By ALAN SCULLEY - For the North County Times
The previous Kiss studio album, "Psycho Circus," did little to prove that the band still had creative life in it.
The disc was billed as the return of the original Kiss, since it came in the midst of the reunion of guitarist/singer Paul Stanley and bassist/singer Gene Simmons with the two other original members, guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss. "Psycho Circus," though, ended up being a lackluster effort on a musical level, and far less than advertised when it came to being called a triumphant return of the classic Kiss lineup.
Instead, Frehley and Criss hardly played on that 1998 CD, with studio musicians handling what ostensibly were their parts. The band also had several outside writers contribute to roughly half of the songs.
So Kiss had something to prove when the band decided last year that it wanted to make a new studio CD. For one thing, this was a new lineup for Kiss, with guitarist Tommy Thayer making his full-fledged debut, and drummer Eric Singer, who since 1996 has been the band's drummer whenever Criss wasn't in the lineup, back on board.