By Brad Henning
Just in time for Halloween, the hard rock super-group Hollywood Vampires released their self-titled debut album last month and it’s everything a classic rock fan could hope for and more. Hollywood Vampires consists of Alice Cooper (the original “President” of the 70’s hard-partying group, The Hollywood Vampires), Joe Perry (of Aerosmith), Johnny Depp, and a long list of other classic and hard rock all-stars including: Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Slash, Perry Farrell, Brian Johnson, Robby Krieger, Joe Walsh, Kip Winger, and Zak Starkey.
The album begins with a haunting passage from “Dracula” entitled: “The Last Vampire” read by the king of vampires himself, the late Christopher Lee. This sets up the stage for the first of the two original songs written by the band: “Raise the Dead”. “Raise the Dead” cranks it up to eleven immediately with it’s booming drum beat and distorted guitars. Afterwards, the album changes direction and becomes purely covers of classic rock classics like Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta’ Love” featuring AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson, Badfinger’s “Come and Get It” featuring the song’s original composer: Paul McCartney, and “Manic Depression” by Jimi Hendrix.
The covers section of the album ends with a cover of one of Cooper’s own compositions: “School’s Out”. This version, however, includes an interlude into the Pink Floyd classic: “Another Brick in the Wall”, that makes it all the more better. And finally, the album is capped off by the second original composition entitled “My Dead Drunk Friends”, which is perfect homage to those rockers who were original members of the Hollywood Vampires that have passed on. Overall, the album has an awesome sound both production-wise and general feeling: you can honestly tell that all the musicians involved with this project were having fun while recording these tracks. In the end, I have to give this album a 9 out of 10: just because I wanted maybe one or two more original songs. But besides that, Hollywood Vampires is an excellent album and is well worth the listen/buy.