C’mon, it’s 2012. Do we really need a new KISS album?

I’ll admit that when I was 10, KISS was one of my favourite bands.  Hey, it’s hard for an impressionable young child not to be lured in by The Hottest Band in the LandTM, what with their makeup, costumes and family-friendly lyrical content.  But after I saw the Alive 35 tour a couple years back, I effectively closed the book on that chapter of my life.  Hell, I don’t even listen to KISS, anymore–despite the fact that they’ve gone back to recording new material.

So no, I don’t own a copy of Monster, though I’ve heard all the “advance preview” songs, and they did nothing for me.  I appreciate the band’s “no choirs, no ballads” recent stance (kinda funny from an artist whose breakthrough hit was “Beth,” but I digress), but the new stuff doesn’t seem to break any new ground, either.  Even the favourable reviews I’ve read (like this one) compare it to the New York Dolls, the Dictators and Aerosmith, all bands that are long past their expiry dates–although the latter doesn’t realize it yet, either.  Sure, it’s okay to live in the past, but some of us aren’t 10-year-old boys anymore…

The thing is, it’s not so much about whether the music is good or bad.  What bugs me the most is seeing Gene Simmons’ face on posters on the street, and reading about the new app that lets you see the Monster artwork in 3D, for example.  KISS isn’t just a band anymore; they’re a brand, and the medium seemingly suffocates the message sometimes (“Rock ‘n Roll All Nite and Party Every Day with our KISS Kondoms!”).  In fact, it seems like they’re only making new music so they can go out and tour, go out and sell more KISS Koffins, go out and sell more tickets for the KISS Kruise.  Hey, you can only do so many farewell tours before people stop believing, right?

I forget who said it (apparently it was Chuck Klosterman?), but someone succinctly stated that while other bands grew up wanting to be The Beatles, Gene Simmons wanted to be Coca-Cola.  And to a large degree, he has succeeded in making his band as ubiquitous as the iconic soft-drink.  For the record, I don’t drink Coke either…

Peace,

Greg

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Gruesome Greg

Seahawks/Stamps/Flames/Zags/Jays/Raptors fan and lifelong metal head with a beer gut and a self-deprecating sense of humour. Reviewer/blogger (Yon Senior Doomsayer) for Hellbound.ca.