Kiss offers a heavy rocking release, the first since 1998’s mediocre Psycho Circus, titled Sonic Boom. Without Ace Frehley and Peter Criss in Kiss, it is very difficult to love and enjoy the band like the early days. But putting that prejudice aside, Sonic Boom undeniably contains powerful rock tracks that only Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons can orchestrate.
Stepping in for Frehley and Criss on guitars and drums are Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer respectively. The final product is a sound that leans more to the mid-80’s than the mid-70’s. “Modern Day Delilah,” the first single and album highlight, is fueled by Stanley’s relentless vocal performance, rock and roll screams and all.
The guitar riffs on most of the tracks are intoxicating particularly in the beginning of the record, but far from groundbreaking. By the fifth track, the 80’s presence begins a mild takeover in direction; an infectious takeover that forces an uncontrollable singalong, similar to “God Gave Rock and Roll To You Part II” and the dining scene of Beetlejuice. Simmons’ bass chops on “Hot and Cold” are impressive and demonizing on “I’m an Animal,” but his lead vocal tracks on “Yes I Know” and “Russian Roulette” are very weak against the backdrop that Stanley establishes earlier.
While Sonic Boom lacks the raw and rebellious feel of the original lineup’s classics, the polished riffs and choral hooks make for a good hard rock album. My prescription for a great Kiss album: take one Frehley, one Criss, and call Rick Rubin in the morning –Meds
Kiss is Paul Stanley (Vocals/Guitars), Tommy Thayer (Guitars/Vocals), Gene Simmons (Bass/Vocals), & Eric Singer (Drums/Vocals).
- “Modern Day Delilah”
- “Russian Roulette”
- “Never Enough”
- “Yes I Know (Nobody’s Perfect)”
- “Hot and Cold”
- “All for the Glory”
- “Danger Us”
- “I’m an Animal”
- “When Lightning Strikes”
- “Say Yeah!”