Jealous Haters Since 1998!
Home | News | Reviews | Day In Rock | RockNewsWire | Singled Out | Feeds

Best of 2012: KISS - Monster


by Morley Seaver

.
I've been a solider in the KISS Army for a long time. Since the very beginning, in fact. I bought the debut record the day after it was released. And as a fan who has supported them at every stage of their career, I think I've got more than a bit of perspective.

With that in mind, it's with complete confidence that I make the following statement. This is not a regular KISS album. With past records, everything was transparent and you knew exactly what was what when dropping the needle or pushing the button.

With Monster, at least for me, its magic was not so instantly apparent. I cracked the plastic on the CD when I received it and sat back waiting and….nothing stood out. Only one cut "Show Mercy" showed promise and Eric's vocal on "All For the Love of Rock & Roll" also caught my ear.

Slightly disappointed, I let it sit for a day or so before trying again. This time it became warmer. The first single "Hell or Hallelujah" shined a bit brighter. It still wasn't there, however. It sat for a few more days and then a strange thing happened. I threw on some headphones and listened to it that way. Suddenly and dynamically, the album came rushing into focus like an old-time Polaroid quickly developing before your eyes. The songs that first struck me became absolute winners and the other tracks quickly followed suit.

It's amazing what a few days and some extra listening will do. Is it the record or is it just me? Guess we'll never know but I think these songs were created with a bit more juice in them than the past cuz I think they'll all have mucho staying power. There is nothing that is as immediate as say "Love Gun" or "Domino" (I'm not even saying "Deuce", "Strutter" or the like because let's face it, they're Klassics) but the songs have all emerged as having legs as long as Lebron James. I don't think my ears will tire of them for quite a while as now I'm fully on board.

In fact, it's strange to say considering my initial reticence but this could quite possibly be the best KISS record of all time. What? Am I crazy? I can just hear the comments that statement would elicit. No, there will never be another Destroyer. That was over 35 years ago. Nothing will strike you the same after a gap of that many years. But while there may not be the grand slam home run like "Black Diamond", "Detroit Rock City" or "Love Gun", this collection of songs hangs together from start to finish perfectly, sort of like Halle Berry's DNA. There are no passengers on this one with every cut pulling its weight and expertly crafted by the headmaster, Paul Stanley.

"Hell or Hallelujah" flexes its muscles and, for me, the magic starts when Paul commands "Sing it" and Gene and co provide backup vocals. There's a real whiff of confidence from this track right from the get-go. It's not the most obvious or captivating hook of Paul's but the more I hear this, the more I like it.

"Wall of Sound" is a stealth-missile that sneaks up on you. I sort of dismissed this Gene-voiced cut at first but it really hooks into you after a few spins. "Freak" is seemingly not a typical Paul Stanley song but it one of his most interesting and also one of the songs that will endure long past when the album has used up its "newness". Gene takes the mic again for "Back to the Stone Age" and on the surface sounds like a typical Gene song but it really hangs in there for the long haul.

"Shout Mercy" is my vote for the outstanding cut of the record and it is once again courtesy of Mr. Paul Stanley. The whole song is so juicy that you'll be singing the whole thing, not just the chorus in short order. Quite simply, this song has all the best elements of the record sewn up in its stitches, with a big part of it being Gene on the background vocals.

"Eat Your Heart Out" starts off with a cool a capella version of the chorus and the song itself sounds like it could be off Rock & Roll Over. "Long Way Down" is a more, dare I say, mature sounding cut that still manages to bench press some serious weight. Great cut, this one.

Gene is fully in his Demon character for "The Devil is Me", sounding confidently dark and nether-worldly. Tommy takes the mic for "Outta This World" and proves himself a capable vocalist. Written squarely in the Spaceman vein, the song fits him to a tee.

If you're listening to "Take Me Down Below" while driving, I suggest you switch to another cut because your foot is going to plummet and thrust you into peril. In Klassic KISS fashion, Gene and Paul alternate verses for maximum effect. One of the more buoyant songs on this record is "All for the Love of Rock & Roll" where Eric Singer takes his turn on vocals. This is an absolute winner!! Ending off the record in a big way is "Last Chance", another Paul Stanley song that keeps the energy going from start to finish.

Much better than Sonic Boom", Monster lives up to its name. If it's possible to make a mature rock record that sounds anything but old, KISS have done it in high style. Hard-hitting but catchy and containing all the best elements of past records, Monster is not only one of the band's best records but one of the best released last year.


Best of 2012: KISS - Monster
Rating:


Share this article


More articles for this artist .


