There is not a great deal left to say about Kiss that hasn’t already been said a thousand times before, they are the self proclaimed “Hottest Band In The World’, they are one of the most enduring bands in hard rock, and they living legends. With that said over the course of the bands near 40 year career there have been some bumps in the road, with many feeling that the band has descended into a caricature of themselves, that is more intent on selling all kinds of Kiss branded merchandise than actually writing a decent album.
2009’s “Sonic Boom” was return of sorts for the band and garnered largely positive reviews, but still left many wondering if the band still had one classic left in them, and with their latest album “Monster” they look to give those people an answer.
Let’s not mess about here “Monster” is a just that, a titanic album of pure rock and roll thunder from top to bottom. There are no slow songs or balladeering to found here, no this time around Kiss have gone straight for the throat and taken things back to a base level, delivering the band’s first essential in some time.
Now, I’m not sure if recently revisiting their classic “Destroyer” album gave the band a kick up the ass, but there are definitely elements of that album to be found on here. Whether its the anthemic yet slightly sinister ‘Devil Is Me’ or the instantly memorable ‘Eat Your Heart Out’ even lead single ‘Hell or Hallelujah’ which comes straight through the speakers like a ton of bricks. Kiss has somehow managed to craft an album that sounds like classic Kiss but also manages to drag their sound kicking and screaming into the modern age, proving the,selves once again to be the true masters of rock.
Each member gets their time to shine as well, with all songs being written by the band as a band, even though the majority of the vocal load is delivered by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer get to flex their vocal chords on ‘Outta This World’ and ‘All For The Love Of Rock and Roll’ respectively. The fact that every member contributes something also gives the album that feeling of it having been created and brought together by Kiss the band, rather than Gene and Paul with the other two trailing behind, like it has before on previous releases.
The other great thing about “Monster” is that the band recorded the whole thing on analogue which gives it a nice thick organic sounding production, which gives the songs more room to breathe and really come alive as opposed to having them produced within an inch of their lives, its another thing that is a little nod back to the Kiss of old, bringing things full circle once again.
It is hard to say where Kiss go from here in terms of studio output, but with “Monster” it seems as if the band set themselves the task of creating the ultimate Kiss album and in many ways they have succeeded, there is not one song on this album that sounds like filler or sounds like the band is trying too hard to be something they aren’t. No messing, just straight up balls out rock anthems. This is rock and roll the way it was intended,and no matter whether you are a die hard Kiss fan or only discovered the band yesterday you will find something on here for you.If this is the final chapter on the greatest rock and roll band in history then you had better believe they are going out swinging.