Posted on by Oran

After over fifty years into his career, Alice Cooper is back with his twenty-first solo album, paying homage to his birthplace, the original Rock City and where the Alice Cooper Band first found fame, this is ‘Detroit Stories’.

Opening with a cover of the Velvet Underground’s Rock And Roll (featuring a guest appearance from Bluesman, Joe Bonamassa) Alice sets his stall out early, setting up an album full of Detroit style Garage Rock with Alice Cooper’s trademark humour all over it.

For a man in his seventies, Alice can still rock out harder than bands a quarter his age, strutting his way and sneering over the punk riffs that rip through tracks like Go Man Go and Hail Mary, sticking his tongue very firmly in his cheek through the bouncy pop of Our Love Will Change The World and sounding like a stronger, angrier version of his 1970’s self on Social Debris.

Never one to shy away from mixing things up a bit, he keeps it “Detroit” by adding some Motown vibes and doo-wop to the funky $1000 High Heel Shoes. Celebrating his glory days sharing the bill with The Stooges, MC5, Bob Seger etc, Detroit 2021 celebrates a city that helped shape angry hard rock music as we know it today.

The bluesy Drunk And In Love serves as a change of pace before the garage rock ramps up to ramming speed on Independence Dave and I Hate You, the latter featuring members of the original Alice Cooper Band and again featuring Alice’s humour, it sounds like an argument backstage at the Muppet Show.

Wonderful World has Alice channelling his inner Jim Morrison and then it’s time for another cover, Sister Anne by Detroit legends, MC5. Reminding us all that better times are ahead, and perhaps capturing the album in a time capsule, We’re All Hanging On By A Thread – Don’t Give Up is a song for everyone struggling.

Alice says what we’re all thinking on Shut Up And Rock and then the album wraps up with one last cover, Bob Seger’s East Side Story.

He may be 73, but he’s lived the life, rolled with the punches and has the scars to prove it, but with Detroit Stories, Alice Cooper had reminded us, if we needed reminding, that he’s the only shock rocker with a woman’s name that’s worth talking about. 6.5/10

Detroit Stories is out now from all good record stores and streaming sites.

Eoin Lawlor 2021