All posts by deKE

Never Gonna Stop The Rock

Motley Crue:The Dirt (Soundtrack)- 2019

 

So to go along with the biopic movie on NETFLIX comes Motley Crue with a soundtrack of all your fav-o Crue tunes from the past and four new tunes,well three new tunes and a fourth which is a cover tune(keep reading friends!)!

Track List-
01. The Dirt (Est. 1981) feat. Machine Gun Kelly
02. Red Hot
03. On With The Show
04. Live Wire
05. Merry-Go-Round
06. Take Me To The Top
07. Piece Of Your Action
08. Shout At The Devil
09. Looks That Kill
10. Too Young To Fall In Love
11. Home Sweet Home
12. Girls, Girls, Girls
13. Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.)
14. Kickstart My Heart
15. Dr. Feelgood
16. Ride With The Devil
17. Crash And Burn
18. Like A Virgin

Pretty decent mish mash of Crue tunes and you can see how important a Soundtrack can be in promoting a movie, In other words look no further than what Queen did with the Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack which in my mind is the best movie soundtrack of all time in the Rock Field!

Motley does there best of course with a 14 pack of the Sleazeball Rock that took em from the Gutter Bars to the Arenas in the roaring storming 80’s! As an added  feature is the four new tracks written and recorded for this album  pushing the track total up to 18 songs!

I get it Nikki Sixx wants to put the big tunes from the Glory Days to entice the casual music buyer  to purchase this  that may not be the biggest CrueHead in existence but one who knows the Crue Hits from yesteryear via video’s or even todays satellite radio!

I will give Sixx credit as he went five songs deep from Motleys sizzling debut Too Fast For Love. Four tracks deep from 1984’s Shout at the Devil and another three pack of hits from 1989’s Dr Feelgood.

Only one track appears from each 1985’s Theatre of Pain and 1987’s Girls Girls Girls release so I guess that tells you where Motley Crue themselves would rate these albums….

Than the true selling feature for me was in purchasing the four (one being a cover tune) new songs that piqued my curiosity level in wanting to purchase this is for those tracks.

So without further adieu  here’s my 2 cents worth of babble on what Nikki/Vince/Mick and Tommy have been up to in the studio!

First of all smart move bringing Bob Rock to produce these tunes as you know the sounds will be there!

The Dirt (Est. 1981) feat. Machine Gun Kelly- Is the first song on the Soundtrack and the first new song these guys have recorded since i dunno when! At first when I seen the name Machine Gun Kelly I thought aargh whats the Rap guy doing on here! (Kelly plays Tommy Lee in the movie) but you know this tune works well with Mr Machine Gun blitzing a bunch of words at hyper speed while the Crue lays down some law on the instruments. Vince sounds good vocally but then again anyone does in the studio right? Still though it’s good to hear Vinnie sing a full song while it’s a total pleasure to hear Mick Mars riff about as well.

Ride With The Devil opens with Tommy smacking those drums and for added pleasure there’s some cowbell being smacked about! Pretty wicked groove that this tune has going for it actually as Mars plays some mean slide guitar throughout it  as well!

Crash And Burn in my opinion is the best of the bunch. Just a slick cool rock track which really ramps up during the chorus. Mars like he does on all these new tracks keeps his solo’s short n sweet but Mick is the glue that holds these tunes together!

There’s a running theme of the use of the word DIRT multiple times on the three new studio tracks which is kinda silly but  It’s Motley’s deal so Dirt is the word!

Just like how I thought the Crue lost there marbles letting a rap guy sing on a Motley tune comes the cover of Madonna’s Like A Virgin which I first I dismissed without listening to it. Course I had to cue it up and listen to it and guess what? It’s a decent spin on it musically. Whatever Sixx did to the verses of the tune works well actually real well. Vince singing the chorus as a 60 year old guy is friggin borderline creepy but that’s the Crue doing something to create a buzz whether it be a good buzz or bad buzz but a buzz never the less!

The three Motley originals are pretty good actually. A different sound, maybe more Generation Swine than Dr Feelgood but this band is a way different beast than the broke band that recorded the first two classic albums of their career.

Basically this is a pretty decent Compilation/Greatest Hits set to go along with flick!

Bottom line is I’m digging it!

