and a catchy chorus about a “Cold indiscriminate monster” was actually really quite a powerful moment. Many a rocker I’ve chatted with online goes to bat for Alice and this track as a real hand on the shoulder when it was required most. I always knew he was one of the good guys. He’s just dresses like a baddie.
“I won’t plug in, to their machine, I hate the sound, I hate that scene”
Following on from last years cover of The Velvet Underground’s Rock And Roll and the happy hippy retro moment Our Love Will Change The World. This is the third track to be released from Detroit Stories. It’s what I’m taking to be the album’s first proper single. It sounds like Alice Cooper. It’s got some sneer, some snap and it would hold it’s own alongside Lost In America, I’ll Bite Your Face Off or any Alice Cooper single of the last 25 years.
There’s the thin line. Alice Cooper Singles of the Last 25 years. The Sound Of A was a real moment. A throwback to the OG line up and a song that had laid dormant for almost half a century. Before that when was his last great single? Feed My Frankenstein? From Wayne’s World? That long ago?
“I sure ain’t hip, I sure can’t hop, I lost the script I lost the plot”
Alice recognizes this in the lyrics of Social Debris. He’s likening the state of modern online culture to the Virus. He’s not using it as an excuse. Alice has never been far away. During all the time he’s not been making waves in the charts he’s still been here. Halloween Shows, His Planet Rock Radio Show, Guest spots on other records. This will mark his eight studio album of the twenty first century. That’s more albums this century than the original band made in their run from Pretties For You to Muscle Of Love. Alice Cooper the man has definitely eclipsed Alice Cooper the band more than once. I’ve featured lots of his work here before. I’m a card carrying fan club member. He was there when my love of music first took over all other passions. He’s still here now. Kind Hearted Alice.
Those records all have something about them, as does the stopgap Breadcrumbs EP that sits between Paranormal and Detroit Stories. Breadcrumbs features covers and original tracks and pays tribute o the bands home town of Detroit. Birthplace of Heavy Rock*. Detroit Stories intends to bring it all back home in full. If it live up to the Paranormal experience remains to be seen.
*Alice’s words not mine.