Music Reviews: KISS Sonic Boom

KISS: Live from Grand Rapids, MI 1996

This is the KISS set from the 1996 REUNION tour, when the original 4 member of KISS decided to get back together and tour the world. It was an   Awesome show!
This is the KISS set from the 1996 REUNION tour, when the original 4 member of KISS decided to get back together and tour the world. It was an Awesome show!

You Wanted The Best! You Got The Best! KISS!

I kind of debated about doing a review of the latest release by the newly reformed spectacle that is KISS! You want to let people know that they should hear, and experience KISS if they are not familiar with one of the biggest rock bands in music history. But, how do you do it a way that doesn't upset their hardcore fans, while attempting to open the door for thousand of new ones? By giving them the best review you possibly can!

Some hardcore fans are saying that KISS is no longer KISS without drummer Peter Criss and Ace Frehley. Well, if they are at all familiar with the band, they would know that Eric Singer, the bands current drummer, is a Kiss veteran, and has performed with the band for many years. Eric's time with the band include several albums, including: KISS ALIVE 3, KISS: Smashes, Thrashes and Hits, and KISS: MTV unplugged. You can also see Eric Perform with KISS in the DVD. KISSOLOGY Volume 3 1992-2000. I'm sure there is probably a lot that I missed, But, I have everything I mentioned in my KISS Collection. So I know.

As for Tommy Thayer (Lead Guitar), I really don't know that much about him. However, all you have to do is watch, or listen to the recent KISS SYMPHONY, (KISS ALIVE 4) And, you will see why he is a member of this legendary rock band. IT is because he fits in Flawlessly. I can not say that he will ever be as well admired as ACE FREHLEY, But, I can tell you that is not only as good as ACE, but, might be even better. But, that is just my opinion.

But, every major KISS fan knows, that it is not just the albums and the merchandise, that made KISS one of the biggest legends in music history. It is their incredible live shows that make them more memorable than any other band. I have seen a lot of rock bands, and none of them have left me as blown away as KISS. Probably one of the reasons why I have went back to see them again and again. KISS: The Reunion Tour, KISS: The Psycho Circus tour, and the Amazing. KISS: The Farewell Tour! Nobody puts on a show like KISS!

KISS: SONIC BOOM!

My review of KISS: SONIC BOOM

This is probably the best music deal your will ever find! Sonic Boom is currently only available at Walmart stores. It is a great deal because it is a multiple set. Sonic Boom features Kiss newest music to date, which I will review in a moment. It also includes a 15 track CD of Kiss Klassics, and a bonus live concert DVD from Buenos Aires. All of this for only $13.00!

KISS is going all out with promotion of this release including a large assortment of KISS merchandise. My favorite has to be the Mr. Potato head Kiss figures. There also throw towels, t-shirts, boxer shorts, KISS m&m's, collectible cards, and the list of new merchandise continues to grow every day. KISS also has gone as far as showing up at a Walmart store, throwing on Walmart name tags, and making a funny promotional Video of them working in the store! Including Gene Simmons as a cashier! Hilarious!

One thing KISS has always done is give 100 percent of their attention to their projects, and I think Sonic Boom has received 200 percent. Wether it is putting a huge amount of effort into their promotions, or slaying audiences with the incredible live shows. KISS will go out of their way to make sure that their fans are getting what they pay for. And Sonic Boom delivers!

I think KISS is trying to re-invent itself with the SONIC BOOM cd. This is their newest album since Psycho Circus. But, unlike Psycho Circus, Sonic Boom dares to be different, where as Psycho seemed like a something for everyone CD. If it wasn't for the awesome 3D live shows that followed the Psycho Circus album, I don't think it would have went over well.

Like my other reviews I am going to list the songs on the CD from the ones I like best down to the ones that are just ok. keep in mind, that the new releases are only part of the set. Like I said, it's a great deal, with some really good new music on it, and a lot of great classics. Let's get started...With SONIC BOOM!

