Tag Archives: Alice Cooper

The next show is coming… be ready!

OK sentients, since I’ve done the recording for the current show, and intend to get it published tomorrow, I’m now taking requests for the #freespinwhatever portion of the next edition of The Wyrd Ways Rock Show.   Might even be tempted to make it a bit Christmassy.

Oh yeah… I’ll also be starting to build the infamous, traditional Yuletide Behemoth, which covers the albums released during this year. The longest one I ever made topped 7 hours.

Suggest a track by clicking on THIS LINK or via the contact form, Facebook or Twitter, and I’ll trade you a shoutout – the only proviso is it’s got to be a song from an album that was released in 2017

Alice Cooper and Joe Perry in haunting

Alice Cooper and Joe Perry were once forced to flee a haunted house shortly after the rockers were released from rehab.

Alice met up with the Aerosmith guitarist in the early 1980s at an old home in Copake, New York to write songs for Perry‘s 1984 movie Monster Dog, but the musicians weren’t prepared for the supernatural disturbances they experienced during the collaboration.

Every time I would put something down – I’d go in the other room, I’d come back – it (the object) was in some other place,Alice recalls to Rolling Stone of the creepy haunting. “It was more playful than scary. We were both just out of rehab so we figured we were just insane.

But (we knew it was real) when the two road guys (with us) said, ‘Jeez, I know I put ’em there and they were on the other side of the room when I came back.'”

Although playful at first, the haunting quickly escalated in intensity: “That night at dinner, there’s a basement right under us and it sounds like somebody’s moving furniture down there. It’s not just a bump or a little thing: It sounds like 20 people are moving furniture,” Cooper remembered, noting the terrifying bangs prompted himself and Perry to jet out of the house immediately.

And it’s not like the movies where you go, ‘Let’s go see what that is.’ It was more like, ‘Do you know where the car keys are?‘ We got out of there that night,” he added.

Alice’s manager Shep Gordon later informed the star the Copake house was where author Jay Anson had written his famous 1977 book The Amityville Horror, a recounting of the alleged demon-inspired Lutz family slayings in 1974.

I went, ‘And you were gonna tell me this when?’Cooper laughed. “So yeah, that was paranormal. I can’t explain any of that.”

Who are The Next Generation Of Metal Festival Headliners?

The first generation have all-but retired. The second generation are taking their curtain calls. Some of the third generation are at least starting on the encores. So what (and more to the point, who) comes next?

Carl fondles his crystal ball…

Black Sabbath have retired from touring. So have Mötley Crüe. Iron Maiden are cutting back on the huge, globe-straddling jaunts. AC/DC are a shadow of their former selves and have almost become a tribute band, thanks to the treatment of Brian Johnson. Judas Priest must be starting to wind down now, as must Alice Cooper. Even Metallica, the newly re-united Guns N’ Roses, Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson will be counting their remaining time on the road in years, rather than decades.

The same goes for Kiss, even though Gene Simmons will probably be working on a plan to sell even more of the legacy of “the hottest band in the world” before even he has to call it a day.

These are the things that, apparently, keep various media pundits, so called “fans” and mega-festival promoters awake at night.

Those of us who are keeping our eyes and ears open to those outside the stables of the likes of BMG, Universal, Sony and Geffen have seen the future, and it has a much rosier, healthier complexion than the doom-mongers would have us believe.

Allow me to guide you along an admittedly mostly subjective path, in no particular order other than the meanderings of my own mind:

Rammstein

The German technometal pioneers have got a massive, pyrotechnic-filled stage show, a charismatic frontman in Till Lindemann and they’ve certainly got the songs. Anyone who has been to any sort of Metal night in the past decade or so has heard the likes of Du Hast, Feuer Frei or Links 234 pounding out of the speakers and at the very least seen the mosh pit that forms as the dancefloor fills. The friction inside the band that almost broke them up a few years ago seems to have gone away.  Having seen them at Sonisphere in 2010, headlining the second stage, it wouldn’t be too much of an ask for them to take the logical next step and grab the glory of Main Stage Headliners.

