KISS – Sonic Boom

KISS - Sonic Boom
  • 7/10
    KISS - Sonic Boom - 7/10


Loud & Proud/Roadrunner
Release date: October 5, 2009

User Review
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After a decade without new music in store, and with much more emphasis on being creative with merchandise rather than on music, KISS returns. With a new album that may be the group’s first overall sensible move since 1992’s Revenge, not counting catering to musical trends and what more physical material the KISS logo can adorn. In many ways, Sonic Boom is the opposite to the much criticized Psycho Circus, and probably lies just in tune with what the majority of the KISS Army was initially expecting from said 1998 release in the first place.

Gene Simmons probably comes closest to matching that of his 70’s self here, with The Demon slashing out cuts such as “Russian Roulette” and “Nobody’s Perfect” that is a direct throwback to ‘76/’77 era KISS, and laying down bass licks (it up!) throughout, very reminiscent to what he did on “Ladies Room” and the like. Naturally, Paul Stanley is The Star of the show, producing and again responsible for the majority of the material presented. Typical anthemic tracks such as “Stand” and the stellar “Say Yeah” would have made stronger lead off single material than the comparably speaking, more anonymous “Modern Day Delilah”.

With three KISS studio albums under his belt, Eric “Cat Man no 2” Singer doesn’t glisten behind his kit as much as on past efforts, but makes his lead vocal debut on “All For the Glory” with his melodic and peculiar sounding voice. Make pretend Tommy Thayer doesn’t only wear the Space Man make-up but seems stuck imitating, and sometimes right off copying, the style of original guitarist Ace Frehley. While executed to perfection, this leads one to wonder why the man won’t have a style of his own such as predecessors Bruce Kulick and Vinnie Vincent. It’s only as he takes place behind the mike on the excellent “When Lightning Strikes” that he comes across as something other than an all out freaky substitute being.

The retro references are a wee bit too plenty, whether lyrically (if the line “out of the frying pan into the fire” doesn’t strike a familiar chord, you have not done your KISS homework), or musically, for that matter. That aside, Sonic Boom serves up an even slab of hardly spectacular, though catchy and fun, Cock Rock.


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