|"TRANSFORMER" Bruce Kulick Solo Album|
Ok Bruce fans, the time is here! The highly anticipated full-length Bruce Kulick solo album, "Transformer," is now available and in stock on Bruce's website www.Kulick.net! Tracks include:
Jump The Shark
I Can't Breathe
If Love's The Answer
All I Need
Don't Tell Me Something
Inn Of The Mountain Gods
It's Just My Life
Do It Right
Beautiful To Me
Truth or Dare
Against The Grain.|
Click on over and order your copy now!.
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From: Paul Southwell
Solo artists are thankful for their loyal fan base and Bruce has a strong sense
of his Kiss influence. But he also has an ability to confidently write his own
material that isn't confined to standard formulaic pop metal. Transformer
references the Audio Dog format, spiced up with the odd diversion into
eastern feel, country blues and some more adventurous instrumentation. This
time around, all songs are written and performed by Bruce sans drums. He is
totally in control of his album from start to finish.
His signature model guitar gets things going on 'Jump the Shark', the first of
four instrumentals. A warm rock tone, distorted chordal verses and a harmonised
lead chorus chug along on a simple riff. It is straight rock as is the very Vai
and Satch sounding 'Inn of the Mountain Gods'. This wah infused and melodic
piece has smoothness in production as the song sections interchange. Most
notably in the intro and false outro with a restrained free time dirty tone
contrasting the rocking shredfest bombast unleashed on his 'Crazy Nights' era
His two other instrumentals are totally different in feel. An enjoyable country
rock outing in 'Do It Right' had me confused initially in terms of song
placement but two minutes in, it double times into a shuffle that would have
been a hoot to solo pentatonics over. Nice tube distortion, good feel and a low
faded riff at the end make for an interesting listen. Furthering this, the
closing instrumental 'Against the Grain' is an all-acoustic piece played on an
eight-string octave mandolin, among other things. It reminds me of acoustic
Jimmy Page and has a relaxed vibe, showing growth in arranging a clear mix. An
unexpected treat with a dash of dulcimer. Speaking of which, some dulcimer
apparently pops up in the chorus of the tasty 'If Love's The Answer' so a bit
of experimentation is not held just for the instrumentals.
So what about the vocal driven songs? Bruce penned all lyrics this time and
maybe that evokes a more honest delivery. That may be debatable with the very
commercial 'Crazy' that was originally composed for someone else but the
subdued interlude after two minutes gives it more depth than typical show-pony
pop. The guitar and snare back up the melodic vocal line with the odd
embellishment from the new ESP Viper guitar. A better example of style exists
in 'I Can't Breathe', mainly because it has greater dynamics, building to the
succinct solo with a meaty bridge. A simple yet effective chorus chord
progression sounds more powerful alongside the quieter arpeggiated verses. The
final chord rings out richly. 'Don't Tell Me Something' takes that even further
but some cliches such as an outro key change tarnish it. Complete with a hooky
chorus and some funky guitar, it has good swift production that feels like teen
flick soundtrack material. Relationships get a good showing on lyrical themes
but they are not trite at all because we all feel like weve been there.
On paper, 'Beautiful to Me' could be seen as syrupy yet in context of the
song's arrangement, it works. Verses veer to a Def Leppard feel with an
accented rhythm playing against reverb full overdubs feeding into a tasteful
solo. Vocally, Bruce pushes himself into a slightly higher register and comes
out unscathed. Also, playing with effects is fun and some panning has been
toyed with on 'Truth or Dare' to colour some amusing lyrics including a hair
loss crack. Guitar wise, there's a definite George Harrison type tone on the
lead parts of this strumming ditty with the tone rolled back. Whilst a quicker
fade out would have helped, the different sonic nature makes for a worthwhile
Union collaborator and ex Crue vocalist John Corabi guests on the ballsy 'It's
Just My Life' and it rocks like the brooding beast that you'd expect. Bruce
uses his tour hardened Les Paul Junior from his Kiss days on the solo. This is
a real corker of a song and though repetitive, has grunt, dissonant guitar and
sustaining rich tone with the odd pinch harmonic thrown in for good measure. At
the near 3 minute mark, a tinge of Ozzy exists in the quiet interlude before
the cool solo that then pounds back to the riffage. Full-bodied sound is also
on 'All I Need', an unsubtle ode to getting it on. A decent bottom end is a
great vehicle for a dirty soloing with nice wah usage.
