KISS - Monster
It’s the age old question, the conundrum that’s foxed commentators and philosophers for decades: if you could go back in time and make sure Gene Simmons never got his hands on a guitar, would you? It’s a toughie, for sure, but one that we’ve all asked ourselves at some point. I’m torn. If not music, then what? Acting? Politics? Sometimes, you gotta just let fate decide. It could have been so much worse. KISS celebrate their double centenary with this, the third and final volume in their ‘Beastie’ trilogy. It’s not quite as chilling as 2008’s Creature (what is?) but it’s certainly a return to butt-kicking, nostril-flaring form after the disappointment of last year’s rather meek Animal.
Monster is the band’s 40th studio album (and their 105th if you include the live albums) but don’t think they’ve lost that magic touch. As ever, there’s an artistic foundation to the set that allows each member to shine. This time around, Paul Stanley sings all of the Sock It To The Man tracks ('All For The Love Of Rock 'n' Roll', indeed!) and Gene Simmons takes lead on the Songs About Shagging - ‘Take Me Down Below’, the obvious highlight. As if that wasn’t enough, the entire album is in 4/4 time. Yeah! Get you, Genesis! Obviously, original guitarist Ace Frehley and the, erm, original drummer left twenty, thirty years ago but the new guys (Clark Van Santos and Tommy ‘Tommy’ Kix) more than rise to the occasion. And, once you’ve heard this stirring collection, so will you!