KISS
Hotter Than Hell


2.5
average

Review

by sonictheplumber STAFF USER (107 Reviews)
June 12th, 2007 | 41 replies | 8,463 views


Release Date: 1974 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Early KISS? Sonictheplumber should love it! But he doesn't...

2 of 5 thought this review was well written

The year was 1974, and KISS were still a fairly new band. They had only been together for a single year, and it would be a whole one more year before they became what they wanted to be: stars. It seems that from listening to this album, there was a reason that KISS were not famous. Upon buying the band's second album, Hotter Than Hell, I had high expectations. I'm a KISS fan, and this is almost as early as KISS gets. But, take it from a real KISS fan, this album is not that great at all.

The first problem with the album is the poor production. It seems too raw and fuzzy. You see, if I am not mistaken, the CD I bought was remastered, so it would sound the way it was supposed to sound. If this fuzzy production is the way Hotter Than Hell was originally intended to be heard, then why do I want to hear it? If one listened to it without knowing that it was a studio album, one might think that it is an EP. KISS never released an EP though. But if you want semi-EP-ish production, this is up your alley.

However, the production is not a huge problem. It stops bothering you after a while. In fact, once you get into the album, it's not at all that noticeable. The main problems with this album are the songs themselves. Sure, the opener, Got To Choose, is a nice hard rocking tune, and it's very catchy. And then, we get Parasite, and what's there not to like about it? However, Goin' Blind is just bland. The musicianship is, of course, not too wonderful. It's KISS. But on this album, it's like the live albums have better production. After that song, the title track comes, and this song is very good. It rocks, and it rocks hard. It's regular old KISS greatness. The lyrics? Stupid, but hey, it's expected. And then, Let Me Go, Rock 'n' Roll arrives, and it is pure rock 'n' roll fun. The KISS that we all like. This ends the first half of the album. We're off to a good start.

The final half of this album is dull, bland, and just boring. The musicianship is typical KISS, but there are no interesting riffs hardly at all, and everything else about these tracks are pretty boring. The very worst song in this half of Hotter is the dreadful Mainline. The song is not complete trash, but it's pretty close. The song just tries to rock out loud, but it fails miserably. It's just boring and cheesy. It's the type of song that will turn you off of KISS. Let's say a person who wants to get into KISS hears this song, and this song only. They would be turned off of KISS forever, simply because Mainline is one of the dullest KISS tracks I've heard(from their 70's era at least, the 80's were dull all the way through).

In conclusion, the album basically quits being pretty decent after the fifth track is over. The smartest thing to do would be to turn off the album after this song ends and just pretend it's either a really short album, or an EP. Considering the EP-production value of Hotter Than Hell, pretending that it is an EP is pretty appropriate. Usually on KISS albums in the 1970's, we would have an almost good track-dull track pattern, but with this release, it's pretty decent on first half, boring on final half. So, if you are a completist of KISS(hopefully for just the 70's), I suppose I might be able to recommend this, but if you are the casual fan, just buy Alive II and carry on with life.

Pros:
+ First half is good
+ Title track is excellent

Cons:
- Production is sort of a flaw
- The final half, mostly Mainline

2.5/5



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user ratings (227)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
KissFan289 (3)
It is good. Best songs are Got to Choose, Parasite, Watchin' You, and Strange Ways....

Ctippell (4)
Kiss try to recover flagging sales with album number 2. Forget its initial failings chart wise, this...

Pedro B. (3)
One step forward, two steps back....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Erratic
June 13th 2007



1120 Comments


I've heard probably about half of the songs from this album. All of the good ones that I heard are from the first half. You were right. I like 'Watchin You' though.This Message Edited On 06.12.07

Djnx
June 13th 2007



85 Comments


You just need to be a little bit more creative with your writing, for example you used the terms dull and boring too many times. Other than that, you are very specific on what you think about the record and yet you don't seem biased and that's the only requisite for a good review, there are many reviews that are well written but never get to the point.

JohnXDoesn't
June 13th 2007



1247 Comments


nice review. you're a very solid reviewer so stfu

i like this album ok. title track, parasite, let me go rock n roll, etc....

This Message Edited On 06.13.07

ohcleverhansyou
June 13th 2007



885 Comments


Hot hot, hotter than hell, she'll burn you like the midday sun. And "Watchin' You" is alright too.

La Revolucion
June 13th 2007



1060 Comments


Oh lord Kiss is awful.

ReturnToRock
November 24th 2009



3448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i disagree with you on (almost) every count.

i love mainline and goin' blind. parasite and the title track are meh. the real trainwreck here is clearly watchin' you.

compare and contrast with my review.

ReturnToRock
November 24th 2009



3448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

oh yeah, and the good-track/boring-track pattern IS discernible. the odd songs are good, the evens are dull (with some exceptions both ways, such as watchin' you which is an odd, and mainline which is an even, as is strange ways.)

Obfuscation24
January 26th 2010



3939 Comments


Barely made it through the first three songs, its a pretty horrible album I'd have to say.

mark7477
August 10th 2010



389 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Another classic by kiss and i think going blind is unusual but a good song from kiss and the heaviness of strange ways is just incredible for them as well.Yes of course there's the favorites parasite and got to chose no doubt about it.

invisible
September 14th 2010



2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

strange ways and parasite are ACES songs and the best 2 watching you kicks ass , the got to choose solo in Dminor blues is awesome, let me go rock n roll and the title track too! some of the others dont care for very much I give this one a 10!

invisible
September 14th 2010



2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

strange ways and parasite are ACES songs and the best 2 watching you kicks ass , the got to choose solo in Dminor blues is awesome, let me go rock n roll and the title track too! some of the others dont care for very much I give this one a 10!

xfearbefore
November 18th 2010



1192 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Got to Choose might just be like the best song KISS ever wrote.

Digging: Ultravox - Vienna

KILL
March 5th 2012



67023 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

not even close

Digging: Picchio dal Pozzo - Picchio dal Pozzo

ReturnToRock
March 5th 2012



3448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I agree actually. Definitely in my top 5.

KILL
March 5th 2012



67023 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

lol

StainedClass289
March 9th 2012



1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great album, not valued like it should be. The production is not bad.

DominionMM1
March 9th 2012



8806 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

it's alright, but a 5? nah

Digging: Clutch - Blast Tyrant

facupm
July 11th 2012



5571 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the problem here is production, not the songs themselves

Digging: Queens of the Stone Age - Songs for the Deaf

facupm
December 4th 2012



5571 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

although second half is really bland in comparison with the first one

JohanSpoonman
March 26th 2013



7 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Even though a fuzzy production, the album has quite clearly the best songs, and the most hard rock heavy, from Kiss first 3 releases.
Strange ways, Parasite,(Ace holds aces on this one!)even a bit of Coming home is charming. Watchin´you, All the way, Hotter than hell, Got to choose, all good songs.
(The only real sucker is perhaps Mainline, and I´m also not to fond of Goin´blind even though it has a real good bassline to it..)



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