• 6/10
    BRUCE KULICK - BK3 - 6/10


Frontiers Records
Release date: February 2, 2010

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Bruce Kulick is best known for spending over a dozen years as the lead guitarist for KISS. Since leaving that band in the mid-nineties, he’s had plenty of time to hone his skills, and not just as a member of Grand Funk Railroad. With BK3, there’s a fair amount of evidence that Kulick’s abilities haven’t deteriorated. He can still rock just as hard as he did in his formative years and he also manages to vary his sound.

It’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t just another Hard Rock release. There’s something of a Pop Rock feel to BK3, as well. Because of the overly mainstream sensibilities, Kulick loses points. The stuff that’s on here is well performed and you’d expect that from someone with so much experience under their belt. Take a song like “Dirty Girl” – which features the late Doug Fieger (The Knack) on vox – and you get something that’s a little too fluff injected to appeal to true Hard Rock fans. “And I Know”, where Kulick himself handles vocal duties, is another instance where the cheese really bubbles to the surface.

In many ways, Bruce Kulick has yet to escape from the black (and white) shadow that a band of KISS’ stature commands. Not only does Gene Simmons make a guest appearance on BK3, his son, Nick Simmons, also plays a role. Another kiss affiliate, in Eric Singer, rears his head, too. While he’s certainly an important part of “KISStory”, perhaps Kulick should consider putting the past behind him for a while and relying more on his skills as a guitarist to carry him through.

When you listen to the two instrumental tracks, “Between the Lines” (which includes Steve Lukather as a guest) and “Skydome”, it becomes obvious where Kulick really shines: focusing on his guitar. As for his vocal abilities, Kulick sounds considerably flat. There’s a certain lifelessness about his style that makes it obvious why he felt a need to include several guest vocalists.

BK3 could’ve been much more if the emphasis was really where it needed to be – on the axe work. Because there are so many guest musicians, the overall sound is more than a little disjointed. Tobias Sammet makes an appearance on this album and his performance is quite good, but most of the other visitors make BK3 feel like a sub par tribute album.

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