“The Hottest Band In The Land” Kiss is back with their first new studio album in 11 years. After two very disappointing albums in the late nineties, “Carnival of Souls” and “Psycho Circus”, a lot of fans were left thinking the band was through; with studio albums anyways. But seriously folks, did you really think Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley would let Kiss go out with a huge stinking thud?? I think not! “Sonic Boom” is everything the Kiss Army has been clamoring for years to hear, which is a step back to the sound of such Kiss classics “Destroyer” and “Rock and Roll Over” and the guys do not disappoint in the lest bit.
Admittedly I was not crazy about the album’s lead off “Modern Day Delilah” at first listen or even the second go around, but after a few listens it has started growing on me, which in my opinion is the best way to go. Paul Stanley sounds great, he can still seduce your mom out of her panties and she wouldn’t have a clue it was happening until it was too late. One thing I had forgotten over the years is that Gene Simmons can actually play bass and play it pretty damn good; here he lays down some nice thumping bass lines. After years on the sidelines Tommy Thayer finally gets a little of the spot light to shine on him and he makes the most of it showing the world he is a disciple of Ace Frehley, without stepping all over Ace’s legacy. On “Russian Roulette” Gene takes over the vocals and as usual it is a slow dirty innuendo laden song that Gene sings to perfection, while also laying down more heavy thumping bass lines, classic sing a long chorus, one of the early surprises on the album. “Never Enough” screams single and rightly so as it is one of the best songs Kiss has recorded in years. They could throw this song into the live show and it would fit right in without missing a beat, definitely a new Kiss classic. “Yes I Know (Nobody’s Perfect)” sounds like it could’ve been taken from the “Destroyer” or “Love Gun” recording sessions, great 70’s feel to it, this may actually be the best Gene Simmons song I’ve heard. “Stand” is yet another anthem with a late 80’s/early 90’s feel to it. Not the best song on the album but still better than 90% of the songs bands are releasing today. All I really need to say about “Hot & Cold” is COW-BELL COW-BELL COW-BELL!!! Honestly Gene has really surprised me with how good his vocals sound on this album.
Of Course, I couldn’t get through this review without mentioning Eric Singer and while his drumming is phenomenal throughout the album it is when he steps up to the mike on “All For The Glory” that he really shines, the sound reminds me of “Creatures of the Night” or maybe “Lick It Up”. “Danger Us” and “I’m An Animal” borrow some influence from Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin respectively, but Paul and Gene borrow with style. “When Lightning Strikes” marks the return of the COW-BELL and if you hear a little Black N’ Blue in the song then it should not surprise you that Tommy Thayer has stepped up to the mike and absolutely knocks this song out of the park!! “When Lightning Strikes” goes with “Never Enough” as my two favorite songs off “Sonic Boom”. The album wraps up with “Say Yeah” and with that I can say yeah to quite a few things about “Sonic Boom”. Yeah “Sonic Boom” is a kick ass ride from beginning to end. Yeah Tommy Thayer finally gets some of the attention he has earned and deserved over the years. Yeah “Sonic Boom” is the best Kiss album in years. Yeah it is possible “Sonic Boom” is Kiss’s best album since the mid 70’s. Yeah it definitely deserves a spot alongside “Destroyer”, “Rock and Roll Over”, and “Love Gun” as a Kiss classic, because that is simply what it is.
Rating: Out of 10
- Modern Day Delilah
- Russian Roulette
- Never Enough
- Yes I Know (Nobody’s Perfect)
- Hot And Cold
- All For The Glory
- Danger Us
- I’m An Animal
- When Lightning Strikes
- Say Yeah!
Paul Stanley – Vocals, Rhythm guitar
Gene Simmons – Vocals, Bass guitar
Eric Singer – Vocals, Drums
Tommy Thayer – Vocals, Lead Guitar