NEAL SMITH, Killsmith Two (2011, Kachina)

The skull:
This looks like a circus tent design, more specifically something lugged around by a traveling county fair troupe. You know, the kind of thing worked exclusively by chain-smoking ex-con rednecksĀ  You can see this fearsome image (cough cough) on the tent with a barker at the entrance: “Ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages, step right up! See the amazingriffic, terrifispendous Neal Smith, banging drums and singing songs of skulls and snakes to give you the shakes! The original rocker, straight from the pits of Hell, sent to thrill and chill, only one dollar bill! Oh, what a shriek! Step right this way folks, step right this way…”

The music:
Had Neal Smith not been part of the original Alice Cooper group, people would laugh this shit off as the lunk-headed cock-rock sleaze that it is. This is terrible. It’s easy to throw the “Spinal Tap” insult toward any bad band playing super-dumb heavy metal or hard rock, but in this case it’s a completely accurate comparison. “Strip Down,” “Legend of Viper Company,” “Evil Voodoo Moon”…every one of these songs is dreck. Check out the video for “Squeeze Like a Python.”
See? Maybe Killsmith One is the masterpiece, I dunno.
— Friar Wagner