ALICE COOPER: ZIPPER CATCHES SKIN (1982)
1) Zorro's Ascent; 2) Make That Money (Scrooge's Song); 3) I Am The Future; 4) No Baloney Homosapiens; 5) Adaptable; 6) I Like Girls; 7) Remarkably Insincere; 8) Tag, You're It; 9) I Better Be Good; 10) I'm Alive.
By this time, the alcohol problem was seriously catching up with Alice once again — to the point that he subsequently stated he had no memories whatsoever of recording this and the next record. Too bad: they happened to be, respectively, his weirdest/funniest and his most honest/personal albums to date — yet neither of them had a tour behind it, and no material has, even later on, been incorporated into an Alice live show.
For Zipper Catches Skin, Dick Wagner returns full-time, playing on many of the songs and even co-writing a couple. This means that the New Wave overtones are somewhat hushed down (good news for all the old-fashioned fans who hated the Cars-like synthesizers), but does not make the record rock any harder than its immediate predecessors. Oh, there is a decent rock sound throughout, sure, but the most important goal here is to raise the stakes in the humor department, and serious humor does not go hand in hand with too much headbanging.
Predictability has never been one of
No one will ever be able to explain, least of all the amnesia-suffering Alice himself, why he thought it commercially and artistically viable to write a song about the death of Zorro, or how he happened to come across lyrics like 'Yeah, I'm a Sony, you're Panasonic, I'm heavy metal, you're philharmonic', or why most of Side 2 rushes past the listener as if each individual song had a very serious individual bladder problem. Some things have slightly better motivation: 'No Baloney Homosapiens', for instance, pokes slow, ponderous fun at the human race in general, which is rather typical of Alice, while 'Tag, You're It', first time in years, brings back the «scary» Alice, albeit in grossly overdone form — the song may drop a reference to Halloween, but it is a comic performance, not a thrilling one.
None of the songs are too memorable; the goal is, at the most simplest, to amuse, and, at the most complex, to stupefy, certainly not to make you hum such catchy lines as 'If I ain't cool, my daddy gonna send me to military school, if I ain't nice, my girlie gonna freeze me with cold shoulder ice'. This is probably why, despite Dick Wagner, there is not a single distinctive riff, and why
To sum it up — both the brain and the heart department had firmly settled upon a thumbs up from the very first time they heard this record; but up to this day, they are still having a hard time explaining what the hell made them persist in this decision.