Nightwish

To headline a festival, you need a band with a HUGE, bombastic sound and charisma to spare. The most important thing, though, is the songs. Tuomas Holopainen’s Symphonic Metal crew have all of those by the truckload. In Floor Jansen, they have someone who can literally sing anything from Death Metal to Opera, hitting all points in between and a truly commanding stage presence. As Gemma Lawler of British upstarts, Dakesis rightly said, “she’s a goddess”. The male side of the vocals being provided by Finnish Metal stalwart and Tarot founder, Marco Hietala certainly doesn’t hurt. Neither does the sheer quality and strength-in-depth of the band’s back catalogue and musicianship.

Avenged Sevenfold

Abandoning their Emo/-core roots and showing they can play and write songs that will burrow into your head and stay there (which, in this case isn’t a bad thing) has done A7x no end of favours. Their turning point was, most likely, the City Of Evil album. That’s the one where M Shadows actually start to sing, rather than scream. Guitar solos became more prevalent and the sheer melody was accentuated.

Like Metallica and even Def Leppard before them, disaster didn’t kill them. Even though Rick Allen “only” lost an arm and both Cliff and Rev lost their lives, all three bands were tempered by the fires, when lesser bands would have crumbled or at the very least, like Slipknot, when faced with the death of Paul Grey, lost their momentum.

As Mabh’s review from their recent UK trek showed, A7x have certainly got the chops to headline an arena tour. If they can do that, they’ve certainly got what it takes to headline the likes of Download.

They’ve even got a pre-made nickname in A7x.

Alter Bridge

It’s very tough to argue with a pedigree like Alter Bridge’s. Not only do they have Myles Kennedy, who could sing the phone book and make it interesting, they’ve also got Mark Tremonti on guitar. His own solo material is good stuff, and earns its plaudits with very good reason, but when he works with Slash’s vocalist of choice, it’s all over bar the shouting.

They’ve certainly got the songs. Anastasia, for instance. That one’s a festival closer by any and all measures. It’s not the only one in their arsenal, either. Whenever they release an album, it makes the annual top ten lists every time.

As I said, you really can’t argue.

Prophets Of Rage

Here’s another one that is almost impossible to argue with. Surprisingly, it’s the only “supergroup” on the list. Even more surprisingly, these guys have only released an EP so far.

Who are they?

You all remember Rage Against The Machine, right? Definite festival headliners. Replace Zak De La Rocha with Public Enemy’s Chuck D and DJ Lord and Cypress Hill’s B-Real, light the blue touchpaper with the current political climate in the US, UK and all around Europe and stand well back.

OK, like most supergroups, they may not have the longevity of the likes of Rammstein, Nightwish, Alter Bridge and A7x, but while they’re around, if you were in a band, would YOU like to try and follow THEM onto the Main Stage at a festival?

So that’s the immediate future sorted out. Come back next week and we’ll take a look even deeper into the future and take a look at the bands who may well take over in the decades to come…

Classic One-Shot: Alice Cooper, Poison

This song takes me right back to The Wendy House at Leeds University; a riot of black eyeliner and chokers, nu-rocks and spikes, intermingled with the odd ruffle and the occasional bit of black lace (not the band, thank goodness). The Wendy House was an ‘alternative’ night, in that it veered somewhat from the mainstream path, whilst still being accessible to the average Joe. There was a cyper-punk room for the hardcore, but the flashing lights and neon colours verged on epilepsy inducing, so I usually remained in the main room, surrounded by the other stomping, sweaty punters.

The DJ’s choices wandered from Nine Inch Nails to Faith No More, Rammstein to The Cult, and the playlist was only predictable in one regard: there were always a few songs that got played every month. Poison was one of them, and it was always at that particularly drunk stage of the night, when screeching into your friends’ faces that I LOVE THIS SONG IMA DANCE NOW becomes completely appropriate behaviour.

