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 Death Cult's Tales Of Terror

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S.D.
The Subhuman
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PostSubject: Re: Death Cult's Tales Of Terror   Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:42 pm

Good review! I still have yet to hear the album all the way through, I keep waiting for the right mood to hit but it hasn't materialized yet. I also haven't listened to the new Overkill yet for the same exact reason.

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Akeldama
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PostSubject: Re: Death Cult's Tales Of Terror   Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:46 pm

Good review, DC. I agree with most of it but I'm not much for the three remakes and like the songs you don't. I think 'Sudden Death' has as many solos as it does b/c it was intended for Guitar Hero, the original version is better IMO and yes, Dave's voice is WAAAAY too high in the mix.
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DeathCult
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PostSubject: Re: Death Cult's Tales Of Terror   Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:36 pm

Thanks fellas! I appreciate the feedback.

Ack, as far as the remakes go, the originals of at least two were just demos. While I miss Friedman and Menza, I like hearing them completed. But, each to their own.

S.D., I think you'd like some of it alot, but as you always say, this would benefit greatly from being cut down to LP length.

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PostSubject: Re: Death Cult's Tales Of Terror   Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:18 pm

Dude I prefer the demos for some reason...
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PostSubject: Re: Death Cult's Tales Of Terror   Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:34 pm

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Alice Cooper
Flush The Fashion (1980)

Side One:
1. Talk, Talk
2. Clones (We're All)
3. Pain
4. Leather Boots
5. Aspirin Damage

Side Two:
1. Nuclear Infected
2. Grim Facts
3. Model Citizen
4. Dance Yourself To Death
5. Headlines

After some truly self indulgent grandiose productions of the late 1970's, Alice Cooper entered the 80's by reinventing himself once again. Heavily influenced by his love of The Cars (Roy Thomas Baker even produces), Alice adopted a new wave style on this album while still retaining some elements of the rock he was known for. Baker's production on this album is pretty superb. For the most part, the glossier sound works quite well. All the songs flow great and have a nice unified feel to them.The lead single Clones (We're All) uses the synths to great effect and shows a pretty successful transformation by Alice. The band also retains some of what made AC's music so great in the past in the form of some excellent riffs curtosey of Davey Johnston. Grim Facts is an excellent rocker that shows his skills well. Alice's humor is alive and well in the lyrics and the different themes from song to song are quite entertaining. "Pain" showcases Alice's knack for lyrics to a t. The stand out tracks here would have to be the strong opener "Talk, Talk", "Clones (We're All)", the epic "Pain", "Nuclear Infected" and "Model Citizen". The rest of the tracks have their moments, but either aren't as strong or the synths ruin certain parts of them. All in all, a good Alice album that shows he can take a drastic turn and rock the hell out of it.


An older review I had saved on my computer, but since I have 80's Alice on the brain alot lately, I figured it would be cool to post. I may go back and edit it later.

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Akeldama
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PostSubject: Re: Death Cult's Tales Of Terror   Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:33 pm

Now this is great! I really dig New Wave Alice and never knew he loved The Cars; another great band. I am jamming this as I type this and I can really hear RTB's production propensities. I may be in the minority but Zipper Catches Skin and The Last Temptation are my fave Alice albums. Alice has always been one of my top 3 lyrcists of all time.
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PostSubject: Re: Death Cult's Tales Of Terror   Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:22 pm

His early 80's stuff is some of my favorite material from him. I like Special Forces and Flush The Fashion the best out of the four, but Zipper Catches Skin and DaDa definately have some awesome tracks on them.

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PostSubject: Re: Death Cult's Tales Of Terror   Sun Aug 10, 2014 12:10 pm

So today I'm listening to Zipper Catches Skin again, it's easily just as good as Flush. Dick Wagner is great on this album. The only other album from this era I actually had a finished review for is Special Forces, but I may just end up doing all 4.

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PostSubject: Re: Death Cult's Tales Of Terror   Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:25 pm

DO ALL FOUR!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Death Cult's Tales Of Terror   Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:37 pm

Just an update here, but I'm finally posting the ones for Special Forces and Zipper tonight. Was finally able to finish them.

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PostSubject: Re: Death Cult's Tales Of Terror   Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:20 pm

Just a note, this one’s going to be a little long winded. I generally try to stay away from doing track by track reviews, but this one is an exception.