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Review: The Dirt (Biopic)

 

Hey Folk’s instead of everyone waiting around for my 2 cents on the Crue film why don’t I let my good bloggin pal Drew tell ya all about as I haven’t even watched it myself…
Click the link below Crueheads….

Update: I  just watched it.. (Saturday Afternoon…)

Drew's Reviews

There’s a scene in the show Seinfeld when Jerry convinces George to open up and let out all his emotions. The next scene shows Jerry slowly backing away from George in horror as he says “Good luck with all that.”

That’s how I felt a number of years ago after reading The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band the 2007 biography of exploits as written by the members of Motley Crue.

That tell-all has come to the small screen.

The biopic, just released (March 22) by Netflix, hardly provides the same effects but captures the essence of the book with all of its smutty sensationalism. The drugs (lots). The women (lots). The music. All of it. Even the reported scene when Ozzy Osbourne snorted ants poolside at a hotel while on tour.

Not all of it’s there, probably best, like that telephone. And a scene in a…

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MAX THE AXE: Status Electric(2018)

While Kitchener Ontario’s fav-o Blogger Micheal Ladano morphs into Doc McGhee promoting local bands (which is great thing).  Mikey also writes and  gives these guy’s exposure via his blog/social media! Doc Ladano  should be commended!

Atta Boy Sir!

One of those bands that Mikey has championed the cause is Kitcheners own Max The Axe. Don’t be fooled by the name folks this isn’t some over the top Thrash Metal Act. No sir or Mam for that matter!

If you had a Music Blender and dumped some old school Sabbath/Headstones/Buggles and added  a shot of Danko Jones with a shot of BTO added into the mix as well out would spew Max The Axe!

A little later on I will explain the Music Blender which I’m sure you’re going  Sabbath? Headstones? Danko? BTO????????? Buggles????????????

Ha, well my review my ears! Anyways back a ways before Christmas this past year Mikey sent me a bunch of Max Webster CD’s along with Max The Axe which took me forever to get around to in which I apologize as the computer I have all my music on pooched and it was just recently I got it fixed up. Got my music back and now I’m backlogged on a bunch of stuff including this CD.

My apologies to the Max Fella’s but now its the time to toss down some thoughts on this…

First of all I’ll tell ya all right of the bat that this is a Pretty  Damn Good CD! Now you may go “Yeah sure Deke, your just being a nice guy” In other words just Kissing Ass!

About that Kissing Ass comment. If this was a bad CD I would not review it as perhaps it’s not my cup of tea but perhaps to others it would be as I am not the be all end all so I would politely add it to my collection and move on but seriously this kinda of Rock is up my alley for the most part.

Speaking of reviews..Mikey I’m still waiting for that Four By Fate post to drop…hahaha(inside joke folk’s)

Status Electric is the name of the disc.

Opener River Grand is a great opener. More of the Sludgy Sabbath live groove especially when the guitars of Mike Koutis and the Bass of Tom Cole lock up in the solo. Tom does that Geezer Butler Bass walk among the fretboard on this song which is real cool slick move. Koutis has no problems at all inner channelling Tony Iommi. Very good guitar player as well as a songwriter!

Next Plane to Vegas has Uncle Meat tossing down some attitude which this track could have easily squeezed on the Headstones debut Picture of Health easily… Winner Winner Getting Chicken Dinner…Love this stuff..

Uncle Meat has a pretty slick rock voice as  I almost hear that King of Leon’s singer in his voice at times after a few downed Bourbons!

Randy is another Sabby like menacing stomp of a track that goes off into a different spin at times. Max the Axe can change the tempo of a tune like that. Bam! Done!

Call of the Wild has some  fine picking from Koutis as Uncle Meat makes the song work lyrically especially the mashing up with the background vocals during the chorus!

Love the punchy kick of Sick of Living which should be the soundtrack to Monday Mornings. How about that chorus. ‘ You Make Sick Sick of Living Tired Tired Weak Weak Cheat Cheat! Actually i just really dig the fist to your face attitude of this song. Great Job!

Nice slam of the drums by Dr Dave Haslam on The Other Side which I really dig as the tune goes from a stomp to another tempo change as the drums/bass/guitar dive headfirst into another deep groove.

