Album Reviews: KISS-Sonic Boom


by Mr J

Anyone with a pair of ears, and a passion for rock will have heard KISS’ company line on Sonic Boom. For what seems like centuries, self-styled bass-demon Gene Simmons and velvet-voiced love-marksman Paul Stanley have extolled the “meat and potatoes” style of the upcoming album, boasting about it’s natural place in the pantheon of past glories Love Gun and Rock And Roll Over. Well paint me white and call me a Catman because the aging pyrotechnic-enthusiasts have pulled it off.


The newly-refurbished KISS juggernaut rolls into view with Modern Day Delilah. The stomping opener removes any doubt that the band would be forgoing modern bells and whistles, with not a hint of a vocoder disrupting Stanley’s trademark wail. Classic Paul bleeds effortlessly into classic Gene, with Russian Roulette featuring a godzilla-scaled chorus and bombastic if somewhat childish lyrics.


It is in this impressive vein that the album continues.  Not everything meets the high watermark, Yes I Know (Nobody’s Perfect) is a serviceable but forgettable mid-pacer for example, but for a band whose form fluctuated so violently during their patchy 1980s run, this release is laudably consistent.


Never Enough is the finest song this band have written since the Revenge album seventeen years ago, a flawless ode to not being held down. The ideal soundtrack to those days spent clicking your pen and wanting to smack your boss and/or lecturer. I’m an Animal sees Simmons milk his Demon character for all it’s considerable worth with a metal-plated cut that sits comfortably in the God of Thunder/Unholy lexicon.


In the grandest KISS tradition, it isn’t just the Demon and the Starchild who step up to the microphone. On All for the Glory, drummer and current Catman Eric Singer turns in a driving rocker, his throaty croon adds an earthier shade to the band’s sound. Meanwhile lead guitarist and studio album debutant Tommy Thayer quietens the whispers accusing him of being simply a hired gun (or axe as the case may be) with an impressive effort. Evoking the 80s glam metal scene of which his own Black ‘N’ Blue were a part, When Lightning Strikes is a creditable piece.


There is only one way to end a KISS album, and that is with an Optimus Prime-sized anthem, in this case Say Yeah. Say yeah? If KISS are your bag you’ll be screaming it. If they aren’t, this album isn’t going to change your mind. If you’re the latter, take solace that it won’t be long before Gene Simmons endorses some earplugs.


2 Comments so far
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better luck next time guys

Comment by Ace

you too Ace 😉

Comment by fancore

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