This album has been hovering about my CD player for a couple of months now and
I'm not tiring of it yet. This is because it has a maturity and depth I never
got with Kiss. Subtle harmonies, interesting interludes, varied instrumentation
and that smooth tone of the Marshall TSL 2000 as seen on the cover. A tone
consistently so warm throughout that, as Bruce says, you can almost smell the
incense of Hendrix. It is likely the album title refers to Jim Marshall not to
Lou Reed. Jokes aside, 'Transformer' may not win new people or get much
radioplay but that's due to industry superficiality. What it will do is deliver
quality independent rock with some new sounds. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Score: 4 / 5
From: Penny Solorzano
Wow Bruce, Great album! First of all, I must say that I wrote this review while I was still in the afterglow of last night's concert in Brisbane, so I couldn't really be objective. My heart was tugging on my shirtsleeve the whole time saying, "It's Bruce, it's Bruce! Ka-thump, ka-thump!" However, I will be honest and just tell you how it makes me feel.
Jump The Shark - Love this song. It's very up-beat. Something I would play in the morning to get me motivated.
I Can't Breath - Oh, I know this feeling! Love the lyrics. Love the song. Makes my chest all tight and my heart ache. Bruce, Bruce, Bruce...
If Love's The Answer - What was the question? This one is "just fine..."
Crazy - I love this song! Great beat. I love the words, "I feel so high, I can touch the sky with your love", and the way that the music goes kind of psychedelic just there.
This song feels like falling in love.
All that I need - Feels like down and dirty body slamming. I like the heaviness of the guitar on this one.
Don't Tell Me something - I like the sound of this one. It's growing on me...
Inn of the Mountain Gods - Great song! The beginning reminds me of classical Indian music then it changes... You're right, great song to listen to while you're driving down the highway. I love the way that you make the guitar sing on this song. Makes me wish that I was the one at your fingertips. All in all, this song has a great feel to it and if I made the soundtrack of my life, this song would definitely be on it.
It's Just My Life - another "down and dirty" song. Black leather pants and bourbon drinking. The dark tones in the song remind me of big snakes and sexy half naked dancing... with a little piece of heaven that shines through in the middle there somewhere.
Do It Right - A simple song. Like wandering through hilly fields of daisies...
Beautiful To Me - Such a sweet song. The lyrics are beautiful. "Touching, gently, my lips on your body..." I think I need to take a cold shower. No, but seriously, this song makes my heart feel full.
Truth Or Dare - I like this song but it doesn't really take me very far.
Against The Grain - Again, definite Indian influences in this song. I love it. It's very happy and groovy. I could dance around barefoot to this song.
So yeah, great album! The favourites would have to be Jump The Shark, Crazy and Inn Of The Mountain Gods. Hope to see you again before too long.
From: Jeff Guerra
Hey Bruce..got the disc much sooner than expected. Thank you. I must say it's a good disc. I didn't love it out of the shoot as much as Audiodog, but after listening a few times, it's gotten better. I love the"crunchiness" of Audiodog..there's not as much on Transformer. Is that better or worse? I guess it's all relative to the person listening. I love the" All that I need" great riffs, but such juvenile lyrics. I expect you felt you had to give the KISS fans a little T, who knows? I tend to like songs that you sing, rather than your instrumentals. They are all good,with "Inn of the mountain gods" really standing out, but the singing adds an element of personality to them. The song with John is your best track. Sorry dude, you just don't have John's pipes. I can see why you asked him to do this song. It so rocks. It also makes me yearn for more Union stuff. Any chance of that ever happening? "Beautiful to Me" is very catchy. Radio friendly sounds more like it. Pushing for this to be a single might get you some radio play.
Well bruce, Thanks for listening and continuing to put out music we can all listen too and enjoy. Good luck with everything.