Gods On The Radio has Uncle Meat sounding like Trevor Horn from the Buggles doing that Video Killed the Radio Star like vibe vocally during the verses. But when Meat tells you to turn it up louder you better or else… Scott Baio and Phil Collins would be impressed!

Uptite Friday Night is a great title and this is the tune I hear BTO! Yeah man I do. Listen to that rhythm guitar that sounds to me shades of Randy Bachman! But these guys speed the fuck out of it…Uncle Meat makes you believe that he is heading out and it will be alright!

Scales of Justice is the end of album 6  minute plus track. Pretty cool tune as it shows the chops of the band musically and vocally. Impressive for a 6 minute song to be placed at the end of the album. But yeah, Mad Max can pull it off… Click the song that I posted below and you can hear Scales of Justice for yourself! Axe Attack!

Best thing I can say about this album is there is no need to  skip tracks. It’s really cool to hear this disc (finally) and get some thoughts out on it.

Please do support local/independent bands like Max The Axe as every little bit helps. If your interested in these guys just ask me or get in touch with Doc Mchgee (Ladano) and he will hook ya up!

 

 

KISS: Unmasked(1980)

 

 

Hey Folks this wraps up for the time being my KISS 70’s Review’s for a bit. I was going to go all out and do the four 1978 KISS solo albums but I’m a little fried out  so bear with me on that ok? I mean I gotta try to focus and listen to the Peter Criss album  and give it a fair shake right??!

Seriously ,thanks for reading along  as I know KISS is not everyone’s cup of tea or maybe  they are but make no mistake about it every one has an opinion  on them that’s for sure whether its good or bad!

First of all I have to give a few shout outs with this review. The first being to Arena Rock reader Muc who was the first guy in Thunder Bay I’m sure to have scooped this album as Muc was in Kansas City back when Unmasked hit the streets! When Muc got home and showed me this record   I couldn’t believe it! A new KISS album?? Score…

Also to my Pal Tbone in which I sold him back in 1981 Unmasked for the price of a Hit Parader Magazine for about $2.00. After I was done reading that issue of Hit Parader I wanted my copy of Unmasked back. Tbone obliged and sold it back to me for $3.00! A one dollar mark up!  This has to almost be the first ever Pawnshop like transaction ever in Thunder Bay!

I never sold another album to Tbone again!

For myself personally KISS has been in my musical DNA now for 41 years of my 51 years on this earth! Hell, this upcoming October marks the 40th anniversary of when I first seen KISS live!

When I first started this blog I did a week of 3/4’s KISS Filler Week. One of those albums was 1980’s Unmasked release which I kinda dismissed it or trashed it depending on your spin of it..

My thoughts on it have changed greatly in 4 years and here’s why. Well, I try to explain why! ( didn’t help the fact that Paul in his autobiography called Unmasked Wimpy or Crappy or something to that effect so if Starchild says so I guess were drinking the KISS KOOL AIDE but not this time!)

Unmasked to my ears in 2019 is a brilliant piece of Melodic Hard Rock/KISS POP!

There I said it…Lemme Explain!

You see a few weeks back one of the used record shops that I visit (Moon Money Vintage) posted some new/used releases in their Record Bins. One of them was Unmasked!

WHUT?

I was intrigued. Why after 39 years would I be intrigued by an album I have dissed basically for 39 years all of sudden make me want to own it?

Do I have a Concussion? Whats going on here?

So I zipped a message via Facebook to Moon Money Vintage asking if they still had that copy of Unmasked sitting in the bin!

Derrick the owner of the shop said yep it still there and not only that but it was a sealed copy 180 Gram version for $19! SOLD!

Once I secured a copy I was kinda psyched to spin it and hear it again after all these years away from it except for the last time that I reviewed it which was on CD about 4 years ago. A quick review I did back than. I think I was on a KISS trashing spree a that time!

The Verdict…

After listening to Unmasked front to back for the first time it becomes real apparent with  KISS  that this was the direction Paul Stanley wanted KISS to head in. I’m sure the success of 1979’s mega hit (from Dynasty)Y I Was Made For Lovin You must have messed with Stanley’s Noggin somewhat.

So why not continue that kind of formula onto Unmasked. Not a disco album mind you but more of a grown up milder KISS since it was about Merchandising in the late 70’s with Doll’s/Lunchbox/Cards/Magazine’s/T-Shirts/Belt Buckles etc becoming almost as important as the music to a certain extent.

