Monday, November 30, 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Jesus Lizard Penultimate Performance

I have no idea what the Jesus Lizard were doing on ABC's Amplified a few months ago and I have no idea what Amplified even is. But I do know that it's totally hilarious to me that there's an obligatory sound bite newsroom edit job on the piece they did on the band. And I do know that I'll be at the penultimate performance this evening. I also know I'll be ordering room service tomorrow morning.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Blue Roses - Blue Roses

Too often, when an up-and-coming artist tries to mine Kate Bush territory, they focus on those big, panoramic records like Never For Ever and beyond. Never mind that those albums were adventurous even for Kate herself. It would make more sense to step back to examine some of her earlier work, when she was still a precocious teenager finding her voice (literally) and finding her place among a growing muse.
Blue Roses, the creative moniker for Laura Groves, is an organically derived debut that sounds more homespun than The Kick Inside, but it wonderfully shares that album’s obvious sense of exploration even when there’s no clear map to follow. It could easily be considered as the true offspring of that album since it shares so much of its unfettered vision and, on occasion, similar styles in arrangements. With one listen, you begin to ponder if Groves herself is about to embark on a journey of comparable success or, in a more cynical view, are we in a commercial market where we no longer allow the time and kid gloves to let such artists grow.
Blue Roses was built from Groves’ own blueprint, but it took a bunch of local generosity to really get off the ground. From the friends and acquaintances that contribute their own voice and instruments to the project, to the locales in which the album was recorded, this is an album of honest collaboration and admirable friendships. There’s the story of the wealthy owner of a Steinway concert piano who agreed-solely based on hearing Groves’ work-to allow her to use the expensive instrument for the recording of Blue Roses before being able to use it for themselves. Think of it this way: would you let the instrument of your dreams be played before you got your own hands on it? I certainly wouldn’t.
Then again, I haven’t been blessed with coming across someone with such inherent talent as Laura Groves. Lyrically, Blue Roses is full of wide-eyed songs of places yet visited, of relationships dreamed, and images built from imagination rather than experience. But musically, Groves shows an old soul at work, weaving complex piano arrangements over double-tracked harmonies that eerily evoke those first few Kate Bush albums. When other instruments are introduced, they’re of the acoustic variety, lending Blue Roses a rural feel where true escape comes in the form of learning a few chords from antique shop discoveries.
“I wish that I could photograph my moods/Show them to you” Laura sings on the album’s vast centerpiece “I Wish I,” but there’s enough imagery throughout the song’s six-and-a-half minute running time to put together a cohesive picture of what makes Laura Groves tick. More importantly, it points to the possibility that Blue Roses may be the beginning of a very worthy career, provided that she doesn’t stray from those beautiful visions in her head.

This review originally appeared in Glorious Noise.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Church - Untitled #23

Admit it. You’ve totally neglected The Church’s post-Arista records output and the fact that they’re closing in on nearly two dozen records surprises you. I’m not sure what prompts a band to stay together as long as the Church, but I do know their chemistry is as such that they probably haven’t released a bad record in all that time and with their most recent-Untitled #23-they sound even better than just being consistent. Indeed, it’s an album that finds them curiously inspired, exploring the nether regions of seductive guitar textures and layers of high-altitude chill.
Above everything is Steve Kilbey’s unmistakable voice-slight, comforting, and eerily ageless. What’s curious is how his understated delivery belies a pretty capable lyricist. As a matter of fact, nearly everything about Untitled #23 is pretty understated, and it’s easy to let its greatness get overlooked.
Yes, it’s a grower. And yes, with each spin you move a little more towards the heaven that these purveyors of psychedelia keep reaching for.
On “Space Savior,” Kilbey actually allows his voice to break a bit. The thing only utilizes two chords for over six minutes, yet the band’s repetitiveness is almost trance-like, with Steve spewing out stream-of-consciousness, only giving us the line “And I gotta get up! And I gotta get off!” to serve as a makeshift chorus.
The lead-off single “Pangaea” is as least as dreamy and infectious as the band’s most famous song “Under The Milky Way,” but it’s also clear that The Church hasn’t been spending the time since then wallowing in nostalgia, trying to recreate the same song. While the voice may not be demonstrating the ravishes of time, his words are now born from life experiences. Gone are those dreamy layers of love’s optimism. They now have hints of regret and mistrust while still remaining as aurally infectious as ever.
The album’s defining moment may be “Anchorage” which may explain why the band continues to dish out record after record, more recently in near anonymity. Through years of failed relationships, declining record sales, and a fickle public, The Church has found common ground and reliable kinship with each other. “Darkness/Returning/My torch keeps on burning” as it’s written in the track’s chorus, yet the band uses the spark of one another to light a path ahead.
It took twenty-two steps before Untitled #23 to get to this point, and the road to it was obviously filled with its share of up and downs, twists and turns. In the end though, it sounds like the band has come to turns with it and will continue to forge ahead with rewarding material regardless of how many of us check out where they’re at on the map.

