Metal Forces

Originally Published: September 1989


Alice Cooper

Rating 75/100

I have to admit that it has only been in the last two albums, the classy 'Constrictor' and the rebel-rousing 'Raise Your Fist And Yell' that have turned me into a complete COOPER-ite, and, you'll be pleased to hear, 'Trash' keeps me more than happy with the man's progress.

Now, despite yells of 'sell-out' from certain quarters of the rock press,, I can steadfastly deny such allegations, arguing that Alice just like everyone else has progressed into the 90's with a deft nod of the head towards techno-hard rock. That ain't selling out - it's just being realistic.

O.K., so 'Poison' with it's up-front B.V.'s, pronounced hook and inoffensive guitar work, is not what we've come to expect from the one time gore-guru, but we should always expect the unexpected right? Beyond 'Poison' though Alice redeems himself bigtime with 'Spark In The Dark' that has all the classic Cooper-isms from an eerie guitar riff, to some genuinely abrasive vocals.

In general, the album is something of a paradox because, on one hand the influence of producer/songwriter Desmond Child drags the album, musically, into commercial territory occupied by the likes of fellow Child-cohorts Bon Jovi, yet vocally, and lyrically, Cooper has reverted to material that would not sound amiss on say 'Billion Dollar Babies'.

The stand-out track (forgetting power for one moment!) is side one's token ballad 'Only My Heart Talkin'' which showcases Alice's unique vocal style alongside that of Mr Steven Tyler - which could prove to be even more of a coincidence because it's possible to see this album doing for Alice what 'Permenent Vacation' did for Aerosmith.

A nice thought.