KillSmith Goes West by Neal Smith

Release date: March 31, 2023
Label: Kachina Records

Neal Smith has made a name for himself as the drummer for the original Alice Cooper band from 1968 to 1974. Not only he’s a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, selling real estate, solo artist, and the current drummer for Bouchard, Dunaway, & Smith (BDS), considering Alice alumni Dennis Dunaway, and former Blue Oyster Cult bassist Joe Bouchard, he has proven himself that he’s more than just a hard rocker.

Since 2008, he has put out three of the KillSmith releases which showed Neal’s love of country music when he was growing up in Ohio. His mom would take him and his sister Cindy, to Fixler’s Ballroom near Sharon Township. He would learn the dances from the Mash Potatoes, to the Orange Blossom Special.

The next chapter in the series entitled KillSmith Goes West, is Neal coming full circle to bring the story to an end probably. For him to follow in the footsteps of Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Tennessee Ernie Ford, and Frankie Laine, it’s like a vintage scrapbook coming to life.

‘Shaughnessy Highway’ brings everything to a close. Neal pours his heart out by watching the sun go down, as the stars come throughout the evening sky as he pays tribute to The Last Hurrah’s ‘The Weight of the Moon’ from the Mudflowers album. ‘Tequila, Tamales, and a Woman’ has a raunchy last rite with Smith’s brutal vocal textures to drink, eat, and sleep with a hot and beautiful sexy woman, coming to the bar like a bat out of hell.


‘Big Wheels’ is where the calvary comes in. This is where Neal races to the finish line. And we ain’t talkin’ about The Dukes of Hazzard ladies and gentlemen, we’re talkin about Outlaw Punk at its hardcore punch that brings to mind The Dead Kennedys’ take of Elvis Presley’s ‘Viva Las Vegas’.

‘Pull it Out Smokin’ sees Neal returning to the Detroit sound by coming back to his roots. Not with his original band, but tipping his hat to the Raw Power-era from Iggy and the Stooges, and Bad Company’s ‘Feel Like Makin’ Love’ in the final section of the song.

The 3/4 time signature of the Tennessee waltz, adds another romantic balladry as Neal walks into the ‘Sunsets of Gold’ after a long-exhausted battle he endured with The Man with No Name. They both head into the Saloon, and drink like there’s no tomorrow.

And then, he heads back into the Saloon once more with a fist-pumping shuffle, followed by a ‘70s glam-rock slide with his fellow comrade, the ‘Tattooed Cowgirl’. KillSmith Goes West proves that Neal has brought enough guns in his back pocket, and coming in full force by going out in a blaze of glory.

He can do whatever the hell he wants, no matter what people might say about the KillSmith series. And it’s a dish well served to sink into.

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