Vocals: Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons. Additional vocals: Tommy Thayer, Eric Singer.
Kiss' latest album, Sonic Boom, was somewhat of a letdown. Even if it was a rather decent album, I expected more from the hard rock veterans. Therefore my expectations on their twentieth album in near four decades, Monster, are totally blank, when I pump it in my audio system for the very first time.
It's rock'n'roll alright. Highly, and above all mostly lead guitar and production wise, influenced by their mid-seventies sound, blended with a tiny bit of the eighties. I guess they know what their fans want from them and the band is doing their best possible to please the fans' hopes and desires, the businessmen they are. Bassplayer Simmons and rhythm guitarist Stanley handles most of the vocal duties of course and the hired guns, guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer have laid down lead vocals on one song each, Outta This World and All For The Love Of Rock & Roll, respectively.
I want to lift three songs up above the rest. The album opener and also the first single off Monster, released in early July, shows Kiss' speedier style. Track number three, Freak, has two sides with its old sounding verses and pre-choruses, followed by choruses and a bridge that sounds newer and fresh. All this with a short and blistering guitar solo. Track number four, Back To The Stone Age features Simmons on lead vocals and reminds me of the song Deuce from their debut and by that, I believe no further comments will be necessary.
Most songs are good, but not one single song really kicks ass. In my ears, a pretty solid album without hits. It's Kiss all the way and it really hasn't any bad songs, except for perhaps above mentioned song featuring Singer on lead vocals. Not his fault though, as the track itself has a somewhat poor flow and sounds kind of cheesy. I'm not that impressed by this release, but far from disappointed. All in all, a rather good record and therefore my rate ends up at 6 chalices.
also review of: Sonic Boom