The success of Dynasty produced by Vini Poncia was carried over onto the slabs of vinyl in regards to Unmasked. A bigger role Ponicia with Unmasked. Not only did he produce the album but he was the cowriter on 8 of the albums 11 tracks.

The biggest surprise I suppose looking back at it even though Peter Criss is featured on the cover in cartoon form is the fact that Pete was already out of KISS by Unmasked’s release.  Anton Fig did all  the drumming on Unmasked just like Anton did all the drumming except for one track on the previous Dynasty album.

As a 13-year-old back in 1980 I had no idea there was trouble in KISS land but there was…

The guitars on Unmasked sound somewhat quiet I suppose. You would think with a bombastic sound like they’re live show’s prove that the KISS studio sound would have a little more oomph but nope. Hell, they were all millionaires at this point so money was not an issue…

But I’m thinking Gene and Paul were driving the KISS Bus at this point. Peter was gone and Ace had found the promised the land musically and creatively after Ace’s 1978 solo album was the best of the bunch which irked Gene and Paul I’m sure to no end!

So when Paul in his book disses Unmasked its no one faults but Pauly so maybe that’s why I’m digging this record again. Kinda a middle finger to Starchild from me!

Back in 1980 I was drinking the KISS Kool Aide that these guys were serving me! 2019 brings a wiser older perhaps more musically sharp 51-year-old Deke that can give records like this a second chance…

Drop the Needle….

Opener Is That You a cover tune written by Gerald McMahon is a great opener! Man its a tune about a crazed Serial Lady Killer. Check out the lyrics and video below..(featuring Criss’ replacement the Late Great Eric Carr)

Cat’s droolin’ on the bar stool, shake your hips and crack your whips
Cheap seventeen and trashed out, you went too far, been a bitch you are
Your reputation’s in the bathroom, it’s on the wall and down the hall
I hear you’re cheatin’ with my teacher after school, tell me what you do

When you know, you always get the boys you like
Play nice, then stick them with your knife, take off your insecure disguise..

What a ripping cool stalker tune that even has Stanley taking the solo in the song as well. Great verses/choruses/everything. Creepy KISS! I posted a live clip of this track so you can all sing along when your eating your egos at the breakfast table. Man you gotta love Ace in this video as he’s stumbling around on stage looking like he’s looking for the next waterhole to visit!

From the knife wielding Crazy Chick opener of a song Paul heads into Popville with Shandi. Guess the success of I Was Made For Lovin You carried  the sound of the guitars on this track. Shandi though a huge hit in Australia as was KISS in 1980 whereas in North America the tide was turning on KISS! Cue Gene and Paul having a mid-life crisis at the age of 30 at that time!

Space Ace delivers a decent hardball of a track in Talk To Me. As any fan knows Ace grew a ton of confidence in KISS after his 1978 solo album was the best of the bunch. Ace continued that winning streak into Dynasty which in turn led to Ace delivering a couple of cool tracks on Unmasked. Talk To Me has Ace laying down that cool street rock voice of his along with a real slick chorus as well…..

Well Mean Gene Simmons gets his first tune on Unmasked fourth song into the album which has to be a first time. Hell, Ace squeezed his song on before Simmons on Side 1! How the hell did that happen? Naked City is Mr SImmons deal and instead of me yackin about it let my Good Bloggin Pal John Snow(My third Shout out) tell ya all about Naked City. Click the link and read some fine words from Mr Snow!

My Sunday Song – “Naked City” by Kiss

What Makes The World Go Round ends Side 1 with a Hard Power Pop Track from Stanley that has a real good driving chorus. How about those 1980 effects attached tot he drums with every snare hit that Fig hits on the drums. Actually a pretty decent tune as Stanley had a knack for writing this kind of stuff.

Side 2 begins with Tomorrow another straight ahead Stanley hard pop track. See a pattern here? Paul I’m sure it got into his head after the success of the Disco tune from 79 wanted to hear hits on the  radio. Tomorrow fits that bill to a T but the problem was this  kind of tune was that it was  delivered a little too late to the masses as the tide was turning on KISS by that point.  Still though another solid catchy chorus…

Ace delivers another classic sounding Frehley track in the form of Two Sides of the Coin. Great opening/Great verses/Great Chorus and a not so typical Ace solo which shakes things up as don’t expect the expected.

