Super Duper Alice Cooper

Super Duper Alice Cooper
Directed And Written: Sam Dunn, Reginald Harkema, Scot McFadyen
Produced by: Banger Films
2014
Review by Chris Galea
5/10

A film documenting the life, career, trials and tribulations of one of the founding fathers of Rock and Metal is certainly something to look forward to. “Super Duper…” starts by focusing on the upbringing of Vincent Furnier before he adopted the stage name of ‘Alice Cooper’, on his first forays into music, on meeting bassist Dennis Dunaway at school and revealing the origins of the band moniker.

More than half the documentary consists of voices speaking over photos and archive footage both of which are not necessarily directly linked to what is being said. It’s a very strange approach not to mention that it’s also very frustrating that you’re not actually seeing the speaker/s and sometimes it’s not even clear who is speaking.

For many years and seven albums into the band’s existence, Alice Cooper the band and Alice Cooper the frontman were two distinct entities and the film dedicates a hefty focus on the former. It tells about the band being discovered by Frank Zappa, who really got the ball rolling for the band. We get to know about a handful of crucial performances that significantly elevated the band’s status, such as a 1970 festival with John Lennon also on the bill.

Even after those shows, radio stations kept ignoring the band but that all changed when famed producer Bob Ezrin (Kiss, Aerosmith, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd) was roped in and Alice Cooper finally had their first hit single: ‘I’m Eighteen’. Since its inception, the band kept honing the theatricality of their live shows and “Super Duper Alice Cooper” makes this patently clear. Speaking of which, the film mentions some truly bizarre anecdotes about their gigs, one involving a chicken (think of it as Alice Cooper’s version of the infamous story concerning Ozzy and a bat). No less bizarre is footage of a live show involving panties…lots of panties.

The documentary then covers the divorce of Alice Cooper the singer from Alice Cooper the band. Around the same time, Alice/Vince suffered a mental breakdown. Upon emerging from that precarious mental state, one of the first things Alice did was collaborate with songwriter Bernie Taupin, famous for writing the lyrics to almost all of Elton John’s songs (incidentally Elton John is said to be a big Alice Cooper fan). The result of the Cooper/Taupin collaboration was for me Alice Cooper’s magnum opus, the album “From The Inside”, released in 1978 and recorded with the help of a large number of session musicians.

We are also told that Alice Cooper had to deal with a crippling cocaine addiction, from which he eventually recovered and returned to the stage in 1986 after an absence of 4 years. And in fact the documentary clocks off somewhere in the mid-1980s.

So, if Alice Cooper meant nothing to you beyond the albums, videos and concerts, “Super Duper Alice Cooper” certainly provides a revealing background about the band and showman. Sadly, though, the documentary is conspicuously lacking in any depth whatsoever. It mentions a number of stepping stones in Alice Cooper’s career but there’s very little insight in terms of how, why, who, when….etc. On the other hand, a lot of important events, albums and musicians are wholly overlooked. So, for example, we have nothing about the “Easy Action” album of 1970. And guitarists Glen Buxton and Michael Bruce, two musicians so crucial to the band, are almost completely ignored.

To that add what I mentioned earlier about invisible persons speaking over photo and video montages and in the end the prevailing feeling I got of this film-doc is one of a missed opportunity.

Interesting? Perhaps. But certainly not super duper.

Watch the trailer here:

Alice Cooper’s new album “Detroit Stories” will be released on February 26th, 2021 via earMUSIC.

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Chris Galea and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Hungry Daze – Back To My Future

Hungry Daze – Back To My Future
Diamonds Prod
Release Date 21/04/20
Running Time: 39:57
Review by Beth Jones
7.5/10

Afternoon music lovers! It’s a sunny Sunday here at EMHQ, so I’ve cracked open a beer to accompany my musings for my latest listening pleasure, Italian heavy metal rockers, Hungry Daze.

Hailing from Turin, Hungry Daze were born from the ashes of Ivory, and after a few changes in the line-up, have released their debut album, “Back To My Future”.

Before I talk about the music, I just wanted to take a moment to pause, and tell you that I am actually reviewing this via a physical copy of the album! A CD! It’s a rarity these days to get physical CD’s to review, so it’s really great to have one for this! I’m an old fashioned kinda gal, and a new CD, for me, is like getting a new book. Yes, ok, Kindles are convenient for storage, but they don’t smell right. Nothing in the world beats the smell of a new book. And the same applies to CD’s!