This review originally appeared in Glorious Noise.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bebe Buell Seems Promiscuous

At some point in her life, the following men’s penises have been inside her.

  • Todd Rundgren

  • Iggy Pop

  • David Bowie

  • Mick Jagger

  • Jimmy Page

  • Steven Tyler

  • Rod Stewart

  • Elvis Costello

  • Stiv Bators

  • Jack Nicholson

  • John Taylor

  • Coyote Shivers

Fun Fact! She’s now married to Das Damen’s guitarist Jim Wallerstein. Did I stutter? Das Fucking Damen! That psycedelic rock band that recorded for Twin/Tone and SST in the 80’s!.Point is, there’s a big step between nearly everyone on that list who didn’t play in Duran Duran or have the first name of a member of the canine family. Now, as she approaches 60, she’s down to the dude from Das Damen and making a statement by snagging a younger dude
If it were me, I’d totally be intimidated by the fact that the lust for life in Iggy Pop’s once resided in Buell’s vagina. Not only would the dude who helped create Fun House been a member of Bebe’s vagjayjay club, he probably would have left the place a mess.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ladies And Gentlemen, We Are Starting Our Christmas Lists

Excuse the drool, but I'm completely hankering for another pointless reissue, if only for the fact that it's a great record.
Oh, and the packaging sounds totally awesome.
Check it:

Artist: Spiritualized
Title: Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space Collectors Edition
Label: ATP Recordings
Cat No: ATPRCD36
Format: Collectors Edition CD Box set
Pre Sale Date: Monday 23rd November 2009
Release Date: Wednesday 16th December 2009
Label: ATP Recordings / Spaceman
Catalogue No: ATPRCD36
Format: Collectors Box Set / Strictly Limited Edition of 1000
Boxset Contains:

  • 12 x 3" Prescription Pack CD’s packaged in a foil tray
  • 2 x 5" CD’s containing 35 unreleased versions & outtakes
  • Digital Download Code for the original album
  • Individual Prescription Cards signed by J.Spaceman
  • Strictly Limited Edition of 1000
  • Brand New Artwork by the original designers Farrow & Spaceman
ATP Recordings / Spaceman are pleased to be able to offer the very limited collectors edition. This includes 12 x 3" Mini CD’s of the complete album track-by-track, a homage to the original release. This will be accompanied by 2 bonus discs.
For those who don’t wish to open the blister pack, each unit will come with a code to download the original album in MP3 format._
Limited to just 1000 units, each collectors edition will come with a prescription numbered out of 1000 and signed by J Spaceman.
Anyone who pre-orders the collectors edition before November 30th can have their own name, or name of their choosing printed on the prescription.
The Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space Collectors edition, will be sent out from the UK on December 16th. If you do not wish to pay postage and handling, there will be an option to pick it up from the Barbican shows on December 16th or 17th.
Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space Collectors edition is available for £125 + postage and handling.

