Monday, August 17, 2009

KISS' Sonic Boom!

KISS announced today that they will be releasing their new album, "Sonic Boom" on October 6th exclusively at Wal-Mart stores. As enticing (yawn) as an album of new material is, the real excitement will be the other two discs in the 3 disc set. KISS will be releasing a DVD of their "Alive! 35" Buenos Aries concert as well as (for me, the real reason to buy the set) the official domestic release of the Re-recorded Greatest Hits collection that was previously only available in Japan. The price for the set (in a digipak with 20 page color booklet) will be in the ballpark of $11 - $12.

I already have an MP3 of that greatest hits set, entitled "JIGOKU RETSUDEN ~re-recording anthology~" and I can attest that it's a solid offering. Well, you may ask, why would I want a disc of recently re-recorded material from KISS? Simply, this is what KISS sounds like now with Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer. Purists be damned, it's a fine sounding disc. It sounds grittier than the originals, yet the harmonies and musicianship is actually better than the originals. Should it replace the original recordings? Hell, no. Still, I've been listening to that disc more lately than the originals. I can also say, after seeing a bootleg of the Buenos Aries show, that it's pretty solid and will be great fun to watch.

I may sound like a bit of a hypocrite here, since I've been saying for years that KISS merchandising has given us everything us fans have ever wanted over the years except for what they should be giving us: A new studio album. So why am I so blase about the new material disc? Blame it on the Gene Simmons marketing beast. If you go to right now, you'll be bombarded with the lead off track from "Sonic Boom", "Modern Day Delilah" ("Is That You?" from "Unmasked" was a better lead off track) and a flash presentation featuring testimonials of how great the album is from... Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer. I really think I need more reliable testimonials than that. Also, Genie is spouting off about how this album is 'the best thing they've done since "Destroyer"' and it's '"Rock And Roll Over" meets "Love Gun"'. The album cover is already evoking "Rock And Roll Over" and "Psycho Circus". Really want to get me excited, Genie? Tell me it feels like the first three albums. That's really what I want. I would like to hear the Glitter rock of "KISS" with the experimental Grunginess of "Hotter Than Hell" brought together with the anthemic rock of "Dressed To Kill". I'd kill for that album.

You all know I'll buy it, though. ...If just to put Sophie through college.