Kiss: Sonic Boom
If you have been reading my stuff, I am sure you have often asked, “When is he going to get around to Kiss?” Well, your prayers have now been answered. Kiss released their first new album in over ten years last year, and you can imagine how excited I was (insert sarcastic tone here).
Like most people I do have a certain fascination with whole phenomenon, but even in the ’70’s I wasn’t much of a fan. Later on they held little more than a certain camp appeal. They were great showmen, but musically unimpressive. Oddly, this is exactly why I was interested in hearing “Sonic Boom.” Many classic artists have been coming forward with great material lately, so why not Kiss?
Unfortunately “Sonic Boom” is not the latter day tour de force that one may have hoped for. Back in the day, the music didn’t hold up to close scrutiny. They have gotten better. Kiss can now hold its own with midrange ’70s contemporaries like Head East or April Wine. I would have thought after this much time there would have been much more growth as artists.
Even though there is some musical improvement, the attitude is entirely regressive. It’s solid rock, but taken straight from the golden age. The lyrics are also from that age, but more from the brains they had then. Seriously guys, with Paul at 58 and Gene at 60, can you really identify with sentiments like, “Let me introduce you to pleasure. I will seduce you my treasure.” Then there is truly embarrassing bad poetry like, “Danger you, danger me, danger us.” Almost 40 years in the business, and that is the best you do? If I was listening to an album recorded when I was a kid it might be fun, but I can’t escape that fact that I know the source. Maybe a little less attention on spectacle and marketing, and just a bit more on the craft might have yielded something more fitting of such a legacy.
As I said, it is solid rock, and obviously Kiss through and through. It probably will even begin to have camp appeal down the line. The sad part is that Kiss may not have many more chances (if any) to finally garner some real respect. For such an iconic band it would be nice to see. “Sonic Boom” definitely will do nothing toward that end.
Paul Stanley – rhythm guitar, vocals
Gene Simmons – bass, vocals
Tommy Thayer – lead guitar, backing vocals
Eric Singer – drums, backing vocals