O.K. So if I do my pounds to dollars conversion that makes this box set a cool $206.
And that's before shipping and handling.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are in a recession.
For that kind of bread, Spaceman should smoke a joint with me in my basement too while personally giving me song-by-song commentary as we listen to it.

They performed the album in its entirety last month at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Here's a nice audience shot video of "I Think I'm In Love" from that show. I've seen this band about three times and they've blown me away each time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Grant Hart In Des Moines

My money was on Grant Hart after Husker Du broke up. He wrote some of the Husker’s best songs and may have even been a bit more consistent than campadre Bob Mould.
And then-within months, it seemed-he released the acoustic song “2541,” as in 2541 Nicolette Avenue, Minneapolis. As in the Husker’s rehearsal space. And it seemed a heartbreaking account of the band breaking up under the guise of a couple moving out of an apartment and moving away from each other. The line “things are so much different now/I guess the situation’s reversed/And it will probably not be the last time I have to be out by the 1st” ranks as good as anything that Mould ever wrote, but it’s Bob that gets all the critical accolades.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Bob too. In fact, I remember a fight I had with my ex-wife once after she called Mould a “sellout” upon learning that he was writing story episodes for WCW wrestling.
But Hart was completely off the radar; there were no verbal volleys about him, because he seemed to drop off the face of the Earth after Nova Mob’s The Last Days Of Pompeii.
I remember occasionally hearing stories about him, how he looked like he was struggling with addiction.
And there was little music to counteract those rumors.
Grant Hart recently made his way back to Iowa and visited Des Moines with a set. Our man in the D.M. reports, “He played my requests of “2541” and “Sorry Somehow.” That was cool.”
But damn if the dude don’t look haggard. And you would think the hipsters in the Twin Cities could add a buck to a fishbowl and chip in to buy him a leather jacket.
What’s with the getup? Did Hendrix’s “If 6 Was 9” inspire it? Someone needs to call Robyn Hitchcock and tell him that we’ve found the jacket from his Fegmania tour.
For real, those All Tomorrow’s Parties folks need to waive a shitload of money in front of Mould and Hart and get Husker Du back together for a reunion show.
If Greg Norton plays hardball, just threaten his food joint with endless surprise visits from the health inspector or something.
And he had better still have that handlebar mustache too.
Getting back to Grant: he has a new record called Hot Wax, which will probably sell as many copies as the Husker’s first single.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Cars '78

Two great albums in a row (The Cars and Candy O), arguably three (I loves me some Panorama), The Cars were one of my favorite bands of the late 70's. I loved everything about them-the drums, the keyboard shit, those bad-assed guitars-but mostly I loved their sound.
Check out that awesome Dean guitar Ric Ocasek is sportin'. And it looks like he hasn't rocked a shampoo in a while.
I love how he just kicks back, chews a piece of gum, and mumbles aloud "Don't kid yourself. This is my band!"
And check out those electronic drum toms by the side of David Robinson's Singerland drum kit. I remember seeing those things at a guitar shop in Keokuk.
Then there's guitarist Elliot Easton, a lefty, standing next to Ben Orr. Ben's sporting an awesome Vox bass guitar and looks great standing next to Easton.
But the revelation here is how good they sounded live. They must have rehearsed the shit out of the first two albums to the point where they could nail it in their sleep.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Japandroids - Post Nothing