The track hails from the end of the eighties, and retains that sense of drama and glamour that was prevalent throughout the decade. At the cusp of the nineties, Cooper avoided the stagnation that seemed to be occurring to other bands and genres, and released a raw, sexually charged song that has somehow aged very well.

The video came in for some stick, thanks to topless shots of Rana Kennedy, so there are two versions of the video, and the one mainly played is the slightly censored version. It would be easy to accuse Cooper of misogyny for using a topless model to promote his song, but I think that’s a bit lazy. If you really listen to the song, it’s about a woman using her sexuality to literally enslave a man; I think she’s pretty empowered! In an interview with Max Music TV in 2012, Cooper said he wanted to sing about something that happens to everyone: loving someone who you know is no good for you. It’s a universal theme, and combined with the songwriting talents of Desmond Child (Kiss I Was Made for Lovin’ You; Bon Jovi You Give Love a Bad Name etc) an anthem was created.

That long drawn out opening note with the touch of feedback, that launches into the simple but oh-so-catchy guitar hook; it’s so familiar to me now that it’s almost like a comfort blanket. And if having a song redolent with themes of bondage and cruelty as my comfort blanket makes me weird, well so be it.

Powerzone Halloween Spooktacular!

No tricks, just treats on this week’s Powerzone!

Make us your evil evenings soundtrack, we’ve got all the Metal you need to make your Halloween BRUTAL!

Including ghouls, ghosts, vampires, scary clowns, bears, trolls, goblins, witches, wolves, zombies and Frankenstein’s in attendance! See you at the link…

Grave Digger – Return Of The Reaper / Hell Funeral
Civil War – Road To Victory
Hammerfall – The Sacred Vow
Lordi – Hell Sent In The Clowns
Alice Cooper – Feed My Frankenstein
Finntroll – Sång
Nekrogoblikon – Bears
Ghoul – Blood And Guts
Tankard – Zombie Attack
Helloween – Halloween (Epic Track)
Trick Or Treat – Paper Dragon
Hell – Land Of The Living Dead (Volt Track)
Mercyful Fate – Evil
Carach Angren – The Sighting Is A Portant Of Doom
Cradle Of Filth – Hallowed By Thy Name [Iron Maiden Cover] (Coverzone)
Evil Scarecrow – Crabulon
The Devin Townsend Band – Vampira
Iced Earth – Wolf
Twins Crew – Burn The Witch
Wolf – At The Graveyard
Powerwolf – Headless Cross [Black Sabbath Cover]

Wyrd Ways Rock Show CCCXXXVI

As promised last week, there’s new stuff from Joey Jordison’s other project, Vimic, so don’t tell me I never follow through on my promises! There’s also new stuff from Dead Daisies and Neil Fallon’s side-project, Dunsmuir.

That’s (obviously) not all.

Alongside a track from the recently unearthed version of Cradle Of Filth’s second album, Dusk… And Her Embrace, there’s also a track from Old Corpse Road and an interview, recorded at last year’s SOS Festival, with two of the members of reunited NWOBHM band, Avenger.

Record Of The Week celebrates the storming new album by Bristol (and Nottingham)’s very own Bull-Riff Stampede.

Turn it all the way up.

Vimic – My Fate
Deadlock – Hybris
Griever – She Is Death
Covered: Six Feet Under – Night Crawler
Stuck Mojo – The Business Of Hate
Blaakyum – Crossing
Dead Daisies – Long Way To Go
Palace Of The King – We Are Vampires
Shock Of The Old: Avenger – Faster Than Hell
Shock Of The Old: Avenger – SOS Festival 2015
Shock Of The Old: Avenger – Midnight Mass Destruction
Old Corpse Road – Herne of Windsor Forest
Cradle Of Filth – Dusk And Her Embrace
Record Of The Week: Bull-Riff Stampede – Enraging The Beast
Record Of The Week: Bull-Riff Stampede – Dawn Of Disease
Record Of The Week: Bull-Riff Stampede – Pieces Of Hate
Combichrist – Skullcrusher
Dunsmuir – Our Only Master
Sabaton – The Lost Battalion