1. (track 9) I AM ANIMAL

This song sounds like it could be the evil sibling of the "God Of Thunder." It's loud, and is probably the only song on the album that truly sounds like KISS

2. (Track 8) Danger Us

This song also has that old KISS vibe. It is a little edgier, more like 80's KISS. Something you might hear off the "Crazy Nights" Album. Only better.

3. (Track 4) Yes I Know

Once again, this sounds very much like Classic Kiss

4. (Track 2) Russian Roulette

This has a great beat, and makes you want to Dance.

5. (Track 5) When Lightning Strikes

For some reason, this song reminds me of Something made for Ace Frehley. It reminds me of "Into The Void." from the Psycho Circus album. But this is better.

6. (Track 3) Never Enough

This sounds more like 80's KISS. But, a little more daring.

7. (Track 11) Say Yeah

This song is one of those sold out arena songs, where you will be expected to Shout it out loud! It has that crowd feel to it. However, it doesn't have the energy of most KISS crowd pleasers like "Lick IT Up." "I love it loud." or "Rock and Roll All Nite."

8. (track1) Modern Day Delilah

This song probably most represents the reformed KISS. because it just is so different than most KISS tunes. It is true to some classics, while mixing in more modern lyrics and music.

9. (Track 5) Stand

This is one of those feel good songs. Kind of sappy with tired lyrics. but, it does have a nice group vocal midway through the song. Kind of like "I just Wanna." but nowhere near as fun.

10. (Track 7) All For The Glory

This song just seems a bit winded. Almost like their soul isn't really with it, with way to much focus on flaring guitars, and loudness. While you kind of lose interest.

11. (Track 6) Hot and Cold

This song certainly has a great chorus. However, it's kind of like getting yelled at by your parents, a whole lot of wandering lyrics, like a conversation you can't follow with someone singing the chorus in between rants.

I give Sonic Boom an 8 out of 10. But, it is better than Psycho Circus. (7)

SONIC BOOM: THE SET

What is included with SONIC BOOM? Well, if you include the newly released album, you get a bonus CD of KISS KLASSICS, and, A bonus DVD of live footage from a Concert featuring the newly reformed KISS Live from Buenos Aires. You do the math. With it's $13.00 price tag, that equals about $4.33 per item. When single CD's by various artists are selling for $13.99 and up, this is truly the best deal ever!

I was kind of hoping that the Klassics would be re-recorded by the new KISS, however, it is basically a collection of KISS tunes that you would find on Double Platinum, or many of the other KISS collections. With that said. Here is the track list on the KISS KLASSICS CD

1. Deuce

2. Detroit Rock City

3. Shout It Out Loud

4. Hotter Than Hell

5. Calling Doctor Love

6. Love Gun

7. I Was Made For Loving you

8. Heaven's On Fire

9. Lick It Up

10. I Love it Loud

11. Forever

12. Christine Sixteen

13. Do You Love Me

14. Black Diamond

15. Rock And Roll All Nite

As a side note. I am not sure that all of the Klassics are the original or studio versions. I could be wrong, but I think "I Was Made For Loving You." may be either a studio track or, could be a radio version. Also, "Rock And Roll All Night." Seems to be a shorter version. I would have to listen to all of my vintage KISS Cds to be sure.

AS for the Bonus Live DVD. I need to warn you that you may find it a bit strange. KISS puts on their usual Stage performance, and sounds great. But, the audience they are playing for, is probably the most irritating mass of people you will ever see! Hands down!

Why Kiss chose the audience to add to their SONIC BOOM set is beyond me. It's like they are having a party of their own, and KISS just happens to be there. They Chant, they jump up and down, they scream and yell, between songs! What irritates me most, is you can't understand a damn word they are saying. I think choosing an English speaking audience would have been a more wise choice, especially when you are only marketing your album at an American retailer.