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Alice Cooper
Special Forces (1981)

1. Who Do You Think We Are
2. Seven and Seven Is
3. Prettiest Cop on the Block
4. Don't Talk Old To Me
5. Generation Landslide '81
6. Skeletons in the Closet
7. You Want It, You Got It
8. You Look Good In Rags
9. You're A Movie
10. Vicious Rumors

While Special Forces stays fairly consistent with the edgy New Wave style established on Flush The Fashion it adds a much more aggressive punk attitude into the mix. The result is not only the most stripped down, rocking effort since the AC band days, but one of his quintessential releases. Production wise, Richard Polodor does it clear enough so that you can hear all the instruments quite well. But, it also has a certain rawness that highlights the albums edge. Lyrically and vocally, snide sarcastic Alice really shines through with all his villainous vaudeville enthusiasm intact. Apparently he was really into reading Soldier of Fortune at the time, so the overall theme and lyrics of a couple tracks generally hint at war. The keys and synths really add to the theme. Overall giving the album a great mechanical, war in a dystopian future feel. There are certain sound effects that sound unnecessary at times, but it’s nothing bad enough to detract from the whole. Since he retained his touring band from 1980, everything‘s played tight and the band really have some chemistry together. The drums are punchy and intense, keeping a driving beat throughout the majority of the album with the aggressive attitude running strong, especially on the more rocking numbers where they break out more. The guitar sound on this album is great, and really reverbed out. Along with them being layered, so you get some nice chunky riff dueling going on coupled with a screeching solo playing over top. The bass chugs along and adds plenty of menace.  

As for the songs themselves, the album kicks off with one of Alice’s best (although criminally overlooked) rockers ever in Who Do You Think We Are. The helicopter and key intro to it really help to set the sci-fi/war tone of the album before the drums punch in with the attitude and the crunchy guitars begin.  “Seven and Seven Is” (a Love cover) is nothing but pure intensity. The percussion and synth backbeat in this song build a tension that is just insane coupled with the reverb fuzzed out guitars, this one sounds like it’s just going to explode. Cover or not, one of Alice’s best songs ever. From there, we jump into one of Alice’s most hilarious compositions ever “Prettiest Cop on the Block“. With just as much attitude as the rest of the album, this is a great tale of a transvetite cop complete with double entendre. “Don’t Talk Old To Me” is the first of the more synth dominate tracks and plays off both elements great, holding up the tension perfectly. Up next is, for the most part, a pretty faithful redo of Generation Landslide from the Billion Dollar Babies album. Unfortunately it’s one of the two low points on the record, owing mostly to it being completely unnecessary and that damn overdubbed crowd noise. Aside from that, the punk attitude and playing style actually work better for the song over all, dropping the over the top moments of the original and streamlining it. We pick up from that rather dull moment nicely with the pretty much straight new wave and superbly atmospheric “Skeletons In The Closet“. The keyboards on this song have a great thick sound and give it a genuinely creepy feel. Alice is in great voice and the lyrics are phenomenal, a genuine classic. The synths bump right on over into “You Want It, You Got It“, the only other low point on here. While it retains the albums’ feel and is catchy, it’s pretty boring.  But never fear, we rock right out of that rut immediately with the balls out “You Look Good In Rags“. The riffs are great and it’s one of Alice’s best rockers since the days of Killer. “You’re A Movie” is another lyrically humorous and more synth driven song (as well as the 3rd in a row to start with You) with good old Sergeant Alice riffing on war heroes . Special Forces closes out with the unhinged “Vicious Rumors”, another ripper (and Alice classic) that leaves you wanting more. So if you don't have this album, you should.

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PostSubject: Re: Death Cult's Tales Of Terror   Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:37 am

I really enjoy 'Special Forces' when the mood strikes me to listen to it. In fact, the whole era from 'Lace & Whiskey to DaDa' took the longest for me to listen to and listen though due to the fact that some of those albums I never had any exposure to growing up and in fact I don't remember any of those albums being in any of my siblings' collections. Although still in the vein of New Wave, 'Special Forces' is a totally different album than those that sandwich it and like you said, DC, it has more attitude, more Punk and has a rawer sound. I have always enjoyed the instrumentation on this album, nowadays drum don't have personality like this. My copy includes, “Look at You Over There, Ripping the Sawdust from My Teddybear”. Nice review man, I await the others...
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PostSubject: Re: Death Cult's Tales Of Terror   Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:50 pm