Wyrd Ways Rock Show CCCXXX

With the unveiling, in the last show, of The Wyrd Ways Rock Show’s Album of 2015, it’s time to start looking forward again (at least for the most part, anyway!). That means new music from Anthrax, Rob Zombie, Bull Riff Stampede and Amon Amarth as well as the unveiling of an interview with a band who played the New Blood Stage at last year’s Bloodstock Festival.

So, all told, that’s a little over two hours of quality music. Who says I don’t look after you lucky people?

If you decide to support the making of the show by becoming a Member, you get the show at a higher bitrate and therefore better quality. For details about how to become a Member as well as the latest in Rock and Metal news and reviews, head over to www.wyrdwaysrs.com.
Amon Amarth – First Kill
Bull Riff Stampede – Enraging The Beast
Machine Head – Game Over
Covered: Emerson Lake & Palmer – Nutrocker
Rainbow – Stargazer
Lords Of Black – Lords Of Black
Record Of The Week: Anthrax – Evil Twin
Ricky Warwick – When Patsy Cline Was Crazy
The New Roses – Heads Or Tails
Knock Out Kaine – Cruel Britannia
Shock Of The New: King Leviathan – Wormwood
Shock Of The New: King Leviathan Interview
Shock Of The New: King Leviathan – The Shrine
Asylum City Zoo – Bait The Hook
Van Halst – The End
Record Of The Week: Anthrax – Breathing Lightning
Human Fortress – Thieves Of The Night
Stone Broken – Fall Back Down
Record Of The Week: Anthrax – For All Kings
Beholder – Frozen Steps Of Utoya
Rob Zombie – Well, Everybody’s Fucking In A UFO

Bloodstock adds three bands to the Sophie Lancaster Stage line-up

Buy your Bloodstock ticket by clicking on the image.
                           Buy your Bloodstock ticket by clicking on the image.

News has just reached Wyrd Ways HQ that three more bands have been announced for this year’s Bloodstock Open Air Festival at Catton Hall in Derbyshire.  Click on the image above if you haven’t got your tickets yet.  It’s looking like it’s going to be another good one.

Headlining the welcome party on the Sophie Lancaster stage on Thursday night, will be Phil Campbell‘s All-Starr Band.  The legendary Motörhead guitarslinger will also be officially opening the newly christened Lemmy’s Bar with the first drink at 5pm.  This will be their second appearance at the festival, following their appearance on the Jagermeister Stage back in 2013.

If you’re on Instagram, go follow Phil’s brand new page (@phil_campbells_all_starr_band).

Also on the bill are British extremists The King Is Blind, following their Bloodstock debut in 2014 and release of their debut album, Our Father last month.  Frontman Stephen Tovey tells us:

“The Bloodstock crowd welcomed us with open arms and raised fists on our last visit, so on the back of Our Father, we’re primed and champing at the bit to bring a savage and energetic set of the heaviest metal to Catton Hall this August.  You bring the beers, the horns and the headbanging, we’ll bring the riffs and the truly crushing metal.”

Homegrown doomsters, Witchsorrow also join the bill. Says frontman Necroskull;

“It gives us no small amount of pleasure to once again rain doom down upon BLOODSTOCK. It is an incredibly special place for us, and we are incredibly proud to stand alongside Twisted Sister, Venom, Slayer, and Paradise Lost in bringing heavy metal madness to Catton Park. Doom forever. Forever doomed.”  

Their album, No Light, Only Fire, is available through Bandcamp or Amazon and needs your immediate attention.