Gene delivers his typical Gene tune in She’s So European which is a kooky tune that features a syruppy pre chorus Synth that oozes a bit of cool before Gene slobbers all over the chorus in a good way! Two Gene songs in on Unmasked two winners…Heck Ya!

Speaking of Synth/Keys. There’s a ton of that stuff on Unmasked. Filling out the sound I suppose as at certain points the keys are buried but you can still hear em..

Easy as it Seems is yet again another Stanley tune aimed at radio. It’s amazing that all the Paul tunes on this album are geared for the radio but other than Shandi none of them made it. Having  said that Paul still delivered on his tracks albeit with one hand on the radio dial!

Ace without a doubt has one of the most funny intros ever. I mean listen to Ace in his trashed out state say ‘Man Torpedo Stations’ haha. Love it as Ace kept KISS fun but make no bones about it delivers some fantastic tunes as well. Torpedo Girl features a wicked Drums/Bass intro followed by the snap crackle and pop Guitar sound of Ace. You always knew by the Ace stuff on KISS records there would be no love mushy goop in the grooves. Just cool song titles like Torpedo Girl! Hell just listen to the tune below…

Gene sends off Unmasked with Your All That I Want. A pretty decent end of the album tune. The verses have a good pace to them along with some cowbell added for good measure! Decent enough tune to end the album that’s for sure!

There ya have it folks…Thanks for sticking around and if you made it this far I Thank You!

KISS was in shambles. Unmasked hit Gold status in Canada and the U.S but these sales were pretty low for KISS Standards! Shame really as Unmasked after reacquiring it is a different listen now to me than it was back in 1980!

I mean look at the Drums. The only mention of Criss is on the album cover and that’s Pete as a drawing!  A cartoon no less…Hahaha…

Also of note here’s who played what on Unmasked. Ace does it all on his own tunes(except for the drums)….

  • Paul Stanley – rhythm guitar, vocals, lead guitar on “Shandi”, bass and guitar solo on “Tomorrow” and “Easy As It Seems”, guitar solo on “Is That You?” and “What Makes The World Go ‘Round”
  • Ace Frehley – lead guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals, all guitars & bass on “Talk to Me”, “Two Sides of the Coin” and “Torpedo Girl” and guitar solo on “Naked City “
  • Gene Simmons – bass guitar, vocals, rhythm guitar on “You’re All That I Want.

Additional musicians

  • Bob Kulick – aditional guitar on “Naked City”
  • Anton Fig – drums
  • Vini Poncia – keyboards, percussion, backing vocals
  • Tom Harper – bass guitar on “Shandi”
  • Holly Knight – keyboards on “Shandi”

Yup looks to me that is a band that is in trouble. Putting songs together at times separatley (Hello Ace !) and making it look like a happy bunch but that’s so far from what went down  at KISS HQ’s circa 1980!

deKe’s score of Unmasked in 1980 & 2015- 4/10

deKe’s score of Unmasked in 2019-7.5/10

 

 

KISS: Destroyer(1976)

What would fall under the Holy Crap File would be the fact that today marks the 43rd Birthday of the release of ‘Destroyer’. What’s more amazing is the fact that I  had no idea of the month/day when I finished  this review a few weeks back…

So if you recall from my earlier reviews KISS was a broke ass recording and touring act as the first three albums didn’t really make to much of a dent in sales.

1975 and KISS ALIVE changed all that of course so come 1976 KISS now having enough dough to record/party and toss around like Champions and  decide to hire producer Bob Ezrin to make a real good sounding KISS album for all intent purposes still holds up well today!

Maybe Bombastic is the word that best describes Destroyer!

Destroyer I always dug! Good songs Good playing/ Good production. Course with success comes sometimes problems and those problems I suppose involved Ace Frehley who didn’t play  all the guitar on the album and from what I read Ezrin pushed Peter Criss hard on the drums to the point it drove the Cat Man bonkers.

Ezrin like he does with some of his production jobs also helps in the song department  as within the 9 songs on the album Bob cowrote 7 of the 9 tracks with KISS.

I suppose you could say Bob waved a big stick in the studio and didn’t just set in the producers chair!