I've had my copy of Transformer for several weeks now and have played it
everywhere I go from home to the car to at work. I wanted to let it sink
in good and know the songs before I posted a review. Like a lot of the
other reviewers here, I really dig 'Crazy' and 'Truth or Dare'! I have
yet to get tired of those songs. 'Crazy' is about as catchy as a song
can get and 'Truth or Dare' has the coolest riff throughout the song and
Bruce's vocals sound great on both tunes. His vocals have definately
improved since Audiodog and you can tell it. Other faves of mine
include: 'All That I Need', 'If Love's the Answer','Dont Tell Me
Something' and the instrumental 'Do It Right' which is hard to
categorize (country rock?)but sounds awesome. 'Inn of the Mountain Gods'
has some killer leads and even the keyboards sound kewl and add sort of
a moody feel to it. 'Its Just My Life' is sort of a Union re-'union'
almost and Corabi's vocals kick ass as does Bruce's playing...the guitar
howl throughout the song just rock and almost has a creepy feel to it
which sounds killer. The lyrics on that one kinda get repetetive but
otherwise it's great stuff. As for the artwork, the cover is pretty kewl
and fits the cd title as does the back cover art which I really
like...showing Bruce through the years which is kewl...Bruce,how young
were you on that first early shot with the tie on? I'm assuming the 2nd
shot is from around the Blackjack/Good Rats era...then onto the
KISS-Revenge period and then up to now...probably a good 10 years
between each shot? The volume knob art on the cd itself is a nice touch
too and pretty funny. I dont really know what else to say about the cd
except to say if you dont have it then get it NOW! I cant stop
listening to it and think people should give it a chance. Thanks for
some kick-ass music Bruce,you just keep getting better and please keep
My wife Deb, had sent away for the Tranformer disc less than two weeks ago, & within no time at all she surprised me with it. It was autographed to the both of us, I almost fell over! It really made my day! A HUGE THANKS TO BRUCE!! I have this thing for killer cover art & pictures & when I first saw the cover of Transformer I was blown away! Great ideas all the way around for the front cover, back cover, inset, & the graphics on the CD as well, (with the volume control bursting with flames, & sayings like; "Are You Nuts" printed on the disc) VERY COOL. Awesome songs with feeling, straight from the heart. Killer guitar work, great lead vocals & back-up vocals as well, great production too. My favorite songs are: "Crazy" (because it's so darn catchy, plus it reminds me of my love for my wife & son). "All that I Need" has that driving guitar sound with punch & crunch. "It's Just My Life" is awesome! John Corabi's vocal delivery is flawless, it's great to hear him sing again! I met John at a club here in Sacramento when he was doing a side project called "Angel City Outlaws". What a genuine & friendly guy John is! I was like a kid in a candy store when he signed my CD's & took a picture with me! I can't, & won't ever forget meeting Bruce during a guitar clinic at Skip's Music. It was awesome to hear him play some live KISS stuff as well as some of his own, then he answered questions from fans as well as signed anything & everything that the fans wanted or brought with them, plus he took pictures with us too. I hope that you have enjoyed my experience with the Transformer CD, John Corabi, & the mighty Bruce Kulick....Thanks again, take care, & ROCK ON MY FRIEND!!!!
I just got Bruce's Transformer CD today on May 9th. The moment I loaded the CD into my system I could not turn it off. This is truly the best solo album so far from Bruce. Each song has a distinct sound that I like. I loved all the songs. People if you have not ordered this new solo CD then you are missing a lot. You need to hear this CD it's great. Bruce thanks for your effort to make such a great CD for us fans to listen to. Rock On!!!
From: Eirik Drange
the second solo effort from bruce is a gem. audiodog was awesome - but this one is even better. the best thing about it, I feel, is the vocals. Bruce seem to have really pushed it on this album - he really shines! the instrumentals are both rocking and beautiful, and "Jump the Shark" sets the mode right away. "Crazy" should be on every radio station around the world to show new "artists" how you can write a catchy tune without having to leave instruments behind. and this track, though not very representative of the album, or bruce for that matter, has "hit" written all over it. very radio friendly. I've playd the track som some friends of mine, and they love it. another favourite of mine is "All that I need" - great rocker with a rock and roll lyric! other tracks you'll instantly like is "beautiful to me" and the instrumental "do it right". the downside of being in KISS for 12 years, is that everything you release, will be compared to similiar outings from the KISS camp. I won't compare it to albums released under the name KISS, as that would be ridicilous - KISS is a unit (that is Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley - haha) and Bruce is a solo artist. BUT; over the years we've had a number of KISS solo albums - and how is Transformer weighed against the releaes? in my mind, the only KISS solo album that is as good as Transformer, is Ace's album from 1978. and unless Bruce tops this one himself, or Ace should suprise everyone with a great album (to me, not very likely) - this will stand as one of the two best KISS solo releases. I think it's safe to say that Bruce is more in touch with what's going on in the music world than any album from Ace,Gene or Paul will be. so - a brilliant album in its own right - and right next to "Ace Frehley" as a KISS solo record. thankyou for making it, Bruce!