Operation Mindcrime – The Key

operationmindcrimethekeycover

Frontiers Music

Review by Rick Ossian

itunes_logo03-300x112

amazon_badge

 

 

Being a HUGE fan of the old Queensrÿche stuff, I thought for sure that I would positively adore this latest missive from the mind/voice himself, Geoff Tate.  After a couple of listens, not so much.  While I did enjoy the punchy hard rock of such numbers as Ready to Fly, The Stranger and Hearing Voices, I was kind of put off by the majority of the tracks.  There are good, even great, vocals on nearly every track, but there are also weird FX and voices on almost everything put down here.  I mean, we understand that there is a concept at work here – they key, the code, the system – OK, we get it!  The media, the government, whoever, is trying to take over our lives, THEY are always in control, and they have the cure, but they don’t know whether they want to just give it to us or sell it for a profit, or just get rid of it!  It appears that the Big Brother theory is still well at work, at least in Tate’s mind, and in some ways this is just an extension of Queensrÿche‘s album of the same name…

But let’s get down to the meat of the work here.  First of all, the players.  We know who Geoff Tate is, at least most of us probably do.  I’ve been a fan of the ‘Rÿche for well on close to 30 years now, but didn’t really take notice until Mindcrime and Empire came into my life.  John Moyer (bass) is probably best known for his work with the nu-metal outfit Disturbed.  He has also done time with The Union Underground and Soak.  Simon Wright (drums) has worked with a veritable plethora of heavy rock and metal acts, including AC/DC, Dio, UFO, Michael Schenker and Rhino Bucket Kelly Gray, producer and musician, began playing guitar with Myth (along with Tate and Randy Gane) and has produced records from Queensrÿche, Candlebox, Dokken, Nevermore, Brother Cane and Second Coming.  He was also on board for Damon Johnson‘s (Brother Cane, Black Star Riders, Alice Cooper) Slave to the System project.  Keyboardist Randy Gane has also worked with Queensrÿche, Sweet Sister Sam, Sweaty Nipples and CandleboxScott Moughton (guitar) has been in the business for some 45 years, mainly as a studio musician, and worked previously with Tate in 1999 on his first solo album.  Also on board at times, apparently, are drum whiz Brian Tichy (Whitesnake, David Lee Roth, among others), and the Sarzo brothers, Rudy and Robert.  Whew!  Everybody still paying attention?  Right then, on to the tunes!

operationmindcrimegroupshot

Choices is an eerie, creepy intro with FX and voices.  The vocals are mostly just disjointed words, talk of the future, etc.  It is a throwaway in my opinion.  Burn starts off with more of the same, although there is some pretty good guitar work.  There is a solo about midway through, but nothing really too incredible to speak of.

Re-Inventing the Future starts off life with even MORE FX and voices, and is the lead-off single.  This is a bit more like it, and has some fairly rousing bass work.  Perhaps it does have a shot at radio.  It IS a bit more FM-friendly than a lot of tracks I’ve heard here.  Some shredding lead rounds out what could have been even better given a bit more balls and length, perhaps.

Ready to Fly features some good jamming, even metallic riffing at some points.  It again has that creepy vibe and some weird FX and voices.  Some excellent bass work, but barring that, not much extraordinary work going on.  There is also a keyboard solo, which I thought a bit strange, but hey – why not throw a cog in the wheel every now and then to jazz up what would otherwise prove a boring formula?

Discussions in a Smoke Filled Room is a musical interlude of sorts, with some vaguely disturbing piano and MORE FX and MORE VOICES…another throway, methinks.

Life or Death doesn’t sound like it’s a Tate vehicle; I’m thinking one of the other blokes must have taken on lead vocal duties with this one, perhaps Kelly Gray, as he did that for a track or two on the Slave to the System CD.  There is some heavy riffing at the outset, and some sky-bound, atmospheric guitar work.  There is some fairly decent lead guitar work as well.

The Stranger is more of the same, and I’m starting to wonder if maybe some of these lyrics couldn’t just be transposed on to one or more of the other tunes.  Damn, I’m starting to sound cynical as hell here!  I guess that is what comes with being a reviewer.  I hesitate to call myself a critic because normally I’m not QUITE so critical!