There are only a few songs performed on the Bonus DVD. But if you include the entire set, I give SONIC BOOM a 10. If I were to rate each separately. It would probably be 8, 8, 7. Which would average out to around an 8. But, I always like to be fair. And the 10 could be a little selfishness on my part, because I think KISS is AWESOME!

You have to see this! From Kiss Symphony

More Kiss Live

More Metal Music!

Next Review: KISS: Live! The DVDs

This photo is from the amazing KISS SYMPHONY! If you look closely you can see the Orchestra among the flames!
This photo is from the amazing KISS SYMPHONY! If you look closely you can see the Orchestra among the flames!

Motley Crue Insanity! Had to Add it!

Motley Crue's Carnival show. DVD Info

I didn't really know who Motley Crue was until their Dr. Feelgood Album came out back in the 1980s. But, I had heard that they put on some pretty wild shows. So, I looked the "Carnival" up on Netflix, and was able to watch the entire concert for free, with my Netflix free play membership. It is one crazy show.

I was surprised to learn that the entire concert is recorded live in my hometown at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I have seen a lot of concerts there, including Poison, Cinderella, Kiss, Aerosmith, ZZ top, and Van Halen, but, I think this has to be the most wild of the bunch, bordering on a little pornographic with 10 mintues of Titty cam. Yuk!

Girls! Girls! Girls! is obviously one of the best bits of the Motley Crue Carnival. But, there are also some great versions of Dr. Feelgood, Same Old Situation, Live Wire, Too young to fall in love, and one of their biggest hits. Home Sweet Home, had the stadium lit up and looking beautiful. A few more of their hits like, looks that kill, Shout at the Devil, and Kickstart my heart also wowed the Grand Rapids crowds. But, I think Tommy Lees multiple drumsets must have wowed me the most. Who else can fly on a wire from drum set to drumset, stand among fire and explosions and still play. Just more of the Motley Crue Insanity. 

I still think that KISS has the edge over Motley Crue for putting on a great show. But, The Carnival seemed to take on a life of it's own, and was even a little creepy at times. But, I guess if you want to knock the socks off your audience hit them with everthing you got. And, the Motley Crue Carnival does that very nicely. 



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Comments 16 comments

brimancandy profile image

brimancandy 6 years ago from Northern Michigan Author

I recommend getting KISS Symphony the DVD. The youtube video I added above is part of the DVD, although this version seems slightly different, it is a great show!

I also recommend Kissology Volume 3. I have seen 3 of the shows in this set. The Farewell tour is included and MTV

unplugged. These are entire concerts.


Dao Hoa profile image

Dao Hoa 6 years ago

I only know the name of the band , but never listen to their music because rock and roll is not for me. Nice review.


brimancandy profile image

brimancandy 6 years ago from Northern Michigan Author

Thanks Dao Hoa. It's weird. Even back in 1996 when I went the the Reunion Tour, none of the kids I worked with had ever heard of Kiss. I was very shocked.

KISS has been around since 1973! But, I didn't start listening to them until the late 80's when they took off the make-up. Now, I think they are better than ever!


double_frick profile image

double_frick 6 years ago

I'm so in love!

KISS was my favorite band when i was like, 7, no joke! i loved gene simmons; creepy for a young girl. haha my dad took me to see their first reunion tour when i was 13 and i about died!

anyways, they are NOT kidding when they say "...you got the best" about their shows, no one can beat KISS in showmanship and just effing rocking on. man, love this hub.


brimancandy profile image

brimancandy 6 years ago from Northern Michigan Author

Thankyou double_frick. Glad you enjoyed my Kiss hub. Did you watch the video? It is from KISS Symphony. Another good one was the Psycho Circus Tour in 3D! nothing like having a skull whipped at you while listening to firehouse!

