HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES – Rise
One of the first things that struck me when I pressed play was how massive and crushing “Rise” sounds. For lack of a better phrase, it is monstrously heavy at times and yet primarily rooted in 60s and 70s rock music with a solid amount of psychedelic and pop-like undertones to it. On top of that, it is overflowing with excitement and great songwriting, and there are both hooks and thrills aplenty to be discovered throughout this dark and glorious piece of work. As with its predecessor, there are cover renditions to be found on “Rise” too, most notably Bowie’s “Heroes” and Johnny Thunder’s “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory”, but the real gems and highlights include originals ala “The Boogieman Surprise”, “Welcome to Bushwackers”, and the hauntingly beautiful album closer “Congratulations”. In fact, the only track that did nothing for me was the superfluous and unremarkable “We Gotta Rise”.
As entertaining and cool as the self-titled output was, “Rise” simply blows it out of the water in terms of depth and quality, and it stands tall and proud as one of the year’s greatest and most riveting rock albums.