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General Discussion / Re: KISS: An Album-by-Album Critical Reevaluation
« Last post by buffcoat on June 23, 2017, 07:54:21 PM »
Bonus Review: KISS KILLERS (1982)

I bought this back in the late 80s on LP as an import. I think I picked it up at Record Bar, which means Record Bar imported it? Sometimes I can’t remember how things like this happened back then? Somebody drove a truck onto a ship or something?

Hell, it had 4 new songs on it, so I plunked down my $13.99. The lightning bolts were backward because Germany didn’t want them to use the symbols for the SS that are in KISS’ normal logo. If Ace Frehley were a clever rake instead of a “practical joker,” I’d say that the lightning bolts in the KISS logo was the best joke that (reputed) Nazi aficionado ever pulled over on Mr. Stanley (nee Eisen) and Mr. Simmons (nee Witz nee Klein).

But he’s not. Is he?

I remember listening to it once, maybe twice and then shelving it. Rock collectors (collectors?) are pretty dumb, you know? Completism is a mental disease. But there you go.

The Wikipedia entry for Killers is like a mean joke on 1982-era KISS.

“Phonogram requested hard rock songs specifically, in contrast to the progressive rock-style of Music from "The Elder".

The Elder crushes these songs like a grape. It’s a challenge to find anything ever recorded that could sub in for “these songs” in that sentence.

“Numerous outside songwriters and session musicians were employed for the writing and recording of the four new songs on Killers … Bryan Adams.”

“Down on Your Knees” is worse than “(Everything I Do) I Do it for You.” I can’t be bothered to look up whether those parentheses are correct. It is not worse than the number Bryan Adams did with Sting and Rod Stewart. Let’s keep some perspective, people.

“(Ace’s) replacement for the Killers sessions was Bob Kulick, who had previously subbed for Frehley on a handful of studio tracks on 1977's Alive II; however, whereas Kulick had been asked to mimic Frehley's playing style when recording for Alive II, he was permitted to employ his own techniques for Killers.”

So, it took five years to figure out that Bob Kulick can sort of ape Ace Frehley but when he plays like himself he sucks. Nice to know.

“The four new songs were considered a "primer" for Kiss' next release,”

I didn’t review Lick It Up or Animalize or Crazy Nights, but these songs sound way more like those than they do Creatures of the Night.

…while some fans have indicated that fan club memos at the time listed Frehley as "temporarily out of action," possibly due to a car accident or something similar…

It’s entirely believable that Ace would be sidelined by a car accident, a coconut to the head or simply getting lost for a few weeks, but this smells like Gene was editing the fan club memo.

My favorite quote from the Wikipedia entry, however, is this one, from way up top:

“By 1982, Kiss's commercial popularity was at its nadir.”

Short and to the point.

Now, on to the songs.

"I'm a Legend Tonight" is an awful, awful song. It’s indicative of the direction Paul Stanley was going and deeply smacks of being written by committee. Paul could write good lyrics - “God of Thunder,” “Love Gun,” all those tracks from the first album. But he got fat and lazy around 1980, if I’m being generous, and that was it. I hope he outsourced these, because these are the worst.

I’m a legend tonight / Gonna make you feel right / When you reach for the light / I’m a legend tonight.

Does that even make sense? And two of the four lines in the hugely repeated chorus are THE SAME, and the TITLE OF THE SONG to boot. Limp guitar solo. Bob Kulick sucks. Bruce was the more talented Kulick.

“Down on Your Knees.” Sometimes the title says it all. Sometimes the title says more than the actual song. Bryan Adams co-wrote this thing. It’s putrid. The first lines are:

All right … ooh yeah… are you ready to rock? … I’m talkin’ bout satisfaction

Meatloaf did better than this. You can predict the rhymes as it goes along. I don’t mean to insult Meatloaf. Paul addresses the person in the song as “she” and “you” in consecutive lines, which violates some rule of English, I’m certain.

I don’t like songs featuring “tough Paul,” and this is one of the growliest.

“Nowhere to Run” has the distinction of being the best of these four songs. That’s like first place at a toilet rodeo. Somebody’s got to win, but you know going in it’s not going to be pretty. Paul sounds scared, or scary, or something. A lot of KISS lyrics involve vague threats to women, but hey, it was the 80s and sexual harassment hadn’t been invented yet. A quick Google search tells me that isn’t entirely correct.

“Nowhere to Run” sounds like the songs on Paul Stanley’s solo album. I don’t, you know, like it, but if you’re ever forced to listen to exactly one of these songs, I’d pick this one. It’s the longest one, though, so be aware of that going in.

