Review Summary: I'M SHOUTING MERCY I'M SHOUTING MERCY
KISS is back with their sh*ttiest sounding record yet.
Let me just start off by saying this has to be one of the WORST sounding records I have ever heard in my life. The sound is so unbelievably loud and compressed that I had a REALLY hard time listening to this album. Because of this alone, my rating goes down by two points, AND I will never ever listen to this album again.
Sorry Gene and Paul, maybe if you opened up your wallets a bit more and got a decent producer/mastering engineer, you could've made a better sounding record. I just don't find it worth sacrificing my hearing to listen to your, literally, overproduced "Monster" of a new record. I'll wait till a new live album comes out or something. But your studio work, as you've once again proven, sucks monster balls.
And here you guys were braaagging about your 'analog equipment', with your fancy little Trident board, tubes and thick wood. Kinda ironic, because this so-called 'analog recorded' album sounds 10x worse than most digitally recorded albums that come out today. Guys, I've heard home-recorded albums that sound like heaven compared to 'Monster'. St. Anger is aural orgasm compared to this. For Christs sake.
Ok. That's out of the way. Let's get a bit more positive. Kiss definitely sounds way more inspired on this album than they've ever been. I'll believe that they put some time into songwriting, like they've been saying non-stop.
But are the songs as good as they've been saying? Do they live up to Stanley's "this album is the best one yet"-hype?
Yes and no. There are songs here that could've been on Destroyer, Creatures, Hot In The Shade (which is a bad thing) and Revenge. The songs here are definitely more inspired sounding than on previous records. Good enough riffs, better choruses, but they still possess a VERY generic quality. The only thing identifiable with KISS' sound here, and on any of their albums, are Paul's vocals. That's it.
Gene used to be AWESOME and RAW on albums like Lick It Up, but on the new stuff, he sounds like his testies are gone. He sings WAY to clean for this HARD rock stuff. Sorry Gene. Where are your BALLS man, ffs.
Eric Singer is easily the most notable musician on 'Monster', both in good ways and bad ways. I never pay that much attention to drums, but somehow Singer caught my attention here. His drumming is very catchy on songs like 'Right Here Right Now', 'Take Me Down Below'. But the cowbell on 'Outta This World' and 'Eat Your Heart Out' just ruins those songs. Sorry, I just have a natural disdain for cowbell.
The songtitles are pretty good! Yes, I tend to judge songs by their title, that's how rotten I am. Anyways. Instead of 'Hell Or High Water' (there were at least 3 bands in the 80s doing that song, Poison, AC/DC and KISS, all of them sucking), we get the original 'Hell or Hallelujah'. Very nice. 'Wall of Sound', 'Back to the Stone Age', 'Shout Mercy', 'The Devil Is Me'. Alright, some pretty intimidating titles here, I like it! BUT! Are the songs in question just as good?
Let's go over it song-by-song, shall we?
- Hell or Hallelujah: Decent riff and good chorus. Pacing could've been a bit smoother though.
- Wall of Sound: Ah Gene, it's sad your voice has lost the balls it once had.
- Freak: Catchy song, but nothing special here.
- Back to the Stone Age: Gene please, your voice is too clean for these songs!
- Shout Mercy: Probably the best song here. I like it enough.
- Long Way Down: Kinda poppy, but not that bad.
- Eat Your Heart Out: Ah, cowbell. How I hate cowbell. Glam cheese. Instant trash. Bye.
- The Devil Is Me: The first decent Gene song. But the overly clean pussy sounding vocals ruin it once again.
- Outta This World: More goddamn cowbell. Cut it out guys. Please. No more cowbell.
- All For the Love of Rock and Roll: Cheesy drums, cheesy chorus.
- Take Me Down Below: Nice drums
- Last Chance: Kidna fillerish.
- Right Here Right Now: This song has a good feel and the drums are AWESOME. but it's too badly overproduced.
As decent as some of the songs are, the record just isn't consistently good enough. Couple a good songs and the rest is filler and the rest is history and the rest is KISS. And like I've said before, the albums sounds like total cr*p. I'm never listening to this again. Your fault, boys, next time try not compressing your tracks too much. Seriously, it hurts my ears.
Some nice little after-thoughts. Wallmart bought 700k copies of Sonic Boom (that album with the hideous cover art). To date, the album hasn't even sold 300k copies in the US. Sonic Boom sold 108k copies in its first week. Monster's first week sales were 56k. That's like half of the previous album's first week sales. Ouch. Not doing so well, eh boys? How about doing a better job marketing (and mastering) your music instead of your KI$$ Krap Merchandise like your f*cking $4k Monster Book. How are those selling, by the way?
Oh yes, it's a Looong Way Down, boys. Hell or Hallelujah? It's definitely no hallelujah for you! Next time you put out an album, tone down the Wall of Sound a bit, eh? It's your Last Chance! I was definitely Shouting Mercy while (trying to) listen to this overproduced, overcompressed POS!