Originally Published: July 2000

Brutal Planet Review

Author: Sion Smith

Ever deeper goes Alice into the realm of Dante's inferno. Somewhere along the line, Alice stopped looking in the mirror and quit dancing with dead tongues in rotten cheeks and turned the looking glass back on the world that created him.

Ever darker is Alice's nightmare. Social commentary this is not. For only those brave enough to face the truth will see that Alice is smacking us around the face with a nailed-up baseball bat that has F.A.C.T. written all over it.

We've come a long way from Trash and Stoopid - and whilst these albums acted as super-steps back into the world, they stunk of that Holly Knight/Desmond Child smell that killed Kiss, warped Aerosmith and destroyed Heart (even if it did line the pockets).

Cut to: The Last Temptation. A little concept album of prime beef. No filler, no jerking around, just big Al being big Al... well alright, Lost In America was a touch on the ropey side but the rest was pure 'Welcome..' and must surely sit high on the list of crucial Alice.

Fade to Black: Cue Brutal Planet

By far and away the heaviest Coop album in creation, it deals razor sharp cuts and chops with no regard (as ever) for whatever happens to be flavour of the month. There's a certain leaning towards 'Constrictor' here, but I'll be as damned as Alice if I can put my finger on what it is, although the production and songs are both far superior, there's a taste of that era that lingers...

...and just when you thought it was safe to go outside, wait until you hear the steel cage that is "Picking up the Bones". This is Alice pounding home truths out through a grinder and stands nose to nose with "Man In The Box" for voicing the sheer desperation of our times... only this Alice isn't in chains... more like incensed. "Pessi-mystic" on the other hand, could have fallen right off 'Killer'.

It's odd being around Alice like this. I'd like to think he'd been looking at Manson and disagreeing with the titled ones' delivery and opting to show the world how it should be done - take a few steps back and you'll see how similar they are. Stand further back still and you'll see how different they are too.

Where Manson uses his intelligence like a sword against society, Alice is already dead, already been there and is already too far spliced into the collective gene pool to care... Alice just has to be Alice, but what I'd really like to see is a hook up with Reznor for the next album. Now that would be something!

But for now, Brutal Planet will do just fine. A fine selection of songs delivered with nothing less than the legendary sneer that you've come to expect...

Alice will never recreate albums like they where in the seventies which is great.. I couldn't stand another Psycho Circus in disguise as Destroyer. I like Alice like this, and as much as I'd love the alcoholic insane Alice to resurface with his lyrical circus, I'd rather have him around like this than not at all.