Alice Cooper, Japanese Women & Pornography

I spent this Halloween with Alice Cooper . . . and, man, was it a good time!

Alice put on a really fun & fantastic show at The Montgomery Performing Arts Center here in Montgomery, AL. Not too long ago, I saw Alice open up for Iron Maiden in Atlanta, and, at the time, I was really surprised by his band and how well they played all his older material (which is my absolute favorite of his work). This same band backed him up here in Montgomery the other night, and the show was even better than what I’d seen previously. While I think his best material is on his first 7 albums with that singular “Billion Dollar Babies” lineup, I must admit that the show I saw this Halloween was a complete blast. Absolutely zero nonsense, with song after song played very well, and Alice’s voice in fine form. MPAC is a great venue to see Alice perform in, too. Not a bad seat in the house, great sound and a really professional staff. Such a good time! If he rolls back through here again, I will definitely be back. After all, it’s ALICE COOPER! Someone who has weathered every musical era from the ’60s to present day . . . shifting and changing, but always doing that unique thing that only Alice Cooper can do. Truly oft-imitated and really only poorly-duplicated, when it comes right down to it.

For listening of late, I’ve really been getting into a couple of noise releases.

The first is from Montgomery’s own Japanese Women. Quality Control is the name. Vicious, seething noise rock is the game. I listen to this release over and over, and my blood is always boiling by its end. Good stuff and a wild, quick 13-minute listen. Throw all the amps in a hay-baler along with the singer and tie it all together with a drummer blasting along beside the bloddy machinery! Great!

Give yr ears a good wringing out, get yr brains bashed in and check out all their releases on their Bandcamp page. You can also get Japanese Women cassettes direct from their label, the excellent Tapes Of A Neon God. Tons of well-done noise releases there.

Alongside Quality Control, I’ve really been enjoying a new collection of songs from Nashville, TN’s Pornography. Anderson from Pornography runs the aforementioned Tapes Of A Neon God, and the  5 songs assembled on this CD from Speed Ritual Records were all previously released on Pornography’s Bandcamp page. Walls of guitars, pounding programmed drums, howling distorted vocals . . . all unleashed with complete venom over crawling, dirgelike frameworks. If you appreciate the ugliness on early Swans recordings, Pornography will be your new best friend.

Check out both these bands, if you’re into this kind of noise damage. I think you will be thrilled and pummeled.

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