Archive for Eric Singer

Review: KISS – Monster (Album Review)

Posted in Album Review, INTO-NOISE!, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2012 by Tickets There

The kings of the night time world are back with screaming glory ‘n’ a vengeance! MONSTER is the twentieth studio album by iconic rockers KISS and it looks like 19 previous records, countless live shows and 39 years in the business haven’t slowed down the guys one bit. Monster is one of the biggest releases in the band’s history and it comes hot on the tails of their 2009 record, Sonic Boom (at that time, their first album in ten years) which saw the band achieve the highest US chart success of their entire career. Now the task falls on Monster to satisfy the mighty KISS army, continue their never ending – steamrolling success, fuel the ship on their second and sold out KISS KRUISE and most importantly of all, add a few more hits to the indestructible KISS KATALOGUE (yes, everything KISS related must, when possible, begin with a K).

Monster delivers everything the band promised and more. No ballads, no outside song writers and a welcome return to the band’s classic seventies sound. Harder guitars, re-introduction of groove and balls to the wall rock ‘n’ roll. Opening track ‘Hell Or Hallelujah’ screams back to the days of Love Gun and Rock N Roll Over. Shredding guitars left right and centre, a pounding riff and Paul ‘Starchild’ Stanley standing firm at the forefront delivering the best song KISS have written in years. Fortunately, it’s not alone. ‘Take Me Down Below’, ‘Last Chance’ and ‘Freak’ are all stand out tracks, vocally endorsed by Mr. Stanley, each one making a case to outshine the others.

As with Sonic Boom, Gene’s tracks take a few more listens to really get to grips with. The demon seems to be on a quest for a pounding, thunder some anthem that correctly represents his larger than life character with all the dark coattails and demonic tendencies attributed to such a legend– with the obligatory sing along catchiness we all want from KISS of course. After three days of listening, we can happily agree ‘Back To The Stoneage’, ‘The Devil Is Me’ and ‘Wall of Sound’ achieve everything you’d want from a classic Gene track. However his work with Paul on ‘Take Me Down Below’ stands out as one of the true Monster gems.

Not forgetting Tommy Thayer or Eric Singer, both deliver the goods across the board on Monster. Once again they both get a shot at the spotlight handling vocals on ‘Outta This World’ and ‘All For the Love of Rock ‘N’ Roll’ respectively.  Two feel good, sing along KISS tracks that fill their space nicely (of course, this writer is tipping his hat to Outta This World more so).

Well, Monster is everything you’d thought it would be. A solid KISS album with its fair share of tunes you’d happily invite into future live sets. The whole band put in a great performance and it’s a true credit to them, especially after so many years in the business. 37 years ago they preached about rocking and rolling every day and every night and unlike most of their contemporaries, they’re still doing it to the letter. Rock on KISS!

KISS – Sonic Boom (Album Review)

Posted in Album Review, Music, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2009 by Tickets There

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.