“Partners in Crime.” Jesus, more dumb rhymes, though not as bad as the first two songs. I listened to a few of the actual greatest hits on this album as a palate cleanser and, while I admit KISS is not a fantastic songmaking machine, they’re capable of some fun, catchy songs. “Sure Know Something,” from Dynasty, the beginning of the downturn, is strong, with a good bass line (!), excellent lyrics for this band and a killer guitar solo.

Couldn’t Gene be bothered to write ONE of these? This song is awful. It’s the worst thing I’ve heard since “I’m a Legend Tonight” about 15 minutes ago. It also features the lyric “down on your knees,” but isn’t a reference to the earlier song of that title.

This concludes the reviews of KISS makeup period records. It’s been a lot of fun and taken me over eight years, most of which, if I’m being honest, I spent on other things.

Thanks to everyone who wrote to say they enjoyed them. This thread is still my favorite thing I’ve written on the Internet.
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Links / Ah, The Master
« Last post by buffcoat on June 23, 2017, 07:48:45 PM »
http://jasonwoliner.tumblr.com/post/48467757514/got-a-really-lovely-anonymous-voicemail-about-my

A transcript I wrote back in 2014:

Hey, dude, uh, I don't know what your (f...) problem is, but,uh,  I saw your tweet last night and it was pretty (f...) sarcastic about, uh, a lot of the stuff I was writin' on Twitter.

I was writin' some real (f...) funny (s...) about the Manhunt, and some boat stuff, and I really don't appreciate your sarcastic, anti-comedy, uh, tone, Bro. We're all in this business together, ah, I think you'd (f...) realize that we're, uh, basically, uh, uh, co-workers or brothers-in-arms, or whatever you want to (f...) call it, ah, but I don't appreciate you being a piece of (s...) just kind of (f...) raining down negativity on something while I'm trying to make some (f...) jokes about something that's (f...) funny, which is the Manhunt.

We had a sad enough Monday, and now it's time to laugh at the Manhunt, you (f...) piece of (s...)!
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General Discussion / Re: Dream Machine
« Last post by Carver on June 23, 2017, 06:39:51 PM »
 "Bands back in the day like Vanilla Fudge actually sang about getting their heart broken because they truly cared about somebody. "
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General Discussion / Re: Dream Machine
« Last post by Mike Desert on June 23, 2017, 02:39:31 PM »

Wow people are really incensed about this - you never saw Bare Wires or Warm Soda or Snakeflower 2? Melton has been ably slogging out powerpop for years before making this tribute to Billy Joel's Atilla.  At this point the controversy of this interview is going to get them more attention than their tunes ever did!

The internet tells me I saw Warm Soda when they opened up for Redd Kross a few years back, but I don't remember them at all. I recognize the name from flyers. I know I listen to bands with worse people then those two in them though...



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General Discussion / Re: Dream Machine
« Last post by mostlymeat on June 23, 2017, 01:06:11 PM »
I never heard of this band, but man do they seem shitty!

http://www.brooklynvegan.com/dream-machine-said-shitty-stuff-dropped-from-john-dwyers-label/


Wow people are really incensed about this - you never saw Bare Wires or Warm Soda or Snakeflower 2? Melton has been ably slogging out powerpop for years before making this tribute to Billy Joel's Atilla.  At this point the controversy of this interview is going to get them more attention than their tunes ever did!
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General Discussion / Dream Machine
« Last post by Mike Desert on June 23, 2017, 12:46:58 PM »
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Mike And His Ilk. / Re: Mike changed jobs?
« Last post by bdb318 on June 23, 2017, 06:55:29 AM »
Seinfeld told me that H&H was a bagel place. I guess us southerners will never understand New York (and the surrounding environs).

The H&H bagels on the Upper West Side closed a few years ago. It was a minor catastrophe.
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Mike And His Ilk. / Re: Mike changed jobs?
« Last post by buffcoat on June 22, 2017, 09:28:00 PM »
Seinfeld told me that H&H was a bagel place. I guess us southerners will never understand New York (and the surrounding environs).
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Show Discussion / Re: Scharpling and Wurster bit
« Last post by xuco4 on June 22, 2017, 07:57:18 PM »
Thanks
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Show Discussion / Re: Trying to track down moment from WFMU show
« Last post by bdb318 on June 22, 2017, 09:19:34 AM »
The Beatlefest kazoo moment is one of the highest moments of comedy in a show with a lot of them. It's possible that guy doesn't even remember his humiliation, and yet it's been indelibly inked into my memory.

Maybe the kazoo-ist who humiliated Mr. Moonlight Man at Beatlefest is the same guy who's been calling the show of late with his fake kazoo chops. Anybody consider that?
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