Review : KISS - Sonic Boom
SpinIn the 11 years since releasing the patchy Psycho Circus, Kiss have marketed kaskets, opened a koffeeshop, and released krappy solo albums, apparently on a mission to make everyone but diehards forget that, for a few LPs running, they were the greatest rock band of the '70s. It's a breath of fiery air, then, that their latest is as close to a return to classic form as anyone could reasonably expect. "Never Enough" and "Stand," in particular, equal the anthemic might of "Rock and Roll All Nite," while "Danger Us" actually transcends its silly titular pun. The clichés (sorry, lyrics) otherwise define hoary, as backbones slip, things go out of the frying pan and into the fire, and hearts beat like drums. Nice to hear some things never change....full text
EwKiss haven't gotten any subtler in the 11 years since their last studio album (''Baby, feel my tower of power!'' declares Gene Simmons on ''Hot and Cold''). And why should they? There's no denying the pleasingly hook-laden nature of such anthemic rockers as Sonic Boom's ''Stand'' and ''Modern Day Delilah,'' while onetime Kiss opening-act guitarist Tommy Thayer makes for an adequate Ace Frehley replacement. This Walmart-only three-disc set — which includes a CD of rerecorded hits and a live DVD — should remind Hall of Fame voters that the recent nominees deserve consideration for far more than just Simmons' fire-breathing abilities....full text
BostonKiss is such a merciless merchandising machine that each new album typically seems like just another product to sell. But as the band’s first studio album since 1998’s “Psycho Circus,’’ the new “Sonic Boom’’ aims to be something a bit more substantial than simply the pretext for yet another lucrative tour. Of course, substance is in the eye of the beholder, and the lyrics don’t much stray from Kiss standbys such as partying, sex and, naturally, rock ’n’ roll. The results are appropriately direct and unambiguous: on “Hot And Cold,’’ Gene Simmons appropriates the old chestnut “If it’s too loud, you’re too old’’ before demanding “Baby, feel my tower of power.’’ Musically, the songs hark back not to Kiss’s 1970s heyday but to 1980s metal; despite its “Rock and Roll All Nite’’-style hook, “Never Enough’’ (about not just wanting it all but, appropriately enough for Kiss, taking it all) sounds almost exactly like Poison’s “Nothin’ but a Good Time,’’ which is like two snakes eating each other’s tails. The band sounds energized from its long recording hiatus, and the Kiss Army faithful, who get the cobbled-together loyalty anthem “Stand,’’ should be thrilled by “Sonic Boom.’’ Everyone else can wait for the concert. (Out tomorrow) MARC HIRSH...full text
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