Review: Kiss – Sonic Boom

      9 Comments on Review: Kiss – Sonic Boom

Label: KISS Records

Released: October 5, 2009

Before even listening, Sonic Boom suffers from some degree of disingenuousness just because they dressed Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer up as Ace and Peter. C’mon guys, at least Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent got their own Kiss persona. And gee, the cover art looks a little familiar too.

Sonic Boom does look back fondly on the band’s classic years, particularly the loose, more distilled rock n roll of their first three albums. On the surface, that probably makes it their best album in a long, long time. Even their better albums of the last 30 years have generally been nods to current musical trends, so at least now they’re giving a nod to their own success. Granted, “Stand” suffers a bit much from the late 80s in the chorus and “All for the Glory” is horribly generic, but overall, Gene, Paul and their hired guns make a pretty decent Kiss cover band. Sure, even the best songs on Sonic Boom aren’t quite what they wrote 30 to 35 years ago and they don’t have the fire that once fueled their drive to the top, but other hard rock bands have done worse. Much worse. Still, the cover is a better rip-off of Rock and Roll Over than the music is.

The package comes with a second CD collecting 15 old tunes, mostly from their first decade. It isn’t clear what purpose it serves other than to point out the band’s current shortcomings. There’s also a DVD from a show earlier this year in Buenos Aires, but the performance finds them going through the motions of trying to be the Kiss of old when those days are long gone. They do shoot an impressive amount of confetti into the crowd though. It kinda makes one wonder what they’re trying to cover up.

Satriani: 7/10
Zappa: 6/10
Dylan: 5/10
Aretha: 4/10
Overall: 5/10

If you’re curious about my rating categories, read the description.

About bobvinyl

bobvinyl, writer and co-editor of No Song is an Island, founded its predecessor, Rock and Roll and Meandering Nonsense (whose archives are found here), in 2005 and served as editor and principal contributor until it went on hiatus in 2010. He has also been published in AMP and Loud Fast Rules! (in print) as well as Glide and FensePost on the web. He has been an avid record collector since he was seven years old and enjoys sharing his love of music from the common to the esoteric.

9 thoughts on “Review: Kiss – Sonic Boom

  1. taotechuck

    Of all bands who had a comeback, theirs might be the least deserved. Their comeback was based on nothing other than nostalgia, a nostalgia on which they've ridden for the past 20 years (and that's being very, very generous).

  2. bob_vinyl

    The wave of Kiss nostalgia started with their Unplugged appearance (with Ace and Peter) in 1995. Dates aside though, I would tend to agree…except that that first wave of shows with the reunited original line-up was actually really good (this assumes, of course, that you can stomach Kiss in the first place). So, in that respect, I think the reunion was actually warranted. It didn't take too long for things to devolve though. Once Ace and Peter left again and they began dressing Thayer and Singer up as a spaceman and a cat, I think your point is well-taken. It's just that they haven't been wasting everyone's time as long as you suggest, nor nearly as long as the Stones and AC/DC.

  3. Metal Mark

    Isn't the artwork done by the same artist who did RARO? Is it a rip-off if it is done by the same artist?
    Makes me think of when Ken Kelly did the cover of Destroyer and then re-used the same idea for Manowar's Fighting the world.

  4. bob_vinyl

    I think it can still be a rip-off even if it's the same artist. It's the same band too and the album merely rips off past achievements. It's really the fans who get ripped off, though not entirely, and one could argue that, after years and years of the band's mediocrity, the fans kinda deserve it.

  5. Metal Mark

    I didn't get the hype over this one either. No one in their right mind should care about them at this point, but obviously plenty of people rushed to Wal-mart to plunk down their money for this.

  6. theumpteenthtimes

    Employees at Kiss Coffeehouse Fired, Replaced by Look-alikes

    MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.—This weekend, employees at the Kiss Coffeehouse in Myrtle Beach received a surprise announcement by its manager, Chad Dashmundson. Apparently, the coffeehouse plans to replace all of its counter people with look-alikes, much like the band,… »


    "Music News That's Fit to Fake"

  7. All About The Music

    There's been a ton of comeback albums this year! Though Sonic Boom I'm not a huge fan of, I'm still a huge Kiss fan – Kiss fans are crazy!

  8. Ray Van Horn, Jr.

    it exceeded my expectations, but of course my expectations had it as a flop….too bad Thayer is forced to nail Ace's entire repertoire


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