So, to the music. Hungry Daze are good old fashioned, no nonsense heavy rock, and this album is like a familiar hug. It has all the riffage and solos reverbed to the hilt that you would want from a classic rock sound, and conjures images of their tousled locks, and tassled denim and leather blowing in the wind, in slow motion, on early days MTV. Some would say ultimate cheese, but I prefer to say sweet nostalgia.

The album kicks off with ‘The Right Way’, heading straight in with some classic rock beats, dirty guitars and clean vocals. Interestingly the guitar sound here is quite grungy – almost 90’s style. This song, for me, sits somewhere between Whitesnake, Guns & Roses, and early, but slightly heavier Manic Street Preachers!

Next up is ‘Kiss of Life’, and this sets the pace for the rest of the album. A leg tapper that you could see being a sing-a-along on a festival stage. The guitar cadences and vocal harmonies lend themselves very well to this track, and it’s easy on the ears. Although, saying that, any track on the album could fit into this category!

I think track 7, ‘Tonight is the Night’, is my favourite track on the album. Again, it’s good and bouncy, and has a really nice flow to it. Happy music! I like that.

Production wise, it’s all pretty good here. Everything sits nicely. The guitar solos ring out nice and loud, and the vocals are sharp. Naughty little fade on track 6 though. I do wish bands would stop doing that!

Musically, it’s nothing ground-breaking either. It’s solid, and technically very good, but if you’re looking for new and adventurous, you’re in the wrong place. However, if you appreciate good solid rock, and are looking for a soundtrack to accompany your road trip or meet-up, then this is it.

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Right Way
02. Kiss Of Life
03. Rock Paradise
04. Back To My Future
05. Life On Two Wheels
06. Now You can Play
07. Tonight Is The Night
08. Motorcycle Man
09. Wolf’s Den

LINE-UP:
Roberto Bruccoleri – Vocals
Francesco Yackson Russo – Lead and rhythm guitar
Roberto Tiranti – Bass and backing vocals
Marco Biggi – Drums and percussion

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/hungrydazerock
www.hungrydaze.bandcamp.com/

www.diamondsprod.it/web/
www.facebook.com/Diamonds-Prod-218845904961348
www.diamondsprod.bandcamp.com/

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Magnum – The Serpent Rings

Magnum – The Serpent Rings
Steamhammer
Release Date: 17/01/2020
Running Time: 57:06
Review by Paul Monkhouse
8/10

Whilst most of their peers have retired or rest on their laurels, Magnum just keep on getting better, with each new album better than the previous one. Musically hitting the same run of success that saw them ascend to headlining arenas in the 1980’s, Messrs. Clarkin and Catley bring a partnership that has been forged through the fire and flame of almost fifty years together and it looks like they have no intention of slowing down. “The Serpent Rings” has all the hallmarks of classic Magnum from the beautiful Rodney Matthews cover onwards and is filled with the magnificently melodic hard rock that their legions of fans have all come to know and love. This certainly isn’t a case of going over old ground for songwriter Tony Clarkin though as he continues to push himself and the band to new heights.

Having been through a major shake-up of the band in the past three years, with new members on keys, drums and bass, rather than derail the band it seems like there’s a new fire and desire to prove themselves. With new bass player Dennis Ward joining the band as recently as Summer 2019, the band hit the studio and the results are some of the best and heaviest work they’ve done. ‘Where Are You Eden?’ is the perfect opening track, its galloping rhythm charges at the listener and to be honest, it sounds absolutely huge. Despite concerns about his voice suffering through the constant touring, Bob Catley is on great form in the studio, the power and nuance in his delivery undiminished. Rick Benton’s keys are also shining through the mix, his playing deft but never overly florid, whilst the new pairing of Ward with drummer Lee Morris, has brought a thunderous heft that provides the perfect bedrock for Clarkin to build on. The guitarist is on top form throughout and the solos on the scorching ‘You Can’t Run Faster Than Bullets’ and the multi coloured hues of ‘House Of Kings’ are blistering.

This latter song, along with the epic title track, shows all the facets that make the songwriter/guitarist/producer just so great as each add layer upon layer of sound that only someone like fellow Brummie Jeff Lynne would dare to do. This was never going to be just a run of the mill, straight down the line, rock record and although it packs a powerful punch, there’s still so much to capture both the ear and the imagination. ‘The Great Unknown’ dances on a sea of stars and ‘Man’ has a pugnacious and knowingly bold riff that drives a typically brave skyscraping chorus that reaches to the heavens and then breaks down into a brief section that is reminiscent of 10cc before the solo comes in. The album reaches its end with the thoughtful and thought provoking ‘Crimson On The White Sand’, one of many songs on the album that manages to tell a tale that weaves between the deepest imagination and the harsh glare of a spotlight on a vital and pressing global subject.