If you looked straight ahead, you could swear they were running back and forth on top of peoples heads! There was also a space guitar, and huge skeleton on the back of a firetruck! COOL!!! They know their fans want!


double_frick profile image

double_frick 6 years ago

*tears*

okay, i just watched the video, and i'm blown away.

i've never seen the symphony with KISS makeup!

this totally makes me want to start a KISS coverband! the only question? who would i get to be?! ;P


brimancandy profile image

brimancandy 6 years ago from Northern Michigan Author

Thanks again for the comment. The KISS Symphony DVD is a

mixed bag of goodies. It festure 6 songs of just your usual

headbanging KISS. That is followed 5 songs acoustic with a quartet, featuring a great version of Beth. The rest is KISS playing 10 additional songs with the entire Melbourne

Symphony. There is a version of God Of Thunder that will blow your mind.

I'm not sure who I would want to be. Probably Paul or Gene


bat115 profile image

bat115 6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Yeah, Never Enough does sound like 80s Kiss. It could have fit in on Revenge ... or would that make it 90s Kiss?


Shinkicker profile image

Shinkicker 6 years ago from Scotland

Great Hub

Saw them at Donington 2 years ago, amazing show.


hotwebideas profile image

hotwebideas 5 years ago from New York

I love Modern Day Delilah and Danger Us.


FatFreddysCat profile image

FatFreddysCat 5 years ago from The Garden State

FYI, the songs on the "KISS KLASSICS" bonus disc included with SONIC BOOM are *not* the original studio versions -- they ARE newly re-recorded versions done by the current lineup (Gene, Paul, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer) -- it was released in Japan as a separate CD called "Jigoku-Retsuden" (translation: "Intense Transmissions from Hell") but not released in the U.S. till it was included with SONIC BOOM as a free bonus.


brimancandy profile image

brimancandy 5 years ago from Northern Michigan Author

If that is true FatfreddysCat, then they need to get better audio equipment, because it sounds exactly like the old stuff to me. However, it could be that the set I have, and the one that was released in Japan might be slightly different from each other. That would not surprise me, as some bands do release alternate CD's in foreign countries that we can't get here in the US.


hotwebideas profile image

hotwebideas 5 years ago from New York

Hey brimancandy, FatFreddysCat is correct. They are newer versions and you can tell pretty easily. I actually LIKE these new tracks and Tommy Thayer is a perfect Ace Frehley replacement. Although Kiss Klassic shows Paul Stanley's voice aging, he still is an amazing singer and Eric Singer's drum playing is much better than Peter Criss' playing from the original tracks. Great job.


FatFreddysCat profile image

FatFreddysCat 5 years ago from The Garden State

The 70s era songs on KISS KLASSICS do sound very similar to their original versions... which makes sense, cuz they've played those songs literally thousands of times over the years, they're not going to mess with'em. Haha.

The differences become very obvious on some of the later era tunes like "Lick It Up," "Heaven's On Fire" (play these back to back with the original studio versions and you'll be able to tell they're different" and especially the ballad "Forever." Paul can't hit some of the same notes in the new version that he did in the original. The re-recorded "Forever" isn't as slick sounding as the one on "Hot in the Shade" either.


angela p profile image

angela p 5 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

Love Kiss. Great hub..


brimancandy profile image

brimancandy 4 years ago from Northern Michigan Author

Just a comment. I recently saw KISS again for the 4th time, September 11th, 2012 at the Allegan County Fair. This show also featured Motley Crue, who put on a pretty decent show. Besides singing the usual KISS hits, they sang a song off from their new "Monster" CD called "Hell or Halleluyah." Wich was much better Live. They also sang "War Machine" complete with a musical battle between Thayer on guitar, and Singer on drums armed with a bazooka.

Aside from the usual pyro show, they added some very cool "Screens" to the show, which almost doubles the size of the stage while they are performing, which was really cool during "Firehouse." Once again, they blow their audience away. There was a large group of cops standing not far from where I was, and when they played "Rock-N-Roll" all night you should have seen their faces. They were like...WOW! This is awesome! And grinning from ear to ear. I love that!

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