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KISS – Monster


Monster Track List                                                                              Band Members

1- Hell Or Hallelujah                                                                  Paul Stanley- Vocals, Guitar 2- Wall Of Sound                                                                 Gene Simmons- Vocals, Bass 3- Freak                                                                                      Eric Singer- Vocals, Drums 4- Back To The Stone Age                                                   Tommy Thayer- Vocals, Guitar 5- Shout Mercy 6- Long Way Down                                              Produced By: Paul Stanley, Greg Collins 7- Eat Your Heart Out 8- The Devil Is Me                                                                            Official Site 9- Outta This World                                                              10- All For The Love Of Rock And Roll 11- Take Me Down Below 12- Last Chance                                                                 Label: Universal Music Group 13- Right Here Right Now (ITunes Bonus Track)

Well the first thing I would say about this record is that it definitely shows the band had fun making it. You sense they are a true band, as opposed to hire hands in many of KISS’s past incarnations, they seemed inspired for this one. KISS has nothing left to prove and seem comfortable where they are now. That being said, this has everything you expect from a KISS album, lyrically, riffs, etc. To me the one major highlight is how Tommy Thayer’s playing is fresh yet true to he KISS sound. But for those who said this record was a return to the classic KISS of the 70’s, I would disagree with them. If anything you could mix this with Asylum and Animalize and it would fit right in. Definitely more of a 80’s sound brought up to date for today. I mean the band states it was back to basics and maybe they did that in format only? You can see the similarities of Detroit Rock City and Hell Or Hallelujah, power opening riffs, similar type of chorus, etc Freak is this album’s Flaming Youth, again, you can draw similarities, but to call this as good as Destroyer or anything like the classic records of the past is a stretch. Monster stands on its own, better than some, not as good as others. Hence the fate of KISS, they have been battling that for years.

I think the analog mix versus digital is a good thing, but am not sure most people will hear the difference. I would love to see someone like Eddie Kramer or Bob Ezrin produce a record with this line up. Wouldn’t that be interesting? Better yet, maybe someone new like Rick Rubin and see what he can do with KISS. But I digress, back to the album. The best track to me is Long Way Down. I think that is as good as anything out there today. Wall Of Sound holds it’s own. Interestingly enough the band chose to open Eat Your Heart Out with Accapella. A rarity for KISS. I’m not sure if I am on board with it, but nonetheless, it was unexpected. They seem to be exploring more vocal ranges on this record than usual. Tommy does a great job with Out Of This World and I’m sure this will be a fan favorite. It would be better than him doing Shock Me live anyway. Eric Singer gets his shot on this record, like he did on Sonic Boom with the Paul Stanley penned All For The Love Of Rock And Roll. Last Chance is a excellent track as well. The opening bass line (Similar to Plaster Caster) and Paul Stanley’s vocals just close this record out the way one should. It will definitely be one of those songs that will be something to see live and I am certain this one should be in the set, it is a very good anthem like song.

I would be remiss not t mention the track Right Here, Right Now, the bonus song for ITunes. Musically, it is one of the best songs on the record. The drums are fantastic and it’s a typical message song about living and doing things now and seizing the moment. Doing right by your self. I would say it’s worth the download.

KISS is in a place that they don’t have to release a record anymore. They could continue to tour and be happy. I still think they will do another studio record and follow it up with a live record like they used to do. But for a 20th record release, I think they did right by the fans on this one. It may even get you to Shout Mercy after your first listen.

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