By Martin Howell
It's been a few years since "Psycho Circus," and just when you thought KISS were going to just carry on doing greatest hits tours, along comes a new album. This time around it's the Gene and Paul show, plus Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer.
One of the problems with "Psycho Circus" was that the band were trying hard to recreate the past glories of the original line-up, and it kind of fell a little flat. On this album they're under no such pressure, so of course they've nailed it.
Opener "Modern Day Delilah" is a good indicator of the sound of the album. It's a great KISS track with a cool vocal from Paul, but it's far from being the best track on the album.
Offerings like "Never Enough" and "Yes I Know (Nobody's Perfect)" really evoke the sound of KISS' early years. Gene has described the sound as being "Rock 'N Roll Over" meets "Love Gun," and I have to say he's pretty close on songs like these.
"Stand" has a big sing-along chorus that should go down well live, kind of like "God Gave Rock 'N Roll To You" but with more muscle. This one also gives Gene and Paul a chance to sing together.
I have to admit that I had some doubts as to whether or not KISS could pull this off. With no new material since 1998, things weren't looking good. But this album is a tremendous return to form. Vocally, Paul gives one hell of a performance, as does everyone else. An unexpected but very welcome triumph.