KISS: Monster

26 Oct

Love ’em or hate ’em KISS are one of rock’s great enigmas; idolized by their fans, but often panned by serious music critics. Now into their fourth decade KISS have released their 20th studio album, the hotly anticipated Monster.

Following on from the success of 2009’s excellent Sonic Boom, Greg Collins and lead singer Paul Stanley have both returned to co-produce the latest album. The pair have returned to a retro sound, opting to use old school 24 track analogue recording equipment to create what bass player Gene Simmons calls a “thick sound”. The results have given the album a pretty convincing 70s feel, with drummer Eric Singer adding plenty of cowbells throughout.

Stanley is in particularly fine form delivering several of the album’s stand out tracks. From the Zepplinesque Long Way Down, straight out rocker Shout Mercy and first single Hell or Hallelujah, Stanley is clearly firing on all cylinders. Simmons, not to be outdone, has a couple of memorable moments with the catchy Eat Your Heart Out and the suitably dark The Devil is Me. While Singers’ All for the Love of Rock and Roll would be right at home on 1976’s Rock and Roll Over.

Monster might not win over any high brow critics but the KISS Army will love it. A slow burner that is well worth repeat listens.

 

By Roger Beatson

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