Destroyer to me has KISS monkeying around with the idea of  concept album(with Destroyer) and coming from Ezrin that doesn’t surprise as he has produced more than a few albums that way!

The opening number Detroit Rock City has the KISS fan entering his car and you can hear  the newscaster’s (done by Gene) voice on the radio that  goes like this..

In Detroit, the body of a Michigan youth was reported dead at the scene of a head on collision on Grand Avenue this morning. He was reportedly driving on the wrong side of the boulevard when he struck a delivery truck and was catapulted through the windshield of his car. The driver of the truck is reported to be uninjured. The identities of both men are being withheld by local police

[Over car radio, sung quietly:  ‘Rock n Roll All Night And Party Everyday’ is played on the radio…)

Kinda cool that KISS would go outside the box with this album right off the hop. Course when you hear the car accelerate here comes Paul/Ace’s guitar locking up and then the drums ….Bam were off and into Detroit Rock City. I love this song. It gets straight to the point as the fan gets into his car and it’s basically his last drive as Paul sings “I gotta laugh as I know I’m going to die why?” Course dude, when you drink and smoke and take the wheel you’re looking for trouble!

The song is a classic and Peter’s drums sound huge on this album.

King of the Night Time World slams right out of the gate with a great mashup of guitars/drums and bass and they are off! King of the Night Time World has Stanley telling the tale of the seedier side of life after 12 am! Ace as he always does rip down a slick solo with a lot of stumble and swagger. Gotta love KISS man. First song deals with a Fan dying and now were off to Party Ville with Starchild/Demon/Catman and SpaceMan!

Mean Gene finally gets his due as when you think of God of Thunder you think of the Demon. Well as many of you know even though Gene has always sung God of Thunder and everyone knows he sang it but  it was Paul Stanley who wrote God of Thunder! I love the stomp of the Drums and the sinister sounding Bass thump that makes this song almost sound Black Sabbath like. Gene sings like he’s possessed  out of his noggin and by golly it works. Gotta mention Ace who lays down yet a brilliant solo…does that surprise any of you!

So what do you do after the Hell hath No Fury of God of Thunder? Yup you slam on the brakes and  Simmons goes from the depths of Hell to show that even though he pukes blood and spits fire and looks like a mess in the live show  Mean Gene does have a sensitive side to him and that in the form of Great Expectations! Lots of folks are on the fence with this tune, I kinda dig it as it’s a tune that is what you wouldn’t expect from the Kabuki one himself! A little light sure. Perhaps at the time of recording an eye on it becoming a single? Who knows for sure but I like the chorus and such but getting a kids choir I thought was kinda goofy but I get it as KISS wanted people to take em serious at the time!

Side 2 begins with….

Flaming Youth! What a cool KISS track. So here’s where KISS had a trouble and it was with this track. Ace no shows and Gene/Paul and Bob in not wanting to wait around got Dick Wagner to play an Ace like lead in which he did. Ace was pissed but the solo stayed as Wagners is what you now all here.  This is a great track. Flaming Youth our Flag is flying higher and higher and higher whatever Stanley was going on about…

Well Mr Wagner appears on Mean Gene’s very underrated track Sweet Pain and tosses down another cool guitar solo. Sweet Pain for me takes off with the real catchy verses. The chorus is kinda so so but man the verses has Mean Gene hitting one out of the ball park!

Shout It Out Loud! The big party rock anthem track from Destroyer! Always dug the Gene and Paul vocal trade-off during the verses and look’s who back knocking out another brilliant solo? The Spaceman comes back and Frehley  soars all over the fretboard with yet another memorable solo! You got to have a Parteeeeeee!

So the story goes when Destroyer came out. Sales took off than stalled. Some radio station plays Beth and from their sales are reignited and Destroyer starts selling like hotcakes thanks to the Peter Criss driven ballad! Beth must have driven Gene and Paul nuts. Here’s the Drummer who gets one writing credit on the album and basically saves Destroyer from hitting the cheapo bins.  As a KISS fan or even a casual music fan we all know Beth which would once again drive the two leaders (Gene and Paul) crazy even more! Dick Wagner plays acoustic guitar on Beth as well…

Now you cannot end an album called Destroyer on a ballad no siree but you have to eventually wrap up the party and call it a night! Do You Love Me fits that bill as Criss sets the tempo with his drums and Stanley spouting off about ‘Limousines-7 inch Leather Heels’ and yada yada but for an end of album closer Do You Love Me is pretty good. I like the tune at the half way point when KISS changes up the tempo when Paul sings the line of….