There are rockers and there are ballads, all done in the unique Magnum style and ‘The Serpent Rings’ can certainly stand shoulder to shoulder with such classics as ‘Chase the Dragon’ and ‘A Storytellers Night’. Masters of their own destiny, Magnum, steered by the seemingly tireless Clarkin, are still one of the very best bands in the UK and the hallmark for quality. In an ideal world they should be as huge as Queen and this album shows why. Long may they continue!

TRACKLISTING:

01. Where Are You Eden?
02. You Can’t Run Faster Than Bullets
03. Madman Or Messiah
04. The Archway Of Tears
05. Not Forgiven
06. The Serpent Rings
07. House Of Kings
08. The Great Unknown
09. Man
10. The Last One On Earth
11. Crimson On The White Sand

LINKS:

http://www.magnumonline.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/magnumbandpage/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/MagnumOfficial/ https://open.spotify.com/artist/3Nu9hoMBT4SkDcaNvmK4G1

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Monkhouse and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Volster – Perfect Storm

Perfect Storm Cover

VOLSTER – PERFECT STORM
Rock of Angels Records
Release Date: 20/04/2018
Running Time: 52:16
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

If there was ever a case of don’t judge a book by its cover (or in this instance by its name) then its Volster. When I was first assigned this to review, I must admit my heart sank a teeny tiny bit. I was certain that they were going to be a black metal band with a name like that, and although I know reviewing means stepping out of your comfort zone occasionally, I wasn’t in the mood for a black metal band.

So, imagine my surprise, and joy, when track number one “King of the Hill” came through the speakers!

No more of a black metal band than I am the Queen of Sheba, Volster are, in fact, a melodic, hard rock band from Sweden, and features ex members of Masquerade and House of Heavy.

The band was started by guitarist Ulf Anderson and bass player Henrik Lundberg, who were both members of the band Masquerade in the late 80’s and early 90’s. They met up in 1996 to record a four song demo, called Volster, but nothing much more happened.
In 2013 (17 years later!!) they decided to pick up where they left off and plans were made to start a band, performing the songs from the demo and also writing new ones. They kept the name Volster.

Says Henrik Lundberg: “brought up with music from the 70’s and 80’s the roots are deep. So, it is no surprise our music is built from these glorious decades even if we also involve some more modern flavours. The main ingredient is the melody, what else makes a great song other than the great vocals and interesting riffs, of course. With member having been active in the music business for decades, now is the time to make all our music dreams come true, playing the music we love. Volster is melodic hard rock as it’s supposed to be.

And I couldn’t agree more. I always preferred the heavy side to US glam rock with bands such as Skid Row and Motley Crue, but Volster offer a bit more. Throw in a bit of Aerosmith and a touch of Ozzy and you are the way to getting what this band is about.

As previously mentioned, the album kicks off with the infectious “King of the Hill” and it doesn’t let up until it finishes with the heavy “Ends With Me”. The album is full of stomping rhythms and heavy riffs, which mixed with clean and clear vocals, makes for an awesome hard hitting rock album.

Although this is the debut full length album for the band, they are by no means the new kids on the block. A wealth of experience to draw on and a passion to make the music they want to, how they want to, means they are at an advantage to other bands releasing their debut album.

Produced by themselves, the album is also co-produced and mixed by Max Norman (Ozzy Osbourne, Lynch Mob, Armored Saint, Lizzy Borden, Megadeth and Y&T) and mastered by Thomas ‘Plec’ Johansson (Soilwork, Onslaught, Armageddon, Degradead, Dynazty) at The Panic Room Mastering.

“Breathless” is probably my favourite track on the album but there are plenty of others that I also enjoyed. The songs are well written and fantastically executed. These guys are great musicians on top of everything else, with their sound firmly stuck in the classic hard rock era.

This is a must have album for every modern hard rock fan and I certainly will be keeping my eye holes and ear balls open for anything new they do!

TRACK LIST:

King Of The Hill
Heaven Or Hell
Perfect Storm
Breathless
Still In Love
Babylon
Hero
Games Of War
Easier Said Than Done
I Don’t Care
Drifting Away
Ends With Me
SOCIAL MEDIA:

https://www.facebook.com/volsterband/
http://www.volsterband.com

 

Promo Pic1

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.