Kane Roberts – The New Normal (2019)

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Most commonly known for his work with Alice Cooper on albums such as Constrictor and Raise Your Fist and Yell, Kane Roberts has actually forged a very decent career of his own.  Check out his phenomenal Saints and Sinners album from 1991 if you don’t believe me.

28 years on, Kane Roberts has delivered an album that is modern sounding, but gives plenty of nods to his past at the same time.  Opening with King of the World, it’s a track that could easily find a place on active rock radio, having a lot in common with a band like Shinedown for example.  Featuring a guest turn from Nita Strauss is a really cool touch for rock geeks like myself too.  A former Alice Cooper guitarist collaborating with the current guitarist is awesome!

Wonderful is another big hard rock track, one that gets playful with timing and structure, and also demonstrates that Kane Roberts is also a pretty good vocalist in his own right.

Beginning of the End recruits the man himself, Alice Cooper, and Arch Enemy vocalist Alissa White-Gluz for a guest turns.  It’s decent fan service in the case of Alice, but it’s Alissa’s vocal contrast that ultimately makes this song stand out.

Who We Are is a much softer number.  Driven by acoustic guitars, and an almost country rock style vocal from Roberts, it’s clearly here to demonstrate the diversity in his voice and guitar styles, and songwriting in general.  It works, and definitely earns its place on The New Normal.

Forever Out Of Place has some serious pop sensibilities and puts me in mind of Nickleback.   Leave this World Behind has an airy intro, but builds quickly into a hard rock banger, while The Lions Share puts the vocals front and centre for the majority of the song.

Leave Me in the Dark has a huge and memorable chorus, but ultimately the rest of the song is a little forgettable.

Kane Roberts re-assembles the Constrictor era band of Kip Winger, Paul Taylor, Ken Mary and of course himself.  Excellent harmonies throughout this track, that builds its way to arena level anthem.

To close the album out, we’re presented with Wrong.  A 5 minute epic that serves to recap all of the elements that have been present on the tracks that come before it.   

The New Normal is a really good album, that takes many different elements of hard rock from past and present, and perfectly crafts a record that will be enjoyed by die hards and newer fans alike.

7.5/10

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