Your backstage pass and black sunglasses
Make you look just like a queen
Even the fans, they know your face
From all of the magazines, but’

Yeah, a pretty decent send off tune…

Some copies of Destroyer have the end of the album  version of Rock N Roll Party. In  James Campion‘s book, “Shout it Out Loud: The Story of Kiss’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon.” The album was barely over 31 minutes in length, so that’s why Bob Ezrin and the engineers, Jay Messina and Corky Stasiak, added the news report at the beginning of the album, and this at the end. It was originally called Rock N Roll Demon… RNRP is a minute and a half of a  demonic sounding fade out, kinda creepy…

Destroyer is an interesting spin in the year 2019! When I first heard Destroyer back in the late 70’s for the first time I didn’t know these guys had internal problems. But they sure did and the more success these guys got more issues arose as in the case of this album.

For one you have Peter Criss who has one writing credit and its a ballad of all things!

Also, Ace has one writing credit as well. Flaming Youth he helped co write with Simmons/Stanley/Ezrin Ace doesn’t even do the guitar solo on the song!

It’s still amazing to me that KISS released Destroyer in March of 76 yet 8 months later KISS released the very brilliant Rock N Roll Over album in November of 1976! Mr Speed indeed!

dEkE’s score of Destroyer-7.5

KISS: Hotter Than Hell (1974)

 

In February 1974 KISS releases their debut album. Just 8 months later here comes the followup in which  I believe is in Mikey Ladanos all time  Top 3 albums which is  Hotter Than Hell that features brilliant songs amongst some dicey production.

But here’s KISS folks. 1974. Still broke, no money and they manage to whip a batch of some real fireball gems that to the diehard don’t go unnoticed but  the casual fan Hotter Than Hell  may be missed as this album to me is the forgotten one…

NO MORE…

LET’S DO THIS!

10 Songs on here! They are all Classics. Well written! Well played! Yup I said that!

If you recall from a few months ago in  my review of Dressed To Kill I said that album is slowly becoming of my fav’s of KISS as that’s KISS being broke. Doing it all in-house  which is what they did a year earlier on Hotter Than Hell as well!

I like KISS being broke! Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley don’t and wouldn’t get it. But sometimes when push comes to shove your best material comes to light. This album proves it…

We all know that cast of characters that are on this album so let’s cut to the chase shall we?!!

Got To Choose is a brilliant opener.  More mid tempo than anything it‘s driven by Peter Criss and his drums. For all the shit kicking Petey takes he delivers it on these early  album’s! Stanley sings about Whose your Baby? Got To Choose and  features a fire cracking Frehley solo and man were off!

Speaking of Frehley. Ace scorches at the start of Parasite a song in which he wrote but Mean Gene sings. Parasite just ploughs through. Nasty tune man. One of the best songs to come off this album. Heavy no take prisoners approach and Ace being the loose cannon delivers in spades here…

Track 3 and Gene steps up with Goin Blind which is a groove heavy menacing mid tempo cool tune that is so fuckin good that features Gene in his brash way of writing lyrics about being the master of his domain as a 93-year-old Man involved with a Young Girl!  Gene could always play Bass and this song proves it as he could play like a possessed Paul McCartney standing outside of Gates of Hell!

SIDE NOTE-

Mr Simmons! If you ever read this review(HAHAHA)on your current as you call it End of the Road spiel how about doing a trilogy mid set in the show consisting of  Goin Blind-Christine 16-Domino! I for one would greatly love to hear that!

Sincerely,

deKE!

P.S.- Thinking it would be cool to do those other songs on Creatures that you never play live ie-Saints and Sinners/Rock N Roll Hell! Just saying!

Now back to the task at hand!