...end


advertisement


advertisement

.
News Reports
.
• Day in Rock:
Blink-182 Can't Agree If Tom DeLonge Left Group Or Not- Slipknot, Lamb Of God, Bullet For My Valentine Tour Announced- Muse Reveal New Album Clues- more

• Day in Pop: American Idol Winner Vs American Idol Producers- Sam Smith Ordered To Pay Tom Petty Songwriting Royalties- AWOLNATION Announce New Album and Release Video- more

• Vinny Appice Played Dio and John Lennon's Final Shows- Mother Protests 'Satanic' School Bus Lights- Linkin Park's Chester Bennington Shares Post-Leg Surgery Photos- more

 Subscribe To Day in Rock

advertisement
.
 
Reviews
.

• U.D.O. - Decadent

• Hot In The City: No Volcano

• Backstage Pass: Tonic

• Rock Reads: Radio Silence - Issue No. 3

• Necrowretch - Even Death May Die

• MorleyView: Sean Kelly (Author of Metal on Ice)

• Road Trip: A Visit to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

• MorleyView: Kim Fowley Interview Revisited

• RockPile: Poison- Alpha Tiger- Red Jacket Mine

• On The Record: David Bowie- The Sharrows- Miles Davis and Gil Evans

• Classics: Virgin Steele - The Marriage of Heaven and Hell - Part 2

• RAM and Portrait - Under Command Split

• Battle of the Band: The Kinks

• Haken - Restoration

• Motorhead - Stage Fright

• MorleyView: High Fighter

• Remake-Remodel: Bryan Adams- Bob Marley- Tears for Fears

• MorleyView: Crobot


. .
.
Today's Rock News
.

• Blink-182 Can't Agree If Tom DeLonge Left Group Or Not

• Slipknot, Lamb Of God, Bullet For My Valentine Tour Announced

• Muse Reveal New Album Clues?

• Gregg Allman Announces Spring Tour

• Dave Grohl May Still Appear In Kurt Cobain Movie

• Boston's Tom Scholz Angry About Vinyl Album Release

• Megadeth Offshoot Recruit Shadows Fall Star

• Former Aphrodite's Child Singer Demis Roussos Dead at 68

• Mark Knopfler Announces New Album and American Tour

• Faith No More Launching First North American Tour Since 2010

• Rare Johnny Ramone Guitar Sells For $71K

• Dave Lombardo and Charlie Benante Receive Thrash Legend Honors

• Phil X Not Trying To Be Richie Sambora In Bon Jovi

• Paradise Lost Reveal New Album Details

• Udo Thinks Accept Now Plays Without Emotion

• Xibalba Streaming New Album 'Tierra Y Libertad' Online

• Oasis Would Only Reunite For The Money

• Joe Lynn Turner Announces UK Acoustic Tour

• KISS's Tommy Thayer Gets Signature Les Paul

• Cranium Pie Reveal New Album Details


• Vinny Appice Played Dio and John Lennon's Final Shows

• Mother Protests 'Satanic' School Bus Lights

• Linkin Park's Chester Bennington Shares Post-Leg Surgery Photos

• Mastodon Aimed To Make Catchy But Not Cheesy Album

• Jon Anderson Releases Audio Documentary

• Cancer Bats Release 'True Zero' Video

• Black Star Riders' Warwick and Johnson Answer Burning Questions

• Uli Jon Roth Views His Songs As His Children

• The Sirens Release Live 'Fearless' Video

• Singled Out: Lord Dying's A Wound Outside of Time


Subscribe to Day in Rock Report by Email

.
.
Today's Pop News
.

• American Idol Winner Vs American Idol Producers

• Sam Smith Ordered To Pay Tom Petty Songwriting Royalties

• AWOLNATION Announce New Album and Release Video

• Kelly Clarkson Reveals Release Date For New Album

• Miley Cyrus Thought Grammy Nomination Was A Joke

• Lil Wayne and Migos Release New Song 'Amazing Amy'

• Death Cab For Cutie Release New Song 'Black Sun'

• Diana Ross Announces Las Vegas Residency

• Chase Bryant Launching Club Tour

• Imagine Dragons Release New Song 'Shots'

• Jason Mraz Adds Dates To Yes! World Tour

• Bobby Shmurda and Migos Reveal Two Shmigo Gang Tracks

• Big Sean Announces 'Dark Sky Paradise' Project

• Steve Aoki Interviews Stan Lee of Marvel Comics

• Nick Jonas Performs 'Jealous' at Miss Universe

• Florida Georgia Line Teach Luke Bryan How To Fall Down

• Julia Roberts Talks New Batkid Movie

• Drake Called Out For Hitting On Porn Star Mia Khalifa

More News

.
 
anti Worthy Links
.
• AudioNationRadio.com • The Screen Door • A Journal of Musical Things • Lloyd Zeffler blog • Demolish Mag • Nightwatcher's House of Rock • CJ Chilvers • Deja Voodoo • The 1st Five • thecopycat.biz • Hard Rock Memorabilia • Day in Rock @twitter

.
  .
.

Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!
Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!



 

Tell a Friend about this page - Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2015 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved. antiMusic works on a free link policy for reprinting of our original articles, click here for details. Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.