Thrash Hits

August 5th, 2008

Album: Alice Cooper – Along Came A Spider

Along Came A Spider Alice Cooper thrash Hits promo photo

Alice Cooper
Along Came A Spider
SPV
05 August 2008

by Liz Dodd

Nothing says hazy summer afternoon like a born-again Christian pro-golfer’s take on the exploits of a wannabe anti-Spiderman serial killer. Yes, Alice Cooper has released album 6,666 (probably), Along Came a Spider.

The album revolves around a spider-like serial killer collecting the limbs of his eight female victims to build his own spidery play-zombie.

It’s an invitation to throw any semblance you ever had of taking shock-rock seriously out the window and to enjoy Cooper’s latest work for the unabashed, horns-in-the-air nod to Hammer Horror that it is.

Along Came A Spider Alice Cooper packshot thrash Hits album cover

Along Came a Spider isn’t the foray into post-industrial that recent albums have been. This time around it’s all Rocky Horror meets Twisted Sister – as it should be – and the band sounds tighter than they have in years.

Slash contributes a magnificent old-school solo to the anthemic ‘Vengence Is Mine’ and, in a move of crazed genius, the harmonica solo on ‘Wake The Dead’ is provided by none other than Ozzy.

There’s plenty of retro-balladry: ‘Killed By Love’, which sounds weirdly like it’s being sung by Macca’s Goth twin, and ‘Salvation’, as lyrically subtle as being slammed around the head with a copy of the King James.

Watch the first Along Came A Spider album trailer

‘Salvation’ is, thankfully, undone by 70s-budget-horror epic ‘I Am The Spider/Epilogue’, solving another contradiction for the Alice Cooper trademark – what to do when you made a reputation bating the religious right, then became one of them.

Alice is as believable a leering stalker as he is redeemed Romeo, but if you’re not a fan of the theatrics or the evangelism you can still shred air guitar and headbang along to the choruses.

A crowd pleaser, then – and to so conclude a review of a shock-rock concept album is a fitting tribute to Alice Cooper’s 40 years of contradiction defying, melodramatic, tongue-in-cheek rock .

4/6

Along Came A Spider by Alice Cooper is out now on SPV

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