“Along Came A Spider” by Alice Cooper

Artist: Alice Cooper
Title: “Along Came A Spider”
Label: SPV Records
Release Date: 7/29/2008
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

The man that is held single handedly responsible for being the focal point of almost anything shocking in Rock & Roll has returned with another sinister piece of music and this time around the one and only Alice Cooper finds himself as a serial killer in “Along Came A Spider”. Yes, his latest album essentially is a concept album and while it’s true that many of these kinds of albums are coming out fast and furious nowadays, its also true that Alice is not new to the idea and has done this on more than one occasion over the course of his career. The great thing about “ACAS” is that it still has a fresh Hard Rock angle to it, and calls to mind Alice Cooper of the early days and successfully works the crunching guitars with the macabre lyrics that the singer is laying down. For the album, Alice takes on the persona of a serial killer known as “The Spider” and the killers’ signature is wrapping his victims in silk once he has finished with them. He also removes a leg from each victim as a trophy. TV fans might realize this as something that you would want the guys on “Criminal Minds” to investigate or perhaps even our friends over on “CSI”. While it is a morbid premise to make an album about, we can all agree that society does find some fascination with serial murderers based on how many stories about them populate our mainstream media outlets. They’re on regular TV almost weekly and we also had popular movies featuring such monsters like Hannibal Lecter & Sweeney Todd to line out some examples. Either way, when its under Coopers direction the topic continues to remain as gripping and as frightening as it usually is.

Given this is a concept album I will admit that skipping around the recording does not allow you to capture it all that well if this is how you choose to begin with it. I first recommend letting it play straight through and getting the overall vibe of the story. Trust me, its Alice Cooper and he like King Diamond, knows full well how to keep your attention in a terrible tale like this. Highlights right off the bat were “Vengeance Is Mine”, and this tune features a ripping guitar solo by Slash. “Wrapped In Silk” lines out the premise of how The Spider plans on doing you in, and that’s just chilling when you think about it. The ever spinning yarn that Alice is bringing to life also finds this as a slight love story as the killer sings about being “Killed By Love” which serves as the ballad of the release and stands proud on its own as a new decades “Only Women Bleed” or “I Never Cry”. Of course if I lined out any more of this you would know how the story ends and there is no fun in being the guy who ruins the end of the movie is there. Musically this is a fun release despite the cryptic tale and the band helping Alice deliver it is Eric Singer (drums), Keri Kelli (guitar), Jason Hook (guitar) and Chuck Garric (bass). These guys were also seen on tour with Alice recently and if you caught one of those shows you can agree that the songs are in capable musical hands. While I don’t think Alice has broken any new ground with this one, I can safely say that he is continuing to show us why he is so respected in the first place. “Along Came A Spider” is the performer’s 25th studio album and the fact that we can listen straight through and find so many promising moments says a whole lot about the talents that he still possesses. Given the sometimes stagnant state of the music scene in some regions lets hope that he continues to keep influencing people who are smart enough to be paying attention. I’m not going to say whether The Spider gets caught, gets away or meets his demise so just make sure that you are a little more wary as you walk down that dark and lonely street ok, because you never can be sure if that noise was only your imagination, or something far, far worse…..

Track Listing:
1. Intro
2. I Know Where You Live
3. Vengeance Is Mine
4. Wake The Dead
5. Catch Me If You Can
6. (In Touch With) Your Feminine Side
7. Wrapped In Silk
8. Killed By Love
9. I’m Hungry
10. The One That Got Away
11. Salvation
12. I Am The Spider
13. Epilogue

Official Website: www.alicecooper.com

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