Former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick has released his third solo effort, BK3 on February 2nd. I have always felt that Bruce Kulick is the most under rated guitar player KISS ever had. On this new disc, Kulick gets to strut his stuff not only on the six string, but vocally as well. He isn’t without help on BK3, as this CD is loaded with guest stars, including Gene & Nick Simmons, Tobias Sammet, John Corabi and more.
BK3 starts off with a pretty credible rocker,”Fate”. Kulick dishes out some pretty cool guitar licks and does a solid job vocally as well. His voice reminds me of Gene Simmons, who ironically handles the vocals on the following song, “Ain’t Gonna Die”. I prefer “Fate” to “Ain’t Gonna Die”. Overall, both songs have a gritty edge that remind me of the later KISS releases with Kulick.
Kulick’s former band mate John Corabi handles the vocals on “No Friend of Mine”. This song made me regret missing Crabby perform with his solo band when they came to Dayton, Ohio a few weeks ago. This song grows on me more and more with every listen.
Nick Simmons sings on the tune “Hand of the King”, and I must admit, I didn’t really care for his vocals very much. I don’t know if this is the first song he has ever sang on or not. His voice is not unlike his father’s but just doesn’t work for me on this tune. The guitar work is great on “Hand of The King” , but overall I thought this song was forgettable. “I’ll Survive” is the second song that Kulick sings on, and much like the previous track, it just falls flat.
The biggest surprise guest on BK3 is the Knack’s Doug Fieger. I haven’t heard anything from the Knack in ages, and found his vocals on “Dirty Girl” quite enjoyable. This song is one of BK3′s highlights.
Kulick takes over on vocals for “Final Mile”. This is a slower tune that has a southern rock vibe. It isn’t perfect, but I have grown to like after a few plays.
“I’m The Animal” features not one, but two guests. Tobias Sammet from Edguy handles the vocals, while Eric Singer from KISS plays the drums. Kulick ups the ante with some stellar fretwork. Sammet truly delivers with his vocal performance. This is easily one of the best songs on BK3. I absolutely love this tune.
“And I Know” is an upbeat, catchy song that deserves a lot of airplay.
Steve Lukather struts his six string prowess on the instrumental “Between The Lines”. While I am not a huge fan of instrumental songs, I must admit that Lukather’s playing is outstanding.
BK3 is closed out with Kulick’s final vocal performance on “Life”. For whatever reason, I didn’t really care for Bruce’s vocals on this song. The music is good, but the vocals kill it for me.
So, should you buy BK3? If you are a die-hard Kulick, or Union fan, you will probably want to pick this up. Overall, I thought this CD did not feel like a very cohesive effort. The song styles are varied, and some of the guests do more harm than good. There are some cool moments on the CD, but I was hoping for more from Bruce Kulick and company. You can check out some of the songs from BK3, at the Bruce Kulick myspace page.
Rating: Out of 10
02. Ain’t Gonna Die
03. No Friend Of Mine
04. Hand Of The King
05. I’ll Survive
06. Dirty Girl
07. Final Mile
08. I’m The Animal
09. And I Know
10. Between The Lines