Metal Monday: Ace Frehley’s No Regrets

NoRegretsAs the founding guitarist for KISS, you’d expect Ace Frehley to have some pretty good war stories — if he can remember them. A self-confessed party animal, Frehley has been open about his addicitions to alcohol, cocaine, and painkillers.  But as he shows in No Regrets, his memory for a lot of things is just fine.

Frehley and original KISS drummer Peter Criss have been largely written out of the band’s official history over the years — at least, to hear Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley tell it. So it’s refreshing to hear the story of the band from Frehley’s point of view.
Continue reading

Metal Monday: Peter Criss’s Makeup to Breakup

makeup-to-breakup-peter-crissFounding Kiss drummer Peter Criss has been promising to release a tell-all autobiography for decades, and now he’s finally done it. (Ironically, it comes a year later than fellow Kiss founder Ace Frehley’s No Regrets.) The question is whether what he has to tell illuminates anything about the early years of Kiss or his life after he quit the band in 1980.
Continue reading

Metal Monday: KISS’s Destroyer (Resurrected)

Downloading KISS’s Destroyer (Resurrected) marks the fourth time  in my life I’ve paid full price for this album, but the first time I’m not sure it’s worth it.

Destroyer is the album every other studio effort by the band is measured. Given Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley’s penchant for self-hype, it’s become something of a tradition for them to claim about each new album that it’s their “best one since Destroyer.” (I can’t think of a time when that’s been true, though Love Gun certainly comes close.)
Continue reading

More than the sum of their parts

Kiss / Sonic Boom (KISS Records/Universal)

Ace Frehley / Anomaly (Bronx Man)

OLD dogs may not learn new tricks, but they can master the ones they know.

Take Kiss. After repackaging and recycling their prime 1970s material on gratuitous “best of” collections and multiple tours for the last 13 years, founding members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley — joined by drummer Eric Singer and guitarist Tommy Thayer — finally return with the band’s first full-length studio album since 1998.

The results are mixed.
Continue reading