: ALBUM OF THE YEAR
December 12, 2009
KISS: Sonic Boom (Roadrunner/Loud&Proud)

By JJ Haggar

Now let's get this party started by saying if you're a fan of KISS you already know the score, if you are not (Why The F**k Not?) then you should give this record a spin. If you have already decided you don't like the band no matter what then A: Why are you reading this and B: this record isn't for you and you should just f**k right off now thank you very much...

So back to the people who do matter, those still on this page at this point...

Now depending on when you got into this band, will define your opinion on it; if you are an early 70's child circa Alive-Alive II (pre Double Platinum) then you are searching for the holy grail of 'Destroyer II' and this isn't it... Gene Simmons says, "SONIC BOOM" may be the best new record we've done since Destroyer! It is Rock And Roll Over meets Love Gun. Sonic Boom certainly has hints of 'Love Gun' and 'Rock N' Roll Over'(and that's close enough for me).

Imagine asking the Beatles to do 'Sgt Pepper II' 30 years later and them in fact hitting close to 'Abbey Road/Let It Be' or The Stones getting their Ya Ya's back out but just missing the turning for Main Street - the world would gasp in awe of a band being able to do that, well they should do just the same for KISS...

If you are a child of 'Dynasty till' the make up came off for 'Lick It Up' and you are searching for 'Creatures II' then you just better hold onto your hats... The same can be said for those who came of age during those hazy eighties days of 'Asylum' seeking 'Crazy Nights' for 'Revenge', then trust me there is plenty on offer for you too...

Then to cap it all, if you joined the 'Psycho Circus' at the end of the century or discovered the band in this century, then this deffo is the best KISS record you evah heard baby...

As I have got older I have fallen in love with all the different chapters of KISSTORY even though the first album I bought was 'Double Platinum' and the Solo albums and then had a ten year love affair till' those 'Crazy Nights' where I fell out of love, but 'Revenge' reminded me why I loved them & I was back on track and ain't got off the train since...

This in fact is a combination of ALL era's of KISS, you can hear elements of certain times from each track, The opening track 'Modern Day Delilah' could easily be added as a 'missing' track to a 'Creatures Of The Night' re-issue as it just drives straight into the heart of hard rock... I Love It Loud...

'Never Enough' again could be Missing In Action from 'Animalize/Asylum' and slips right into the big chorus of the mid eighties, 'Yes I Know (Nobody Perfect) could be an outtake from Gene Simmons 1st solo album or in fact 'Rock N' Roll Over' as the guitar solo out Ace's 'Ace'... it has that whole driving groove that the band used to do so well, let's face it they invented 'Bubblegum Rock' and were The Beatles with make up...

Some people will brand this album 'Throwaway' but they always miss the point because that is the point with KISS, It's part of the fans 'make up' to just love to drive fast, f**k hard, drink & play loud rock n' roll, the songs are easy to get into, easy to sing, easy to love and yeah Keep It Simple Stupid...

'Stand' is for me the 'Standout' track on the album, and should have been the lead cut / single as it just rolls into Paul Stanley's solo album groove with Gene involved too, Yes it has dual vocal & boy do we just love that shit, it's one of those fist pumping, foot tapping classics that the boy's just rode into the psycho circus on, You wanted the best, You got the best... They sound like a band again, All for one, one for all, Four lads who shook the world... It also is a call to arms to each other and the KISS ARMY...

'All For The Glory' I presume is Eric Singer picking up the 'Drummer Who Can Sing' mantle, he had big boots to fill with both previous occupants of the drum stool (Peter Criss / Eric Carr) and he has done so with such credit, he has kept so true to the band and the fans, he is a shining star at last in the Kiss Kamp...

Same can be said for Tommy Thayer who has licked it up to stand alone as the combination of Ace, Vinnie, and Bruce from the previous incarnation, he always was Black n' Blue with influence but he certainly has come of age with this record, sure he's keeping to the script, but his ad-lib lines are well rehearsed and delivered with ease and the guitar parts just scream for more... Just listen to the solo in 'Danger Us'...

And so it continues right to the end of the record, it's just more of the same and if you ain't completely hooked by the time you get to the killer closing cut in 'Say Yeah' and just press play from track one again, then you ain't no lover of rock, you ain't no lover of KISS and you ain't no friend of mine...

All that's left for me is to convince them to come to the home of the birth of rock n' roll (Liverpool-The Beatles) and play live in the city's Echo Arena, I want to see the Fab Four drive down Penny Lane past Strawberry Fields in full make up bringing rock n' roll full circle in 2010, so it was, so it is so shall it be... They tour the UK & come close at Manchester MEN... I'm holding out for that Echo...

No band should sound this good on a brand new record this far down the line, it's been 35 years (THIRTY FIVE) since the bands debut album in the seventies and they sound fresh and hungry, they have taken all the great bits from every decade and put it all into one, this album is like a decade by decade best of... Like I said NO band should sound this good after all this time, one band does... KISS...

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