Monday, September 28, 2009

Classic Rock Revisited Reviews 'Sonic Boom'

Classic Rock Revisited Reviews 'Sonic Boom' Jeb Wright

Rating: B+

Kiss have done it again. While many would love to count them out, they have, once again, delivered big. Who wudda thunk that in October of 2009, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley could make such a sonic boom with, well, the album Sonic Boom. There is not a clunker on the album, though some are much stronger than others. A quick sneak peak at the album is below. The release of the year, at least according to Paul and Gene, will arrive just in time for those early holiday shoppers.

"Modern Day Delilah" kicks the album off and Kiss make it clear that they are not chasing trends or trying to fit into the modern day rock scene. They are clearly concerned with the Kiss legacy. This song, the first single, will become a classic and would have been the lead single on many of their '70 efforts.

"Russian Roulette" is your typical Gene Simmons song where he compares women to the deadly pistol game. The solo saves the song and while a bit trite, by the end of the song one is rocking just like they were listening to "Firehouse."

"Never Enough" is a song that mixes a classic Kiss three-chord rocker with a bit of Poison's "Ain't Nothing But a Good Time." It works and will likely be a single and should be played live as it has a killer arena sign along chorus.

"Yes I Know (Nobody's Perfect)" is another Paul and Gene song about sex and ego and how great they are and how many women they can fuck. The intro to the song is killer and the song keeps finding its way back to my ears, each time played just a little bit louder.

"Stand" is a song that early Kiss fans will totally freak out over. This could have been on Dressed to Kill. This is Kiss writing music for the hardcore fans, who will love the odd sounding chorus and the cool reprise at the end of the song.

"Hot and Cold" is a fun one. Typical Kiss. Lyrics about hot and cold and too loud then your too old. It is fun and while there is nothing wrong with it, there is not too much original about it... not that Kiss are worried about stepping outside the box.

"All For the Glory" sees drummer Eric Singer take the vocal. He is a great singer and this song is made for an arena. Fists will be pumping in the air as the machismo behind the band of boys theme will win over the Kiss crowd.

"Danger Us" is a great title. Gene and Paul have always been great when it comes to making plays on words. The old school fans will love this one as it is the "Black Diamond" of Sonic Boom.

"I'm an Animal" is another old school, Gene Simmons track. I can see Geno spitting blood during one of Thommy Thayer's solos during this track.

"When Lightening Strikes" is a first for Thommy Thayer, as he gets to step up and sing lead vocals. It is a rocking song that has a great beat and chorus and a killer guitar riff. This, I predict, will quickly become a hard core fan favorite. It would be fun to see Thommy perform this one live.

"Say Yeah" is a Paul Stanley made for the arena audience rocker. The chorus is tailor made for twenty thousand screaming maniacs to be shouting at the top of their lungs. The song goes from hard rock, to slow and from in yer face to passionate but it always retains energy and finesses.

At the end of the day, Sonic Boom is a good album. The surprise is that it is this good. One would expect a couple of tunes and a lot of filler but that is not the case here at all.

Gene and Paul have always had a magic that seems to know when to strike. They have known when to write and when to hire outsiders. This time, they wrote them all and Paul Stanley produced them. This is back to the basics Kiss, a return to the 70's that will have the over 40 years olds wondering what ever became of that Kiss Army Membership card.