Tuesday 19 February 2019

Album Review: KANE ROBERTS - The New Normal

Kane Roberts - The New Normal

01. King Of The World (Featuring Nita Strauss)
02. Wonderful
03. Beginning Of The End (Featuring Alice Cooper and Alissa White-Gluz)
04. Who We Are
05. Forever Out Of Place
06. Leave This World Behind
07. The Lion's Share
08. Leave Me In The Dark
09. Above And Beyond
10. Wrong 

Kane Roberts was the muscle-bound lead guitarist who used to play for Alice Cooper in the mid-to-late 80's, and featured on two of my favourite albums, Constrictor and Raise Your Fist And Yell. When I noticed that Kane had a solo album out, I knew that I'd have to give it a listen. To be completely honest, this was my first time checking out Kane's solo work. I'm sure, like many Alice fans, I secretly wanted this record to sound like those two Alice records, although deep down I knew that it wouldn't, and it wasn't really fair of me to expect that either. Kane is an artist in his own right, so I tried to listen with as open a mind as possible.

Opener King Of The World starts off like a third rate Nickelback ballad, before kicking into something a bit heavier. There's some amazing lead guitar work from special guest, and current Alice Cooper guitarist Nita Strauss. However, the obvious drum machine really detracts from the song.

Having had a good listen to the whole record, my biggest problem with it is the production. It sounds like Kane recorded it at home with some cheap equipment. The drum machine keeps rearing its ugly head and sounds really crap, to the point where I found it very off-putting, especially when Kane tries to heavy things up a little with some 'double-kicks' now and then.

I was also surprised at how middle-of-the-road the album is as a whole. That's not a criticism, just an observation. I was expecting something a bit more badass and Metal, perhaps with a Fear Factory vibe given the cover art. However, most of the material kinda falls into the Ballad or rather Power Ballad category, and is musically more in the territory of bands like 3 Doors Down, Shinedown and Staind, but with a splash of Electronica.

For me, the best two songs on here are Beginning Of The End, which features additional vocals from Arch Enemy's Alissa White-Gluz and the main man himself, Alice Cooper, and the best of the Power Ballads, Above and Beyond.

The New Normal is far from a disaster, but to me it sounds like a demo. If it had been a demo album taken to a decent producer, then re-recorded on a bigger budget, we could have ended up with a record capable of making some waves and even bothering the mainstream a little. However, the final product as it is, left me feeling a little underwhelmed.


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