Review: Kiss' new album 'Monster' is scary good

Associated Press Modified: October 8, 2012 at 11:30 am •  Published: October 8, 2012
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Kiss, "Monster" (Universal)

Nearly 40 years after first slapping on the makeup, donning the costumes and changing forever the way a live concert is performed, Kiss can still bring it.

"Monster" is the caped crusaders' 20th studio album, and one that fans of old school '70s classic rock will be just as comfortable with as those who cut their teeth on later material.

It opens with a bang in "Hell or Hallelujah," a fast-paced rocker that could be the band's best concert opener since "I Stole Your Love," way back in 1977 (though they put it in the middle of the set this summer).

Imagine a mash-up of "Helter Skelter" and Kiss' 1992 track "Spit," and you've got "Wall of Sound," a dramatic, ground-pounder. "Freak" uses a grungier distorted sound to showcase the band's longstanding philosophy of not caring what anyone else thinks of them. And "Back To The Stone Age" features Eric Singer's pounding drums with a beat reminiscent of the Stones' "Live With Me."

This is guitarist Tommy Thayer's second studio album with Kiss since replacing Ace Frehley in 2003 (and completely stealing his musical identity to the point where the FBI should have been notified). His first outing, 2009's "Sonic Boom" LP, was marred by rampant theft from Frehley's classic solos.

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