On would think that the rock and roll duo is creatively tapped out. From the Everly Brothers to the Carpenters, from the White Stripes to Hella, it seems that every nuance should be explored by now, every conceivable idea exploited.
I suppose that you could probably break bands with only two members down further into two distinctive categories: duos that are so talented that they really don’t need any additional member because they’re already awesome enough and duos that are just so excited to play as soon as they can that they couldn’t be bother with bass player auditions.
Japandroids fit in the latter category, with such infectious enthusiasm that you can understand why they laid down a few tracks and said, “I think we’re good here,” thereby keeping the door take at an even fifty/fifty.
They’ve also figured out how bands manage to continue to foster with such numeric limitations on their creative input: bash out some high-spirited rock ‘n’ roll and have fun while doing it.
Post-Nothing sounds like it was a blast to conceive, record, and one can only imagine that the two put on a nice high-energy live set. Drummer David Prowse obviously is working without a net or a metronome while guitarist/vocalists Brian King manages to find devices to overdrive both his guitar and his vocals. None of these strategies are anything new, but under the context of Japandroids’ keen sense of melody and fueled by a never-ending sense of enthusiasm.
Girls seem to be motivating this pair of Canadians, which, in turn, makes for some awesome summer-appropriate anthems. “I don’t want to worry about dying/I just wanna worry about sunshine girls” King yells, suggesting that maybe the youth have their priorities right after all.
The rest of Post-Nothing finds similar inspiration lodged firmly in the centric world of youthful ambivalence, and it’s a joyous reminder for the rest of us trapped in cubicles and relationships of monotonous routine.
It’s a blast listening to these two pound out an energetic half-hour of unbridled fun. There’s nothing new going on-which makes the album’s already clever title even more so-but the pair’s total disregard for pretention elevates Post-Nothing to one of the freshest rock albums you’ll hear all summer.
Japandroids may be working at a disadvantage when it comes to band members, but Post-Nothing demonstrates that King and Prowse have their business well under control and that all available positions have been filled by a pair of very capable young men.

This review originally appeared in Glorious Noise.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Pledge Pin?! On Your Uniform?!

There’s a mystery in my house that no one seems to understand but myself. You see, I’m the only fan of the band The Fall in my house, therefore, I would be the only person interested in Fall-related merchandise.
With that being said, aside from an occasional t-shirt, I don’t have a lot of promotional material that would lend itself to actually promoting a band. Well, my man cave is full of concert posters, artwork, etc., but that’s nothing that I can necessarily walk around for others to notice.
So I was surprised earlier this week when I came across the item in the blurry photo: a Fall pin. You know, those pins that everyone wore in the 80’s. The more the merrier. It gave you a chance to display to anyone who’d notice who your favorite band was.
Realistically, I had a few of these, but they weren’t a part of my wardrobe by any means.
And a button of the Fall wasn’t a part of my pin collection.
I opened up the cabinet that holds our Tupperware assortments, looking for something to use for my sack lunch. In the cabinet, intentionally tucked off to the side like it was being hid was a pin celebrating The Fall.
How it got there is beyond me.
How I even got it is a mystery.
I will proudly find an item for this surprise, letting the citizens of Cedar Rapids, Iowa that I love the Fall.
I saw a girl-late 20’s-walking into Wal-Mart wearing a Smiths The Queen Is Dead t-shirt the other day. I would have said something, but I’m not a big fan of the general public.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Charlie

I find Charlie Manson fascinating. When you take a look at the Family, Death Valley 1969, it’s stunning how this small, mentally ill man was able to convince intelligent teenagers that it was a good idea to murder.
Charlie turns 75 today, which blows my mind since now the impish character is now old enough to begin losing some of his intimidation factor.
I mean what are you going to do, dude?
Become incontinent on me?
As a kid, I watched Helter Skelter mini-series when it came out. It freaked my shit, but not as much as Bugliosi’s book of the same name. In the picture section, there was a picture of one of the Family members, dead, with the eyes obviously drawn in on the body.
Every time I see a copy of that book, I always turn to that creepy picture.
After the mini-series, I read how Squeaky Fromme tried to kill President Ford. Do you understand what kind of impact news stories like this has on a young child? I had a vision of zombies wandering around in America, waiting for secret messages from Charlie to go and perform a political assassination.
“And swing by Dennis Wilson’s place and break his arm. That fucker never got me a record deal.”
Remember when Squeaky escaped in the 80’s and tried to go visit Charlie? I mean, she barely got out of the same county that she was institutionalized in, but give the girl credit. That’s some major devotion to a dude that doesn’t top 5’.
I made a cassette mixtape years ago that had dialogue from the Helter Skelter movie in between a few songs.
I miss that type of shit.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Letterman Circa 1985

