Paul Gargano / Metal Edge Online
Let's face it, unless your name is Gene or Paul, being in KISS can be the kiss of death. How's that? Who'd have thought that Bruce Kulick--arguably the most talented guitarist in KISStory--could release an album in the height of a KISS reunion and receive a response more in line with a national guard than the KISS Army? You can't blame it on the music, as Union was a solid rock 'n' roll band with two of the most overlooked records of the past five years. Oddly enough, it just may be Kulick's talent that turned most people off to Union, as KISS fans aren't the most receptive crew to change, and Union enjoyed a more refined and grass roots approach to songwriting than the long, hard hours devoted to most KISS sessions as of late. So what does Kulick do as a follow-up? He becomes a weekend warrior with Grand Funk Railroad. Fans must really be shaking in their boots now...
Well KISS fans, grab those Statue of Liberty sunglasses, whip out the tiger-striped concert Tees, and get ready for some Crazy Nights, because AudioDog is the album you've been waiting more than a decade for. Add a Paul Stanley vocal track to just about any of the albums' 11 cuts, and you've got a makeup-free KISS song good to go, from Kulick's riffs, right down to the melodies that make KISS so damn infectious. Opening instrumental "Pair Of Dice" is the stuff that arenas are filled with, while Kulick's vocals on "Strange To Me" could be Crazy Nights material, his "Change Is Coming" is fitting of Carnival Of Souls, and "Need Me" strikes a chord with Revenge. The electric guitar tends to be a bit harsh on "I Don't Mind," but when dealing with ballads it's the sentiment that counts, and that one strikes a chord--Though the real gem of the quieter bunch is "Please Don't Wait." "Monster Island" is an instrumental juggernaut, "Liar" is more progressively minded, and "Dogs Of Morrison"--despite its title--opens nary a door into the stylings of The Lizard King. Overall? KISS fans rejoice, because though the reunion may be waning to a close, Bruce Kulick has served a platter full of guitar-driven tidings sure to please even the pickiest of fans. If it's Bruce Kulick circa KISS you've been craving, AudioDog answers the call. [Read More Reviews...]