From: Mark Cooper
I WAS VERY EXCITED TO OPEN UP MY NEW COPY OF "TRANSFORMER". BRUCE ACTUALLY TOOK THE TIME TO SIGN THE CD "TO MARK"...AND TO A BIG FAN LIKE MYSELF, THAT'S A BIG DEAL! UP UNTIL THIS POINT "THE BLUE ROOM" WAS MY FAVORITE CD TO INCLUDE BRUCE...BUT, "TRANSFORMER" IS RIGHT UP THERE WITH THAT KILLER UNION CD!!! I HAVE TO SAY THAT "CRAZY" IS MY FAVORITE SONG ON THIS CD...IT'S SO CATCHY!!! I CONSIDER "TRUTH OR DARE" TO BE THE SECOND BEST CUT AND I LOVE "BEAUTIFUL TO ME". I REALLY LOVE ALL OF THE SONGS ON "TRANSFORMER"...BUT, THOSE ARE MY TOP THREE. "AGAINST THE GRAIN" IS FILLED WITH SO MANY LAYERS AND SOUNDS WONDERFUL. BRUCE IS REALLY A STAND OUT IN THE KISS CAMP FOR THE FACT THAT HE NEVER STOPS PUTTING OUT NEW AND ORIGINAL SONGS! THE OVERALL SOUND QUALITY OF THIS CD IS TOP NOTCH!!! IT CAN BE COOL AND SMOOTH ONE MOMENT AND THEN THE NEXT THING YOU KNOW BRUCE CRANKS OUT A KILLER GUITAR MONSTER LIKE "ALL THAT I NEED"! BRUCE IS THE KING OF CRUNCHY GUITAR SOUND AND I'M PROUD TO HAVE BEEN A FAN OF HIS FOR OVER 18 YEARS. BRUCE IS A WONDERFUL PERSON TOO...HE TREATS HIS FANS SO NICE AND WITH RESPECT! I'VE MET HIM TWICE AND HAVE WRITTEN HIM COUNTLESS TIMES AND EVERYTIME I WRITE...HE WRITES BACK...IT NEVER FAILS. BRUCE KULICK IS TRULY ONE OF A KIND AND SO IS THIS WONDERFUL CD. IF YOU DON'T HAVE IT...WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU WAITING FOR!!! BRUCE....YOU DA MAN!!!!
From: Tom Rice
I gotta say Transformer is Awsome. It's always great to hear more good
music from such a great guitar player. Im glad you didn't drop off the
face of the earth when you left Kiss. O. K. tracks I like........
Jump The Shark just Rocks Hard. Crazy just makes me wanna drive fast in my car along with All That I Need. Inn Of The Mountain Gods is one of the best instrumentals I've ever heard I place it right up there with my Favoites like Eruption by Van Halen and anything by Steve Vai, you may have even surpassed them....I'm not sure I can give higher praise. It even rocked harder when I saw you do it live at the Galesburg Guitar Clinic. It's Just My Life.....What can I say I am a Union fan and anytime you got guys from Union playing together you know it's gonna be great. Speaking of Union when is there gonna be another Union CD or is there ever gonna be one?? All I can say to anyone else that reads this review is if ya don't have this CD your Rock CD collection is missing a big peice of Rock and I'm Glad I got my Autographed Copy from Bruce K.
Thanks Bruce and Keep on Rocking. There is so much Crap out there Today
passing as Rock it's nice to see that we still got some guys that know
how to do it and Do It Right to borrow a title from Bruce.
