Tuesday, June 13, 2006
KISS is now a Korporation
I started this as a comment on Johnnysweatpants'Animalize review, however I thought it was better suited as its own post. First, as I stated below, I slammed Animalize by identifying "Burn Bitch Burn" as the exact moment that KISS jumped the shark. My theory is that Animalize reflects a shift from KISS as rock music to KISS as a corporate symbol. With the failure of The Elder, which must’ve been a serious blow to the band’s self esteem, especially Gene’s narcissism, I think the spirit of the band died. KISS had to face the glaring fact that they were largely regarded as a 70s novelty act and nothing more. Creatures was one last attempt at their formal glory and Lick it Up was most likely a pure business move designed to reinvent themselves and create curiosity with the removal of the makeup. At that point however, it was too little and too late. The KISS boat had sailed and would never really recover. I think Animalize/Asylum/Hot in the Shade reflect a move away from the artistry of rock music toward their ultimate place as a corporate symbol. Gene and Paul realized that there was still money to be made with the KISS name, however they had completely lost interest in creating real rock and roll. This trilogy of albums ultimately reflects the band going through the motions. It’s true that Paul can whip a catchy tune out of his ass anytime he wants to, hence Heaven’s on Fire, Tears are Falling, and Forever, but as everyone knows, Gene was literally phoning in his performances while attempting, and ultimately failing, to establish a movie career. Apparently he forgot that his visage is not exactly pinup material for teenage girls. Ace and Peter ultimately lost interest. Revenge and Carnival of Souls have their moments, and I’m fond of Psycho Circus, especially that song, but for me KISS really ended a brilliant career with Lick it Up, the last album that one can listen to from beginning to end without skipping or groaning over the material. "On the 8th Day" is the perfect ending to that album and a nice way for KISS to go out.