Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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While relatively easy to write off as a glammed up novelty act, KISS has unleashed some pretty serious hard rock upon the masses in its time on this earth. “Monster” adds to the rich legacy… sort of. For fans of classic, meat-and-potatoes hard rock, there’s some good stuff here: The Simmons-fronted “Back to the Stone Age” and “Outta This World” are hard driving songs built around simple riffs and growling vocals, but the album’s high points are counterbalanced by pieces of utter crap like “Take Me Down Below,” which is a solid guitar riff trying to make you forget that Gene Simmons is talking about sex the way a sixth grader tells a dirty joke. “Monster” is more commercially accessible than most of the band’s recent offerings, but classic KISS fans may still yearn for the “Destroyer” glory days, when even the band’s misfires were fun. CV

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