"Killsmith Two" (Kachina Records; 2012)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Picture the music scene of the early 1970s: The Who was on top of the world, selling out venues all over the world. And there was another band that was doing the same thing at the same time and that was the Alice Cooper band.

I once saw an interview with Alice Cooper during which he said that Keith Moon (the legendary drummer for The Who) and Neal Smith (the drummer for the Alice Cooper band) had an ongoing competition as to who had more drums that the other. Smith would call and ask how many drums Moon had and then get one more and then the opposite would happen. I don't know why I told that story, but I felt it needed to be told.

Now, Neal Smith has a new recording called "Killsmith Two." Frankly, it took me a few spins to really get this recording. When I finally did, it hit me like a bolt of lightning. Not only do I really like this recording, I cannot stop running the lyrics around in my melon for the rest of the day. The songwriting is superb, with very dark and twisted images and, once I got it, I could not stop going over the songs in my mind.

The vocals on the other hand are a bit much and, quite honestly, not that great. Smith is an awesome drummer and his work shines here but, as a vocalist, he leaves much to be desired. That being said, after listening to the entire recording, I found that the vocals fit this recording rather well, despite their flaws.

When you first give "Killsmith Two" a listen, you may want to dismiss it too quickly. It's incredibly raw and very simple. However, toward the end of the first spin, you realize that there might just be something here after all - real honesty. And, after the end of the second spin, you'll probably say, "Holy shit, this is one great recording!"

I find myself running the tracks around in my head and I mean a lot. This is a great rock'n'roll recording from a real rock'n'roll veteran.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2012 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:22 -0400.