by south_of_heaven 11 USER (76 Reviews)
June 22nd, 2006 | 103 replies

Release Date: 1976 | Tracklist

K.I.S.S. needs almost no introduction. I mean, honestly, you can have lived on a deserted island and you would've heard of them, probably from one of their million action figures/comic books/lunch boxes that washed up on your lonely shore. They were the near-perfect business strategy of Rock 'N' Roll, the entertainers of their time, and surprisingly, not very talented with their instruments (Save Gene Simmons, but it wasn't with his bass guitar. The guy has supposedly bedded over 4,000 women!)

But what K.I.S.S. was good at was controversy and entertainment. Highlight entertainment there first. K.I.S.S.'s main attraction was their live show. And boy oh boy could they put on a show. Animatronics, fire-spewing, and enough pyrotechnics to last for 10 4th of July celebrations, their concerts enthralled people across America. But in order to have concerts, one must have songs. And to have songs, one must've released a record or two. Well, K.I.S.S. released a crap-load of albums, sometimes even 2 or 3 each year. Now, when you think of today's standards, artists slave over their work, sometimes not making a follow-up album till about 3 years later. It is my belief that they wrote these songs in order to fuel their never-ending tours.

However, some of these albums are a fun listen. And such is the case with their triple-platinum Destroyer. It's also named 496 on Rolling Stone's '500 Greatest Albums of All Time'. But we all know that doesn't mean s**t, as Rolling Stone usually has no idea about music even though they claim to.

Upon the first track of Destroyer, you're treated with one hell of a song, which is 'Detroit Rock City'. Consisting of a rather funky and dominant bassline from Gene, some simple flowing guitar-riffs, and pop-friendly chorus, 'Detroit Rock City' is one hell of an intro song, and not surprisingly is one of their most famous songs of all time. 'King of the Night Time World' continues on the fun-loving Rock atmosphere, with almost-bluesy guitars. The bass is almost non-existent in the verse, but then in the chorus takes on a dominant climbing tone. Peter Criss's drumming is still quite average, just as you will find on all the tracks here. He never really does anything out of the ordinary, just basic beats. Then just when you thought this album was a happy-trip down Rock lane, 'God of Thunder' comes chugging out of the sounds of children playing with the heaviest riffs on the album. It has the darkest feel out of all the songs on the album, and the chopped riffs during the chorus are quite interesting. And after that, the album starts to dip a good deal. 'Great Expectations' is this albums first ballad, and although it features a children's choir during the bridge and a rather beautiful, slow guitar intro, it feels bland after awhile. 'Flaming Youth' tries to be like the first two tracks, with its upbeat riffs and happy melodies, but it actually quite laughable, with its atrocious chorus. However, Gene's bassline again is a rather grooving one, and *gasp*, Peter still does nothing interesting on drums! Amazing! 'Sweet Pain' features a rather groovy guitar intro that's chopped into segments, only to become repetitive after the 20th time you've heard it. At this point, I had rather mixed reactions. Part of me just wanted to go on, throw the first three songs on a disc with other great rock songs, and forget about the rest of this album. But then this review wouldn't be written, now would it' Well, I decided to keep around for one more song, and I was quite surprised with what I got next. The anthemic 'Shout it Out Loud' features one of the most addicting choruses you might ever hear in your life, not to mention some rockin nearly-straightforward riffing that's thrown out from the guitars. If you can't past the rather cheesy intro and stick around, you're in for a great one. 'Beth' is one of K.I.S.S.'s most known ballads, and is one of the more interesting tracks off this album. There's a piano, some other string instruments, and what I believe to be something of a flute or clarinet, instead of guitars/bass/drums. It's a great change, and is totally relaxing. 'Do You Love Me' starts off with a rather dull drum intro, which is actually then repeated multiple times for the first verse. Yawn. The rest of the song is the same way, dull riffs, repetitive, the works on this one. Not a good way to end a rather fun album.

Solos actually appear on this album, but none of them are really even worth mentioning. Ace Frehley actually can't eve be credited with writing some of them, or even playing them on this album, since this was the start of the other band members recruiting other guitarists to take over for him since he was gone a good deal of the time with his substance abuse problems. And the other guitarists were never credited for their work, so it's hard to tell where and where not Ace is playing. Most of these solos are extremely basic, they're just here to serve the purpose that it's Rock 'N' Roll, and to satisfy some people's craving for solos. However, the solo on 'God of Thunder', if it's Ace, is pretty good, easily the best on this album with its shredding tone.