Letterman fucked the help and I could really give a shit. There are moments of old Letterman every now and then, but it hasn't been the same since the old NBC show. I know, call it nostalgic, but it's true. There were moments watching Letterman at 11:30 CST where I questioned how his show could even be on the air.
It was awesome.
Take this clip from '85, when Dave forgoes having a show in front of studio audience and instead decides to have the show taped in his office. And what do you do when Teri Garr stops by? You try to get her to take a shower.
What do you do when Terri Gibbs stops by?
You make believe its still in front of a studio audience
Three of you probably got that reference.
I remember watching this the night it aired and it's ingrained in my TV cortex.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Jesus Lizard Announce New Year's Eve Show

So hey, what was going to be a chance to see the very last Jesus Lizard show has now turned into a chance to see the penultimate performance.
I’m a little pissed about it.
You see, I knew both Thanksgiving weekend performances would sell out.
And they rightly did.
And then they announced a New Year’s Eve show, the real final show.
That’s going to sell out too.
I’m having second thoughts inviting my wife along. I don’t think she’s fully appreciative of what is about to occur this month.
Regardless of the last show or second to last one, it’s going to be awesome.

Lou Reed - Sally Can't Dance

Lou Reed publicly voiced his displeasure of Sally Can’t Dance, but then again, Lou Reed is an asshole, so it’s best to taper his comments with a dose of reality. As a matter of fact, Lou Reed as an asshole is found throughout Sally Can’t Dance so maybe his criticism of it was part of the Lou Circa ’74 character.
His criticism of the album is one of the reasons I love it: the production. It’s slick, polished, and everything glistens. That’s not to suggest there aren’t some dirty moments throughout the album’s brief 8 song cycle, there’s a lot of it, actually, both figuratively and musically. But every instrument is distinguishable and there are moments where Lou’s voice-a relatively limited and weak instrument-is processed with studio gimmicks that it sounds awesome.
“Kill Your Sons,” a song about Lou’s electroshock therapy treatments as a teen, remains as one of his fiercest songs ever.
“NY Stars” finds Reed dismissing his hometown imitators with a deadpanned “Help the New York stars.” That same, intentional deadpan is used throughout Sally Can’t Dance (the “Alimony” bit in “Ennui,” the “then war broke out…a he had to go” line in “Billy”) and it never tires.
Upbeat Lou even stops by for a laugh or two, with mixed results. The descriptive title track that details where Sally “used to ball folk singers” (a line that I like to use on my wife when we visit her hometown on the holidays. You know, we’ll pass a grain elevator and I’ll ask her if “that’s where you used to ball folk singers?”).
It falls flat on the downright awful “Animal Language,” a song so embarrassing that I’ll let it play through and dramatically sing the lyrics like a Vegas crooner. You really haven’t lived until you’ve heard me belt out “they took the dude’s sweat and shot it up between the two” like Robert Goulet.
Sally Can’t Dance became Lou’s highest charting album, leading him to exclaim that if he relinquished total control on his albums to someone else that he would surely find himself with a number 1 record. Given the artist’s cantankerous nature, noncommercial subject matters and penchant for subversive behavior, it seems highly unlikely that this could really happen. But Sally Can’t Dance at least promotes how Lou should have entertained the idea of letting someone man the controls behind the boards a little more frequently.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sonic Youth - The Eternal

