On June 21, Hollywood Vampires released their anticipated sophomore album Rise via earMUSIC! Hollywood Vampires fit the definition of “supergroup” as the band is primarily comprised of vocalist Alice Cooper, original Aerosmith member Joe Perry, and Hollywood icon Johnny Depp! For those who may not know, the trio released an album in 2015 that was primarily covers. Rise demonstrates the band’s transition into their own material as all three members provide written material and sing lead vocals on songs throughout the album.
The album possesses a wide-variety of sound, theme, and seriousness from the band. While mostly new material, Rise does contain three covers dedicated to artists that, in the band’s own words, were “rockers who died far too young.” These songs are David Bowie’s “Heroes”, the late Jim Carroll’s “People Who Died” and Johnny Thunder’s “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory.” The “Heroes” cover, sung hauntingly beautiful by Depp, is probably the strength of the album. Perhaps I was surprised that Johnny Depp had so much musical talent, perhaps I was blown away by the performance from Jimmy Kimmel Live that the reader can check out below, but I feel the band absolutely nailed this cover while the other two (especially Perry singing the Thunder cover) are very fitting tributes as well.
“I Want My Now” and “Who’s Laughing Now” are the best of the original Hollywood Vampires music. Both songs sound like they would fit right in on Alice Cooper albums yet contain plenty of originality as well. The band ranges from hard-hitting as they are on these tracks to psychedelic with “Mr. Spider” to making a very tongue-in-cheek statement on the current political scene with “We Gotta Rise.” The Hollywood Vampires stay true to their self-stated mission of tribute with the cover songs, but give the listener plenty to rock to and laugh along with in their original music! Please check out the lyric video to the first release off the album “Who’s Laughing Now” below:
Overall, I give this album a 8/10, which translates to “ very solid” on my personal scale. I like how most of Rise sounds like it could be an Alice Cooper original while the work of Depp and Perry provides variety and a unique sound at the same time. While the humor of the album works in parts, I generally prefer more serious subject matter in my music. Nothing wrong with the Hollywood Vampires approach to this album, that’s just my personal preference. Who knows where the individual careers of Cooper, Depp, and Perry will take them next, but I do hope there is more to come from the Hollywood Vampires!
- I Want My Now
- Good People Are Hard To Find
- Who’s Laughing Now
- How The Glass Fell
- The Boogieman Surprise
- Welcome To Bushwackers (feat. Jeff Beck & John Waters)
- The Wrong Bandage
- You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory
- Git From Round Me
- A Pitiful Beauty
- New Threat
- Mr. Spider
- We Gotta Rise
- People Who Died
The band wrapped up an explosive seven-city tour in May, but be on the lookout for future concert dates and live performances from Hollywood Vampires! Information can be found through the following website and social medias:https://www.facebook.com/hollywoodvampires/