Monday, June 12, 2006
It’s one thing to think about and talk about KISS. Listening to KISS is another thing entirely. I picked up Animalize over the weekend to try and komplete my kollection once and for all. I obviously remember that Animalize isn’t very good, I owned it on vinyl and cassette. What I didn’t realize until listening to it beginning to end this morning is that it’s a dreadful, dreadful album documenting KISS hitting rock bottom. Heavens on Fire is a timeless classic but if you take that song off the album, you’re left with a pile of half-assed forgettable swill. What the hell does I’ve Had Enough (Into the Fire) even mean? No one knows. No one cares. How could the quality drop so much between Lick it Up and Animalize? With Lick it Up, KISS had something to prove – that they could survive without makeup. That album stands the test of time because of its tough-as-nails attitude. No street hustler was gonna keep Paul Stanley down. But by Animalize, Paul and Gene were all but replaced by vacant robots, going through the motions. Maybe it was Gene’s unfocused attention to music. Maybe they got greedy and lazy and lost their identity. Or maybe they just ran out of ideas and decided to phone it in. I don’t know. What I do know is that I never need to hear Murder in High Heels again for the rest of my life. Mark St. John may have been an adequate Vinnie replacement but even his fat hand couldn’t carry Paul and Gene through the dark ages. I challenge anyone to listen to the bland, generic Lonely is the Hunter and then sing the chorus an hour later. It can’t be done.