From: Dave Phillips
When i opened my mailbox i was excited and new it would be a treat. Right from the time I opened the enveloped and saw the packing of Transformer I could immedietly tell that this was the sophmore effort to Audiodog which was killer from start to finish. Although I expected more instrementals on par with Pair of Dice from the previous disc i wasnt at all disapointed especially with Bruces vocals that are sounding ever so smoth this time around. Bruce's lyrics and vocals on tracks such as Beautiful to me, If Love's the Answer and I can't breath show not only great guitar work but awesome lyrics that sound like there coming from the heart. One of the coolest things on the disc I thought was the picture on the back from young Bruce to him in KISS to the present GOD! Nothing more than another splended peice of work BK!
From: Neil Lecy
Well, here we are again, Lightening can strike twice in the same place and I have to say it has twice the power. Bruce Kulick's new disc Transformer is a power surge of great tunes. I really find a lot more variety on here musically this time, and that to me is what makes this disc shine. Although its hard for me to pick a favorite tune with a CD that moves me so good, I can name a couple to take notice of. Crazy is an uplifting melodic song that I could put on repeat and never get tired of it. Truth or Dare, now this may sound silly but I have to say it, I keep thinking about this as a Beetles song in a sense with Ringo do'n vocals and some Harrison Guitar work, this is just a very, very cool song, I love it. Finally the closing track Against The Grain takes me to the Fractured Mirror days of Ace Frehley. Bruce you have a lot to be proud of here I hope my CD won't melt from overplay cause IM gonna be listening to this disc a lot. Thanks again for the great music Bruce Kulick you rule!!!
I have been listening to the "Transformer" album nonstop since I have recieved it from Bruce. I want to thank Bruce for a kick ass album from start to finish. I can't say enough great things about it. This album should be apart of every guitar freaks collection. I would also like to thank Bruce for making this available to his fans from his website. Being able to recieve an autographed copy from him personally means so much to me, he keeps me inspired to keep playing my guitar. First Class all the way Bruce! Keep up the amazing work!
From: Mark Bunton
Whether he's playing KISS,Union or doing his solo work Bruce continues to amaze me with every new recording. I have always been impressed with his abilities as a guitar player & as a vocalist (Gene & Paul shouldn't have waited until Carnival of Souls to let him sing lead) & have to say that he is my favorite guitar player/performer of all the bands I've ever listened to. As much as I love Bruce's vocals it was nice to hear John Corabi's vocals with Bruce's guitar work again (I hope this is a sign on Union doing something soon!!!) Anybody that enjoyed his first solo release "Audio Dog" should like this disc even more, as it doesn't contain a bad track. I can't count the number of times that I've listened to the disc & I've only had it for 8 days. I can't wait for whatever Bruce has planned for future recordings, as he just never ceases to peak & never disappoints. Keep on rockin' Bruce!!!!!
From: Terry Brown
I have been looking forward to listening to this album for months , being a huge kulick & kiss fan . And I wasnt disapointed , this is a great album . My favorites are crazy , if loves the answer & truth or dare . They are just great songs . This is Bruce Kulick just getting better & better as a singer ,songwriter & musician . The other songs on the cd are awesome too . I was upset when the kiss revenge lineup
split up , but if I get to listen to albums like this I'm happy
thanks Bruce. Terry, Sydney Australia .
p.s looking forward to seeing you in May
From: Cynthia Barton
Since I received my CD 8 days ago, I have played it so much that my
family and coworkers can recite the lyrics. That in itself should be a
testimony as to how wonderful the album is, but that isn't enough to describe just how great an addition to the music world Transformer really is.
Before receiving the CD, I expected it to be along the same vein as
Audio Dog, but this CD went far beyond the greatness that Audio Dog
mastered. The range of songs from up tempo to ballad are quite intriguing and display the broad range of talent possessed by its creator. And the inclusion of Tim Cashion and John Corabi only added to the listening pleasure. It would be hard to say that one song stood out as a favorite amongst such a phenomenal album, but if I had to choose, I would say that All That I Need, Inn of the Mountain Gods and It's Just My Life are the ones that stick out most to me. Thank you so much for giving us fans something so wonderful to enjoy and to share with our friends.
From: Dan Davis
This disc jams from start to finish. I particularly like the instrumentals. I think this is where Bruce really shines.
