Elsewhere, there are more substantial surprises, even if they’re following the lead of others in their field. Who’s Laughing Now coasts along on a Queens Of The Stone Age groove, with Alice turning in a vocal performance akin to his macabre protégé Rob Zombie. Meanwhile, Welcome To Bushwackers, featuring guitar legend Jeff Beck and film director John Waters, is a more intriguing proposition. The manner in which it puts whisky-soaked country through a rock’n’roll filter has resulted in something that’s musically and lyrically both playful and perverse.
With Johnny Depp among the band’s ranks and shouldering a good share of the writing on Rise, there will inevitably be those who scour his lyrics for things relating to his alleged indiscretions. Hearing him sing the words ‘All the things you don’t say / The gift of truth pushed me away / All the things you did say / Never mattered anyway’ during Who’s Laughing Now might raise the eyebrows of those who choose to read into them, but on the whole the words deal in big, sweeping sentiments.
When Rise is good, it’s a blast. However, like the boozy gang from which they take their name, there’s a tendency towards excess. Hollywood Vampires have clearly relished the opportunity to show what they’re capable of, but they may have overcompensated. They’re on to a good thing when they’re in down-and-dirty territory, continuing the tradition of celebrating fallen heroes (People Who Died), but less so when they explore their dafter side (We Gotta Rise). The solid rendition of David Bowie’s immortal “Heroes”, meanwhile, is a bold move, and one that, mercifully, works. But despite some other things on here not landing, it’s fair to say that the Vampires get their fangs into your ears more often than not.