There was a time when I would buy Sonic Youth albums without even hearing a note. For me, they were a band that deserved this kind of positive reinforcement, an epitome of how bands with major label should act, progress, and influence.
A pair of albums-A Thousand Leaves and NYC Ghosts & Flowers- abruptly ended that blind adulation. It seemed that one of my favorite bands had simply run their course and run out of ideas in the process. They had become pretentious and boring, oblivious to the fact that rock music should contain a bit of humor, or at least a wink towards it. Sonic Youth appeared to have grown up, no longer deserving their ageless band name.
Around this time I purchased Murray Street only out of Trade Center guilt and I skipped Sonic Nurse altogether.
I got a chance to see them in Ohio during the Rather Ripped tour-twenty years after I’d first seen them in a small club in Iowa supporting Sister tour-and was pleasantly surprised. Lee assaulted his guitar, Thurston dry humped his amp stack, and Kim jumped around like she was honestly overtaken by the amplified onslaught. And Steve Shelly? As usual, he was his awesome dependable self, keeping all of the chaos neatly contained in measured rhythms.
The album they were promoting-Rather Ripped-was a high energy affair, complete with efficient song structures and what appeared to be an attempt to win back fans that had fallen by the wayside, like me.
Sonic Youth’s latest, The Eternal, is curiously being promoted as the band’s first independent release in years (like that accounts for anything in this day and age and, to be honest, I never really considered Matador to be an “indie” label to begin with) when it should be promoted as their best work since Washing Machine.
They’re continuing with Ripped’s fast-tempo tendencies and they’re expertly tiptoeing between streamlined guitar rock and their groundbreaking experimentation. It’s an album that manages to straddle a variety of different elements from their past while sounding amazingly fresh. An impressive feat for a band that’s approaching their thirtieth anniversary.
The obvious attraction is the guitar interplay between Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo. They’ve proven to be ample warriors within the alterna-tuning freakouts and have even poked around some areas that could be fodder for jam-band fans. But The Eternal finds the pair consolidating their interplay into short, sweet bursts. Their performances are deceiving-one has to listen closely for their complexity-but when they do go off on extended tangents (“Anti-Orgasm” the wonderful “Antenna” and the closer “Massage The History”) it makes the impact that much stronger. The two are so good that they even make a mundane Kim Gordon track, “Malibu Gas Station,” into a track that you don’t dare skip.
Because many of the complexities are brief, efficient and expertly positioned, you can expect The Eternal to grow a bit after a few listens. Trust me, this review looked a bit different after the first spin. But now after double-digit listens, it’s now apparent that I’m enjoying a new Sonic Youth album more than I have in years. More importantly, The Eternal has me looking forward to the next few Sonic Youth albums before they’ve even been contemplated.
Seems like old times.

This review originally appeared in Glorious Noise.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Naked Lunch Turns 50

Happy birthday, Naked Lunch.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ace Frehley - Anomaly

My cousin quipped that the reason I didn’t get Anomaly as a promo was because it sucked and the record company was afraid that people would find out about it sooner. Judging by the song titles and ridiculous cover art, the signs were pointing to the possibility that he was indeed correct.
There is a song on the album called “Space Bear.”
How good can the album be with a song called “Space Bear.”
There’s also a song called “I Come From Outer Space” which features a chorus of “I thought I told you I came from outer space” repeated over a fairly innocuous guitar riff.
Sure enough, a few hours after I heard the song, I began telling people-or merely talking to myself-“I thought I told you I came from outer space.” I’d do it with different inflections, just to make it sound different.
Ace has his way with a hook.
The issue isn’t if Anomaly bad-it really isn’t-the issue is that it took Ace twenty years to record a new solo album, and this is the best he could come up with?
Christ, Ace has run ragged in Kiss, releasing a couple of albums a year, and was then forced to whip out a solo album in no time. And what came of it? The best of the four Kiss solo albums and the most popular.
We’ve given Ace twenty years to return and what does he bring to the table? Another song about the perils of drinking. Wasn’t there another song twenty years ago about the perils of drinking? Did Ace fall off the wagon, or is his recovery from alcoholism the most lengthy in recorded history?
“Foxy And Free” is a decent opener, with its neat Hendrix references and metal Ace dishing out some aggro riffs, it’s heavier than what one would expect from a 57-year-old man. Or is it 60? Who the hell knows? The point is, Ace is old now and is still releasing hard rock damage of someone half his age.
There are some fine moments, there are more silly ones, and there is a couple where you think, “If these two Ace songs were tacked on to the new Kiss album and the replacement band’s songs removed, you’d have a really good Kiss album.
Instead, you have one barely good Kiss album a slightly average-yet surprisingly consistent and heavy-Ace Frehley solo album.
But you’d still hold it against him for taking so long to come up with something this uneventful.
After all, the fucker came from outer space.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Kiss - Sonic Boom