Hearing Voices is finally just an out and out jam, for the most part.  NO FX or VOICES to speak of, just good heavy jamming, which is refreshing.  There are a couple of guitar solos also.

With On Queue we find ourselves back into the world of the concept LP, with plenty of FX and voices.  OK, guys, we get it – concept album – right!  “The program won’t work without the sequence.”  Again a couple of nice guitar pieces, and even a sax solo from about the 4-minute mark until the end of the song.

An Ambush of Sadness is another of the pair of musical interludes, if you will.  There are some cool FX – some finger-tapping on the guitar and some neat percussion.  Otherwise, another throwaway.  Sorry, guys, it’s just not working for me.

Kicking in the Door is a bit of a resurrection, with plenty of cool keys and sky-bound guitar work.  I also liked some of the lyrics: ” I don’t know the right thing to do/Tell me what’s the right thing to say/When they come kicking in the door”.  We see our protagonist as the main man also, as he notes that “the code and the key are safe with me”.

The Fall is a pretty big closer, just over six minutes in length, and has some nice guitar riffing at the outset.  However, unfortunately, this is just not enough to save this collection.  Again, some nice keyboard work, some vaguely thrilling guitar, and more saxophone.  I must say that overall, this is not NEARLY what I had anticipated from Tate and his cohorts.  It is about mid-level, and probably for completists only.

***/5

Wyrd Ways Rock Show CCCXV

The playlist is up for WWRS 315.  That must mean 316 is nearly ready to be released…

As promised, we’re neck-deep in Bloodstock in this edition of The Wyrd Ways Rock Show.  Carl and Suzi report live(-ish) from outside The Mötley Brew at Catton Hall on the Saturday afternoon of the festival.  We also chucked in an archive interview from Hang The Bastard and a brand new interview from Sabaton’s new drummer, Chris.  Add to that Dr Jim’s summing up of this year’s Brutal Assault, and you’ve got a show to listen to!

If you decide to support the making of the show by becoming a Member, you get the full show at a higher bitrate and therefore better quality as well as access to the Members Only pages of the Wyrd Ways Rock Show website.  For details about how to become a Member as well as the latest in Rock and Metal news and reviews, head over to the Become A Member page.

If you are in a band and want your music on The Wyrd Ways Rock Show Presents: Shock Of The New compilation (which will be free to download), email either myself or Suzi with the relevant details.

So without further ado, here’s the playlist.  If any of the songs take your fancy, click on the links next to them to purchase them from either iTunes or Amazon Digital (the Amazon link will take you to the MP3 version of the album).

Rob Zombie – Superbeast (Amazon Digital) (iTunes)
Sabaton – Gott Mit Uns (Amazon Digital) (iTunes)
Reign Of Fury – Death Be Thy Shepherd (Amazon Digital) (iTunes)
Silas – Art Of The Cure (Amazon Digital) (iTunes)
Ne Obliviscaris – Tapestry Of The Starless Abstract (Amazon Digital) (iTunes)
Interview: Hang The Bastard, Sonisphere 2014
Hang The Bastard – Mist Of Albion (Amazon Digital) (iTunes)
Sabaton – Primo Victoria (Amazon Digital) (iTunes)
Interview: Sabaton, Bloodstock 2015
Savage Messiah – Hellblazer (Amazon Digital) (iTunes)
Perturbator – Humans Are Such Easy Prey (Amazon Digital) (iTunes)
Enslaved – Ethica Odini (Amazon Digital) (iTunes)
Agalloch – Hallways Of Enchanted Ebony (Amazon Digital) (iTunes)
Primordial – No Grave Deep Enough (Amazon Digital) (iTunes)
Ne Obliviscaris – And Plague Flowers The Kaleidoscope (Amazon Digital) (iTunes)
Korpiklaani – Iron Fist (iTunes)