'Jump the Shark' kicks this disc off perfectly. Rockin' from the beginning. Play this while traveling down the highway at
ear shattering decibels and you will soon find yourself way past the speed limit. (I know I did) The songs on this disc are what rock n roll is, or should be, about...guitars and women (sorry ladies).
'I Can't Breathe', 'Crazy', Don't Tell Me Something' and 'Beautiful' all hit home for me. Each song expresses a particular feeling I have for a woman who recently stole my heart. Unfortunately she 'told me something I didn't want to hear' and it was over before it began. Such is life. Great kisser, though. Ironically 'Truth or Dare' is kind of a comical version of my life. I think Jamboree In The Hills rubbed off on Bruce and was the inspiration for 'Do It Right'. Sounds a little 'down-home' rock n roll to me but the tune jams. Brings to mind the banjo dude from the movie 'Deliverance'. LOL Good to hear John Corabi on 'It's Just My Life'. This is an awesome rock n roll disc. Anyone who appreciates great musicianship and especially guitar rock should add this disc to their collection. Bruce Kulick continues to keep rock n roll alive.
From: Julian Gill / KISSFaq.com
Bruce Kulick can be proud for a number of reasons: 1) He's the only KISS alumni releasing any original material on a regular basis; 2) He's the only KISS alumni who regularly tries something new and tries to stretch himself musically; and 3) He's still one of the nicest guys in Rock 'N Roll.
"Transformer" picks up where "Audio Dog" left off, and takes Bruce's solo material to a whole new level. Sonically, one must wonder what impact Bruce's membership of Grand Funk Railroad is having on him, with a track like the instrumental, "Jump The Shark" being pure fun with no pretensions. There's no wango-tango fret-wanking, just pure roller-coaster exhilaration. With "I Can't Breathe", one feels a blend of Gun's 'N Roses "Estranged" in parts with almost Metallica harmonics. Yet, with Bruce's vocals, he's reached a new level, and would almost seem to be a natural vocalist.
"If Love's The Answer" has a cool funky riff and guitar sound and layered with Bruce's vocals has strong Rush over-tones on the chorus. The guitar solo reminds you who's in charge with a brief taste of the Bruce! There's little over-kill within the polished presentation of Bruce's material. "Crazy", musically, is something of a departure of the sonics one would expect from Bruce with its relaxed basic feeling. With the vocals it's almost a throwback to the 1980's. Just to remind you that this is Bruce Kulick, "All That I Need" kicks back into the more traditional rock mold. With killer time changes there's an underlying restraint which makes it seem that the "Audio Dog" is trying to break his leash.
"Don't Tell Me Something" is a bass laden hybrid which almost seems reminiscent of an earlier time, though the guitars and vocals keep it firmly rooted in the present. With the rush of vocal tracks, "Inn Of The Mountain Gods", returns the album to instrumental. While not being "Zeptune" in style, the piece is more of a Pink Floyd hybrid until Bruce lets rip, and then the style is all his. This piece is the longest track on the album and keeps flowing well throughout its duration.
For those fans of Union, it's nice to see a partial reunion of that band on "It's Just My Life" which features John Corabi on vocals and, as is the case with 11 of the album's tracks, Brent Fitz on drums. One must wonder from this track what could have been had Union not been faced with the problems they had. More basic than material from the "Blue Room", John continues to have the vocal style perfectly suited to this sort of material. Bruce's guitars soar with a power reminiscent of "Jungle" in what would be a killer live track. Taking it down a notch "Do It Right" follows with a guitar sound which might be more at home on a banjo. Stylistically, the track is the most unique on the album, but it lacks something of flow and has a very strange time change.
"Beautiful To Me" brings things back on track with powerful music and a fantastic chorus. Basic rock perhaps, the song is a nice piece of craftwork. "Truth Or Dare" closes Bruce's vocals for the album. Like much of the material one can hear elements of other artists' styles, yet it comes across as being pure-Bruce. This track stands out as one of the picks on the album! "Transformer" closes with the instrumental "Against The Grain". It's a nice bit of title-borrowing from Gene Simmons. But that is all it share's with Bruce's KISS past, simply being a beautiful piece of guitar work, nice and mellow. It's a sort of audio coffee after a large meal!
Rating: 8/10 - well rounded & high quality product.