Release Date: Oct 5, 2009
Record label: KISS/Universal
Genre(s): Rock, Metal
Kiss 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.
In the 11 years since their last album, the big and bloated Psycho Circus, the reunited, original, make-up wearing Kiss split once again when Ace Frehley and Peter Criss hit the door. In a shocking move that disgusted Kiss purists, remaining members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons decided that Ace and Peter's characters were up for grabs, and handed the make-up over to their new guitar-playing spaceman, Tommy Thayer, and their catman 2.0, Eric Singer, for subsequent tours. It was hardly the first time Paul and Gene were painted as an anything-for-a-buck duo -- they've licensed everything from Kiss action figures to Kiss caskets after all -- but maybe, just maybe, it was a sincere move after all, one designed to please fans.
The 19th studio album from Kiss – their first for 11 years – sees them boasting of a return to their classic 70s sound. That's all well and good, but their classic 70s sound was little better than their rather iffy 80s sound, or their downright ropey 90s sound. The lumpen worst this time out comes from Gene Simmons, whose musical ingenuity is matched only by his lyrical acuity.