Friday, February 21, 2014

Peter Criss - Out Of Control

Pretend for a moment that you're the drummer for America's most popular rock band. Despite not being a very accomplished drummer and an even less talented singer, you've managed to score a Top 10 single that propels your group to superstardom and your limited drumming skills are still recognized enough to be considered "influential," albeit mostly for appearance rather than ability.

Is all of this enough to cash out and go solo?

Some may claim it was Peter Criss' ego that led him to quit KISS, while others may cite the drugs, pressure or the sheer displeasure of having to work with Gene Simmons. Whatever the reason, if Criss' first solo record from 1978 was any indication that embarking on a solo career was the wrong career direction entirely, his second offering Out Of Control confirms it.

Teaming up again with longtime collaborator Stan Penridge, a friend from his pre-KISS days who co-wrote "Beth" and is all over that 1978 solo monstrosity, Out Of Control was supposed to serve as Criss' first foray into post-KISS independence. And like the solo record before this, life on his own seems to be a very challenging place for Criss as it resides in the middle of his hard-rock persona and his obvious comfort with more standard rock fare.

"Looks like this time I'm on my own/Starting over again" Criss muses with the syrup-laden opener "By Myself," an obligatory nod to the obvious. But whatever all by myself jive that Criss tries to impose from the get-go is nothing but baloney, particularly when the second song reaches into KISS' own limited arsenal of hooks and lifts straight from nemesis Simmons' hit "Calling Dr. Love" for "In Trouble Again." In fact, the rest of Out Of Control is so dismal that you almost wish Simmons' would have sued Criss for copyright infringement, thereby preventing it from ever obtaining a release date.

It is the work of mere obligation instead of any real inspiration. Out Of Control is a lazy recording of two mildly talented buddies pissing away one man's lottery winnings on the misguided notion that there is an audience for a old top cat who has used up his nine lives already.

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