I have been on something of an Alice Cooper kick this week, I watched a bunch of older live footage on YouTube as well as the stellar Wacken Outdoor Festival show he did a year or two back.
Great stuff all around, but it was only on this nostalgic delve that I realised that “Alice Cooper adjacent” band Beasto Blanco had released their third album this year.
Built around the core of guitarists Chuck Garric, Chris “Brother” Latham, and vocalist Calico Cooper, Beasto Blanco have emerged from the hard rock horror bloodbath of their previous albums to deliver a far more original take on the genre for 2019.
Chuck Garric is something of a legend in his own right having played bass for such heavy rock luminaries as L.A. Guns, Dio, Journey and Ted Nugent; his gravelly vocals perfectly compliment the grinding guitar work on We Are.
Calico Cooper should need no introduction to fans of either horror or heavy music: she is the daughter of Alice Cooper and a performer in his stage productions as well as an actress is slasher movies, a model, and now vocalist.
Calico takes the lead on several tracks: Solitary Rave, a snarling, demented love poem full of references to madness and obsession and the brawling, bluesy I See You In It.
Having ditched, for the most part, the Rob Zombie-esque grind of their previous albums the guitars on We Are sound cleaner, the vocal-less heavily processed and the drums less robotic; in its production values, the album reminds me more of “tough but fair” acts like Emigrate, or Voodoo Six.
My personal favourite tracks would be the single The Seeker and mosh pit anthem Let’s Rip, I had their whole collection on shuffle play in the car today and the new songs are just as good as the old, just a bit more polished and less derivative of the old horror rock standards.
We Are is well worth a listen if you like heavy music, it’s raw but it is also really slick, this is Sunset Strip glam metal channelling back-woods psychosis and dripping with swamp water and clotted blood.