Against all odds, against any rational thought, Kiss founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have put together a scab band, pissed off nearly every remaining Kiss Army member by their unquenchable desire of money and managed to release the best album in almost three decades.
Why should you trust me? Because I hate Kiss. I’m on a mission to review every Kiss album in their bloated catalog in the hopes of finding some logical explanation as to why they are so revered and-without spoiling too much of my quest-I am having a tough time of it.
I went into this Wal-Mart only album fully expecting to hate it only to walk away with my jaw opened at how decent it was.
There was the embarrassment of the reunion album about eleven years ago and then the unexplainable decision to take the image that former founding members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss created and allow a pair of Johnny-come-lately members don the outfits and act as if nothing ever happened. The decision was so moronic that even local television stations made fun of them live an on camera.
Kiss was never a band of much respect, but now they were a bona fide joke. So excuse me for really…REALLY…wanting Sonic Boom to suck so much shit that I could come up with a few hundred words to bash them.
But something’s happening here. Aside from all of the hype concerning the cover art (the same dude that inked Rock And Roll Over did Sonic Boom) and Paul’s endless yapping that the new album was a return to their classic 70’s sound, even Vegas odds makers had the new album as another late-career embarrassment.
Maybe Paul-the obvious motivator on this one-was getting tired of the jokes at his disposal. Maybe they noticed AC/DC’s own late career marketing deal and decent album and decide that they were actually going to put some effort into this one. Or maybe they can finally taste the opportunity of getting into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and want to go in with a good album under their belt.
You can already hear Gene’s smug and ungrateful speech right now, but even that asshole knows that there would be at least a couple less eye-rolling audience members if his band could walk in with their heads high off a new album instead of one that was released in 1979.
Of course, nobody but the faithful are going to give a shit about this one as nobody but the Kiss Army wants to hear anything new by these guys. Hell, even Gene thinks records are a waste of time, as they don’t pocket him with nearly the cash that he feels he’s entitled to.
As a result, his songs on Sonic Boom continue down the embarrassing road of getting’ pussy and I’m pretty such I’ve heard his double-entendres here some place before.
Paul’s material is top notch and it sounds like he actually gives a shit about this project. His song’s are catchy, anthemic, and contain some good riffs. Admittedly, some of the riffs sound suspiciously similar to older ones, but after such shit like Psycho Circus, Hot In The Shade, and The Elder, this ain’t a bad thing.
One thing that is a bad thing is letting new(er) Kiss Members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer have their own tunes, giving the false pretense that they are somehow part of the band. They are hired guns-we all know it-so don’t insult our intelligence and dash their hopes that they’re somehow part of the organization by letting them have a couple of spots on your “comeback” album. Besides, they suck and are even shittier than Gene’s songs.
But I will give Thayer for laying down some decent solos (I’m sure the main riff’s are Paul’s) and suggesting that he may indeed be the best Kiss guitarist since Ace.
There’s absolutely nothing new to Sonic Boom, but that seems to be the point. It’s just a little raunchier than their material has been since Love Gun. It begs the question: What took you guys so long? Had they released Sonic Boom immediately after Love Gun who knows, we may have already been introducing this greedy fucks into the Hall already. Instead, we’re questioning why it’s come so late in the game and trying to figure out their ulterior motives.