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Various Artists: Killer -- 50 Years Later

Pale Wizard’s tribute to the pivotal Alice Cooper album Killer is, in a word, killer. The British label has pulled together some of its own bands and others -- most from the underground doom/psych/groove realm -- to reconstruct the 1971 LP that is considered by some of to be one of the greatest rock albums of all time. Killer -- 50 Years Later was released five decades to the day(!) after the original, and you can hear the respect in nearly every note of these performances.

This tribute runs in the same order as Killer's original track listing, opening with “Under My Wheels” by British psych rockers Green Lung. “It’s probably the first and last time you’ll hear a doo-wop backing vocal on a Green Lung track,” the band wrote in the entertaining song-by-song liner notes. Mos Generator tunes a whole step down for “Dead Babies,” and Trippy Wicked & The Cosmic Children of the Knight” admit they stray far from the original on their sluggish interpretation of “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.” But, hey -- the song still works, and that’s cool.

Hell, all of these songs work. And while it’s a tough to call out the strongest performance, it’s gotta belong to Sergeant Thunderhoof (fronted by Pale Wizard’s own Dan Flitcroft) and the band's nearly nine-minute tour-de-force version of “Halo of Flies" -- one of Alice Cooper’s most progressive tracks.

Four bonus tracks cover other songs from Alice Cooper’s early years, highlighted by “I’m Eighteen,” which is updated and refreshed by female-fronted doomsters Alunah. Taken collectively, Killer -- 50 Years Later stands mightily as one of the more worthy tribute albums released in recent years. Even better news? The label plans to continue the 50 Years Later theme and celebrate other classic rock albums hitting that landmark anniversary. First up was David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, released in June 2022, and Budgie’s Never Turn Your Back on a Friend is tentatively slated for 2023!

Track Listings:
1. Under My Wheels by Green Lung
2. Be My Lover by Grand Mal
3. Halo of Flies by Sergeant Thunderhoof
4. Desperado by Ritual King
5. You Drive Me Nervous by 1968
6. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah by Trippy Wicked & The Cosmic Children of the Knight
7. Dead Babies by Mos Generator
8. Killer by Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell
9. I’m Eighteen by Alunah
10. Billion Dollar Babies by Suns of Thunder
11. Muscle of Love by Possessor
12. Sick Things by Sound of Origin

Added: August 25th 2022
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Pale Wizard Records on Bandcamp
Hits: 140
Language: english

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