Album Review: Kiss – Monster (2012 180g LP)


I wanted to do a Halloween album review. Decisions, decisions. Makeup (check). Monster (check). Songs about Hell and The Devil (check). This album was a no brainer. I bought it a while back for a steal and had kept it sealed until tonight. Tonight just seemed to be the right time.

Hell Or Hallelujah – The first thing I hear is some very Phil Collen like guitar work. Early on this could have been off of High N Dry. Then there are some weird drum sounds. To me it sounds like Eric Singer was told by the record execs he had a deadline to record the drums, and he could only borrow a Hello Kitty drum set.

Wall Of Sound – Not exactly Phil Spector, but I’m  sure the Kiss crew have done some wrecking in their day. The song itself is pretty wicked and the guitar work here is ace. The drumming is wayyy better than the previous song. Goodbye Kitty as it were.

Freak – Very early 80’s Kiss sounds. This one could have slid nicely on Lick It Up or even possibly Creatures Of The Night. In other words, it’s pretty damn awesome.

Back To The Stone Age – It sounds very Kiss does Danko Jones. Both bands love sex, drugs and rock n roll, so why not.

Shout Mercy – The guitar work has a bit of an Offspring edge, with some added Zeppelinesque, the vocals are amazing, the drums pound and the bass booms. What more could we ask for?

Long Way Down – More Zeppelin like instrumentation mold this song, but Tommy Thayer adds just enough of his own spices to set this one apart. One of the better Kiss guitar efforts in my humble opinion. Although Gene and Eric should be given props here too. One of the stronger efforts on this album. Really good.

I wanted to listen to that side again, but the little mafks will be here soon bugging me for candy, so I have to flip it over while pretending I am a wayward son and carry on.

Eat Your Heart Out – The vocal harmonies here come across as a Barbershop Quartet audition for American Idol. Really bad. The song itself improves with the instrumentation. It turns into a pretty decent rocker, but it does drag on a little long. That beginning though. Losing the stupid beginning and trimming the length a bit would have done wonders

The Devil Is Me – This song is very late 80’s-90’s era Ozzy. Almost Mr. Tinkertrain like. Mixing Kiss and Ozzyisms can only result in a wicked song.

Outta This World – Mixing early 80’s Kiss with the uniqueness of Tommy Thayer vocals. A great mix in other words.

All For The Love Of Rock & Roll – More like all for the love of “New” Country. This one does not resonate with me at all. Sorry Eric but you sound like you should wash off the makeup and put on a pair of shitkickers and a ten gallon hat. Very early 90’s country rock. Henry Lee Summer at best. Billy Ray Cyrus at worst. You’re achy breakin’ my heart with this one.

Take Me Down Below – I can only assume that this song is about going down below the deck of a ship. Thankfully there is no mention of scrubbing the poop deck.

Last Chance – Just the mention of the words original sin reminds me of INXS. Michael Hutchence was truly a larger than life character. Sorry. I went of on a tangent there. Ok. Kiss. Yeah. This really is a great song. Even as my fleeting thoughts distracted me, my ears were soaking in all of the goodness.

If you like the early 80’s era Kiss and feel that sound would blend well with a little Zeppelin, a bit of Ozzy,  some early Def Lep and some down ‘n’ dirty Danko Jones. This album is pretty damn fine. I’m sure I will step on some Kiss fan toes here. On one side, I like it even without all of the original band members. On the other side, I’m criticizing parts of it even though many felt it was a perfect album. It wasn’t perfect, but was mostly really good. Maybe with Kiss you just have to go with your gut and let the chips fall where they may.

Happy Halloween everyone.



27 thoughts on “Album Review: Kiss – Monster (2012 180g LP)

  1. Nice to see you back writing Bop!
    Monster is a pretty decent album. Freak is a great track and I like the fact that KISS kept this album in house with no outside writers. I think one of the best tracks of this album is called ‘Right Here Right Now’ which came with my iTunes purchase of it.
    I can’t believe its been 7 years since this came out! Time flies…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Too bad this is probably the last album they make. I think it was really good. Could maybe use 3 songs trimmed (but I bet we don’t agree on which 3 songs).

    I think in hindsight the production is a bit too late but Kiss went out over the top, as it should be.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah. I bet they have a bunch of stuff. Maybe even new stuff. They will probably tack them onto re-issues, compilations etc. though rather than issue a proper album.

      Paul’s voice probably wouldn’t handle a studio album anyway.
      Although. If they lowered his key and left off the wails, he could probably pass with a little studio magic.
      No sense to release a new album now though. The time for that would have been right before the final tour. Then they could sell it like hotcakes at the show.
      Perhaps go out like Motley Crue. Do a movie and release a few songs.
      For this album I say cut out(or completely change the song style and vocal rendition) All For The Love Of Rock & Roll, lose the starting of Eat Your Heart Out and give Tommy some real drums and this album would be near a 10. Re-working probably more than replacing. I think with those songs cut I would have been left wanting more.

      I’m not sure I understand “the production is a bit too late..” meaning. Kiss going over the top though? I can see where that might happen.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I meant too loud. Not too late. Damn autocarrot!

        Kiss on on their cruise now, playing obscure tracks like Mainline. I think they could and should continue to do the cruises. A guy I know, Bob Wegner, is on the cruise. Kiss always have a tribute band. Bob plays Brian May in a band called Simply Queen. He’s already met Steven Adler on the ship and is looking forward to meeting Rufus Tiger Taylor who’s on the cruise with the Darkness!

        Liked by 2 people

      • I would love to go on one of those cruises.
        But the prices though.

        They are usually a short 3-4 days and about 3 times the price of a normal week long cruise. Plus they sell out quick.
        Also, with a cruise you have to pay for airfare.
        The chance to meet awesome musicians when they are in a relaxed setting does make it tempting though.

        My guess is the bands that play get a decent pay cheque but Kiss gets a cut of the cruise line sales. Maybe 10%? 25%? Who knows.
        Not that it’s all about the money for Kiss. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    • The thing about the cruise setting is the people there are super fans. They get it about Paul’s voice now.
      They love the band and will yell and scream and make Kiss feel like it’s 1976 again.
      Plus they might be a bit liquored up and not even notice (or care) anyway.

      Liked by 2 people

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