As for the vocals, their shared on this album between Gene, Paul, and Peter. Paul handles most of the work here, and his voice is very-well suited for his career choice. High-pitched, and sometimes a little whiney, he's actually not that bad. His vocal range is pretty decent to, with some interesting change in tone on tracks like 'Detroit Rock City' and 'Shout it Out Loud'. Gene, on the other hand, tends to be more monotone. On 'God of Thunder', he actually delivers the best vocals on the album, sounding malicious and evil. Peter Criss takes up a mic on one song, the ballad 'Beth', although I much would've preferred it to be Paul, as Peter's voice seems somewhat cracky.

Much of the lyrics deal with rock, partying, and some rebellion every now and then. Seriously, that's about it. And they're not that great either. Take some lines off of 'Flaming Youth': 'My uniform is leather, and my power is my age. I'm gettin' it together to break out of my cage'. Sounds like one of my poems that I wrote when I was in detention in 5th grade for trying to feed the class gerbil pencil lead. Honestly, they're not good at all. Some of the more sexual ones that are meant to be serious are just funny. On 'Great Expectations', Gene grumbles out ' And you watch me playin' guitar, And you feel what my fingers can do, And you wish you were the one I was doing it to.'. Very funny. The best here are probably off 'Detroit Rock City', which tells the story of some fans that died on the way to see one of their shows.

Overall, Destroyer, much like K.I.S.S., is a fun listen. Most of these songs individually are quite good, but as a whole, the album is good, not great, and no where near deserving the 496 album rank it got. Even if it's near the bottom of the list, it still shouldn't have been there. But, if you like K.I.S.S., go buy this album. If you're looking a good time without anything serious, buy this. If you're looking for amazing talent, don't touch this album with a five-foot pole while wearing a Nuclear Radiation proof suit.

Overall - 3/5

Recommended Songs
Detroit Rock City
God of Thunder
Shout it Out Loud

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Comments:Add a Comment 
south_of_heaven 11
June 22nd 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

I feel compelled to give this a 3. I might.

June 22nd 2006


Shout it Out Loud is such a fun song. Nice Review.

June 22nd 2006


Good band, although they're not quite as good as people make them out to be.This Message Edited On 06.22.06

south_of_heaven 11
June 22nd 2006


Album Rating: 3.0


June 22nd 2006


Kiss *laughs* Still though, fantastic review (as always.)

June 28th 2006


How did I miss this? I thought I was keeping an eye out for your shit. Great work, once again.

November 1st 2011


Album Rating: 5.0

Arguably the best album KISS has ever done.

Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2011


Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Probably their best album.

January 19th 2013


Great review, pos'd. Always hated KISS though.

March 1st 2013


im fuckin rockin right now

March 1st 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

great record

January 2nd 2014


Album Rating: 3.0

The lyrics on Great Expectations are pure fucking rock poetry

You watch me beatin' my drum

And you know what my hands can do

And you wish you were the one I was doing it to


Staff Reviewer
January 18th 2014


Album Rating: 3.5

Anyone knows what are the differences between the original and the "Resurrected" version?

January 25th 2014


Album Rating: 3.0

This review basically says what I think about this album. Kiss are so overrated.

Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2014


Album Rating: 3.5

They're good for what they represent. Fun rock music with hooks. Nothing more and nothing less imo.

January 25th 2014


Album Rating: 3.0

Eh, fun rock music with hooks isn't my thing. This is their best for me and it's a 3, so yeah, pretty poor/average band. No one can deny their influence in the music industry though.

Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2014


Album Rating: 3.5

Oh definitely. But yeah if you're not into that kind of music it's really hard to enjoy what they do. I like a few of their albums and they're pretty good live but I would never put them in the same sentence with the greatest bands of that era.

January 25th 2014


Album Rating: 3.0

"I would never put them in the same sentence with the greatest bands of that era."

P much, many bands kick these painted dudes' asses. I do enjoy some classic tracks by them tho.

April 18th 2014


It seems a lot of people think this band sucks.

August 27th 2014


My favorite KISS album definitely. Detroit Rock City and God Of Thunder are among KISS' heaviest and best songs. Ace's solo on Detroit is sick.

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