Thanks man! Oh yeah, I forgot to mention "teddy bear". On the whole, not a bad song as far as I'm concerned. However, I do support Alice's decision to cut it from the album and agree that it doesn't fit with the overall theme. Zipper is coming tonight, another great album from this era. From Lace to DaDa is probably his most difficult period to get into for sure. "Special Forces" is a little different for me because it actually is one of the first AC albums I owned. The rest I got all around the same time in high school, but it took me awhile to get into them. For the most part, I still feel like it's great songs spread throughout albums as opposed to a set of monsters. There's a few exceptions, but some things just don't work (Ubangi Stomp anyone?).

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PostSubject: Re: Death Cult's Tales Of Terror   Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:21 pm

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Alice Cooper
Zipper Catches Skin (1982)
1. Zorro's Ascent
2. Make That Money (Scrooge's Song)
3. I Am The Future
4. No Baloney Homosapiens
5. Adaptable (Anything For You)
6. I Like Girls
7. Remarkably Insincere
8. Tag, You're It
9. I Better Be Good
10. I'm Alive (That Was The Day My Dead Pet Returned To Save My Life)

On the third album in his new wave period, Alice would again mark a slight change in sound. While musically carrying on similar punk and post punk stylings began on Special Forces, Zipper Catches Skin is overall a more streamlined affair. Sonically, it’s clearer and slicker than both previous albums, with production being handled by Cooper himself and regular bassist Erik Scott. Dick Wagner makes a welcome return here both on guitar and song writing. Wagner’s already established chemistry with Cooper works with the rest of the band and the music marries intense staccato rhythms with blistering rock riffs perfectly. While the aggressive edge and over the top moments of Special Forces are dropped, the songs stay punchy and energetic throughout and benefit from being stripped down. Lyrically, Cooper is at his most humorous in years here, with sharp sarcasm intact (“No Baloney Homosapiens” is particularly clever) while covering some truly bizarre topics. By this point it’s pretty well known Alice was deep into freebase. The whole band actually recorded this album while doing it, prompting Dick Wagner to refer to it as both “the off the races speedy album” and a “drug induced nightmare”. Given the enthusiastic and high energy performances, it’s pretty obvious they were all on speed, even making subtle references to it with some of the album’s sound effects. Alice’s voice is also shot as a result, coming across weak and tired on the majority of the album.

The album opens with a great one, two high energy punch in “Zorro’s Ascent” (featuring Zorro facing down death) and “Make that Money (Scrooge’s Song” which contain some of the album’s best guitar work. The album’s lone single, the ballad “I Am The Future” (written for the Class of 1984 soundtrack) follows these. The song starts off slow but quickly moves into a powerhouse ending from the band with some nice synth work. Despite having one the best sets lyrics on the album, “No Baloney Homosapiens” doesn’t fare too well. There’s scattered parts that work well, but on the whole it’s too long and never jells in a significant way. The next trio of songs jell great together and really highlight the tuneful jams with the lyrics directly following each other into the next song. “Remarkably Insincere” is the definite highlight of the three. “Tag, You’re It”, which spoofs and pays homage to slasher flicks, is a true Alice Cooper gem. With a mostly spoken vocal line, Alice sounds on top here, the band is killer and even the sound effects are top notch (apparently several hours were spent stabbing watermelons to achieve the right knife sound). Unfortunately, the album loses some steam after this. “I Better Be Good” is fairly effective musically, but isn’t very memorable and has an annoying gang vocal ending. The lyrics are also far too cutesy for their own good. “I’m Alive (That Was The Day My Dead Pet Returned To Save My Life)” boasts easily the most bizarre and entertaining lyrics on the album but is largely forgettable, with the music never being cohesive enough to hold attention.

Overall, it’s good album from Alice. While most of the tracks aren’t that strong, or stand well up outside of the album, there are a few excellent cuts and it sounds great. It has a real experimental spirit to it. A gem for established Alice listeners, and worth a listen to all the way through at least once for newcomers.

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PostSubject: Re: Death Cult's Tales Of Terror   Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:07 am

ZCS is prolly my fave overall AC album along with 'The Last Temptation', the sound is a little overly polished but lyrically he was great and musically it was too. If I were to ever cover an AC song it would be "Zorro's Ascent".
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