KISS – Sonic Boom (Album Review)

kiss-sonic-boom

Alright Tickets There readers. You wanted the best!….but there was a problem with their website so you came here!

Sonic Boom is here folks. KISS, the hottest band in the world have finally released their first album of new material in eleven years. That’s almost as long as Chinese Democracy!!. So, after all the hype, all the arguments and praise. After all the promotion, fanaticism and general shouting, what does Tickets There think of it?? Well, it’s a grower and it’s still growing!!

Kicking things off is the monster riff filled…ehm, monster, Modern Day Delilah, the albums flagship single and one of the heaviest tracks on the record. There’s almost nothing here but the band showing off their talents on the highest possible level. Everything about this song is savage and I think it’s settled into the hearts of KISS fans around the world. Off course everyone will need to see it in action for it to become a regular on the live circuit but musically, it’s got the goods. At first glance, second track Russian Roulette sounds a little Swiss. Gene’s voice isn’t as ferocious as fans would be used to and the bass sounds like it could have been notched up a little and made dirtier. The chorus, well it just sounds a little Nickelback or something. After a few goes it starts to warm up a little and you become more comfortable with it. Not the strongest song on the record and one that may be forgotten further down the line.

Never Enough see’s classic KISS galore back in the frame. Paul shouts his classic ‘Oh Yeah!’ (Which is always a sign of fun things to come’). Dirty, sleazy, bluesy and a sing along chorus. Never Enough is a good solid rock track and Paul’s voice sounds terrific, great solo aswell. Yes I Know (Nobody’s Perfect) has one of those definitive KISS intro’s. Blues rock mixed with the ‘danger’ we all love. Gene takes the mike back again and this time he shows us exactly why we love him. This is classic KISS with a basic message of ‘take off your cloths!’. It’s poppy, fun and Klassic KISS (see what I did? I replaced the C in Classic with K. What, not funny now because I pointed it out? Fair enough). Stand is an odd one. Not really sure if we’re meant to like this one but there’s no denying it’s catchy as hell and full on balls to the wall arena rock! Stanley and Simmons trade of vocals and it works perfectly. Bit dramatic, bit Swiss but damn it this is KISS! Swiss rhymes with their name so they can do whatever the hell they like. Personally, I think this is a deadly track!

Hot and Cold is another of Gene’s tracks and it’s another perfect rock n roll KISS anthem. ‘if it’s too hot, you’re too cold and if it’s too loud, you’re too old!’ What more can I say? Great solo again, classic Paul rhythm and Gene, a Gene, we forgive you for Russian Roulette. Anyone who can say ‘baby feel my tower of power’ is a legend and you can’t get more black and white that that.

All For the Glory is next and it’s sung by Peter Criss replacement, Eric Singer. What’s it like? Different, Eric’s vocals are top notch and the music is spot on. Classic KISS music given a fresh coat of paint with Eric leading the way. Makes a good change of pace and keeps everything running smoothly. Danger Us is a great number. Hard guitars, Stanley front and center and a catchy, excellent fun chorus. It’s everything KISS should be. Mixes references to women, booze and hell raising. If that Ain’t KISS, I don’t know what is. Two parts trouble baby! Gene Simmons comes back with the excellent I’m An Animal. He doesn’t try and growl this one out and instead displays a totally different side to his vocal range during the verse….and he pulls it off. This one could have been plucked right out of Destroyer. The lads have really managed to find their sound again and get back to doing what they love. Some classic Ace sounding guitar work here aswell.

Second last song, When Lightening Strikes makes some good use of a cowbell and some classic seventies American highway blues guitars. Written by Stanley and Tommy Thayer with Tommy taking vocals, the song doesn’t sound like a KISS song in the convention sense. It’s more like something ZZ Top or Free could have come out with. Thayer’s voice is great and really suits the sound, only made better with Paul’s harmonies giving it more scope. Really enjoyable rock n roll track with some great singing and nice guitar work. Final track, Say Yeah’s intro sounds uncomfortably familiar to Bruce Springsteen’s Radio No Where. Then again, he ripped off I Was Made for Loving You last year so now they’re even. The rest of the song is pretty sweet. Another great Ace sounding solo, colossal chorus and general arena filling, good time, KISS traits.

After only being on sale for two days, the album is on track to appear at #1 on the US Billboard Top 100 with sales off 150/175,000. In Tickets There’s opinion, it’s well deserved. Sonic Boom is a great KISS album and one that’s got more than enough material to keep fans digging through it. If 2008 belonged to AC/DC then 2009/10 will belong to KISS.

2 Responses to “KISS – Sonic Boom (Album Review)”

  1. Nice review and classic comment about Springsteen! I thought Thayer sounded a little too much like Ace but I guess that is why they pay him the big bucks. I think that Ace’s solo CD is better b/c he took more chances and went into areas that were kind of surprising. My review of Sonic Boom is at http://bit.ly/4qamoJ and Ace Frehley’s Anomaly at http://bit.ly/13gU7e. Check It.

  2. […] 9th (America) and 15th (Europe).  This will be the band’s first album since 2009′s Sonic Boom which re-launched the group as a global rock force and finally gave the current line-up something to […]

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