Including the recent Sonic Boom, Kiss has released three return-to-form albums. They have released so much music, that there have been ample opportunities to experiment and tread untrodden ground (The Elder and Carnival of Souls anyone?). In the midst of grunge, they released the hard-rocking Revenge, a no-frills throwback to "old-school" Kiss. A decade earlier, they achieved the same goal with Creatures of the Night. This one followed a couple of disco-friendly records and the aforementioned Elder, which was a conceptual disaster. They needed to kick ass again. Creatures does just that, even if Ace and Peter were absentee voters. Eric Carr fills in on drums, while a few characters (namely Vinnie Vincent) handle lead guitar duties.

In my opinion, this is what a Kiss album should sound like. I want big riffs, background harmonies and catchy hooks. Creatures delivers. This is my favorite return-to-form effort. It gets by on the strength of its songwriting. "Saint and Sinner" is a chunky Gene Simmons composition that lets the listener know early on that the boys aren't fucking around. The same goes for the title track. "Danger" and "I Love it Loud" are insanely catchy rockers. Paul Stanley sounds rough in spots, but he belts out the former with brassy vim. Gene holds down the latter with an impressive range. I didn't know he had those kinds of pipes.

The best selections belong to Gene. He can be a jerk at times, but c'mon, "Killer" and "War Machine" rip! Paul falls flat with the annoying "Keep Me Coming." He sounds like a 13-year-old who had been locked up in a bathroom all day with a stack of smutty magazines. Admittedly, "I Still Love You" is a strong power ballad. Creatures of the Night could use one more slow tune, but I'm not complaining. This is a fun album to blast at 100 decibels. Dig that cover!

1 comment:

  1. That cover is one of my favorite KISS covers ever. I wonder why Ace appears on the cover when it was Vinny Vincent on the record? I guess he wasnt fully out of the band yet..

    Speaking of Gene, its usually his songs I like best on most KISS albums. I must have heard "I love it loud" thousands of times when I first heard it, I fell in love with that freaking song! "I wanna be the president!"

    Best Paul song on that one is Creatures of the Night which was a huge hit.

    But again, its Gene who shines best on this album. How about Rock and Roll Hell? Kick ass song! Get me out of this Rock and Roll Hell...I gotta get away!