The title track is unleashed in the form of Hotter Than Hell! Stanley wrote  a fantastic straight ahead track that doesn’t fool around and what’s even better is the Frehley solo when if you’re to ask me where it ranks in the all time Space Ace Kiss Guitar Solo’s this would rate close too or at the top! Man Ace smokes that fretboard…

Mean Gene and Starchild toss down a composition together that ends the party on Side 1 that’s being Let Me Go Rock N Roll which at time sounds like a ramped up Chuck Berry song  with Frehley flinging off Chuck Lick after Chuck Lick off  at a rapid rate. 

Side 2 begins with one of my all time favourite KISS tunes that they never play but is such a brilliantly crafted song that features a brilliant opening (cowbell) a fantastic chorus (take a bow Genie) a superb solo(a pickled up Ace) a song that you don’t want to end! What tune could that be? All The Way …Crank it below!

Watchin You another Simmons written track is one of those tunes as when it ends you want to drop the needle on it again. Love that demonic grind of the tempo during the verses as the song just halts at the chorus and ramps back up!

Mainline is a Stanley written tune sung by Criss who always delivered it vocally when he had to on the albums. Always loved that raspy voice of his. Mainline doesn’t rewrite the music history books but is cool never the less.

Ace and Paul team up and write the fantastic Comin Home which believe it or not doesn’t feature a guitar solo! Comin Home is a road song about the dude coming back home to his lady after a long time on the road! Well written track and super-duper catchy chorus driven by the super-duper guitar driving underneath it!

So, if you’re looking for an end of the album GEM look no further than Strange Ways the Frehley written Criss sung track! Ace wallop’s a solo so good on this song it blows my mind to this day at how good it is! That’s the thing that to me makes Ace special  when he was back in KISS that he could play his leads so carelessly that they are the some of the best short n sweet solos of all time!

There ya have it Friends. Hotter Than Hell when looked at the big overall picture of KISS product is an album at time’s forgotten about (except for Ladano) but one that still needs to be heard(ask Ladano). Too bad the production was a little umm off on this( what were Producers Kenny Kerner and Richie Wise doing?) as if the sonics had a little more beef on them  this would be what I would consider one of the best from KISS!

deKe’s Score of Hotter Than Hell- 8 would have been a 9 but I docked a point because of Kenny and Richie. Nothing personal guys!

Cheap Trick: Heaven Tonight(1978)

 

Folk’s! Since I’m smashing out some KISS reviews this month. How about a review from the opening act on the KISS Can/Am 1977 North American Tour the one and only the  friggin brilliant  ‘Cheap Trick’!

If you want to talk about stellar albums look no further than Cheap Trick’s  1978 release ‘Heaven Tonight.’

This album is chock full of all kinds of Hooks N Classics! Look no further than this track listing!

Heaven Tonight:
1. Surrender
2. On Top of the World
3. California Man
4. High Roller
5. Auf Wiedersehen
6. Takin’ Me Back
7. On the Radio
8. Heaven Tonight
9. Stiff Competition
10. How Are You?
11. Oh Claire

This being the Third album, CT continue the path of what has no become Classic Rock Nuggets! I mean look no further than opener Surrender which has a ton of power pop included to kick the Trick Party off in style!

The 5 Songs that makeup Side 1 are all brilliant! Not a Dud among them and how about Tom Petersson and that Killer 4 or 8 or 12 String Bass that makes up Auf Wiedersehen! (Posted a killer live clip from 78 of Trick laying waste to Auf! Hmmm wonder where Rick got that guitar from??)

What an opening and belter of a track as Lead Vocalist Robin Zander proving without a doubt that if it makes the song that much better he will toss up a lung if he has too! Gotta love Bun E Carlos straight ahead driving drums that propel this track into orbit!

Side 2 is no dip whatsoever in the album. Perhaps not as rocking as Side 1 but these tunes hold their own as give the band credit as the title track is basically a psychedelic slow groove about drug use and how high can ya go?! Zander goes from almost losing his lungs at the end of Side 1 to digesting a huge Chill pill on the title track!

Rick Nielsen who had a hand in 10 of the 11 tracks (California Man being a cover tune written by Roy Wood) steps his writing game up 10 fold and man  what a writing binge that had Rick going on from the self titled debut in 1977 to basically 1982 and the One on One album before the wheels came of creatively  for a while…

Heaven Tonight is huge Rock Record which didn’t really start to sell in North America until after 1979’s Budokan! Better late than never right?!

But back in 78 you knew these Guys were going places…..