Don't put your lunch boxes or action figures away yet. The greatest rock and roll marketing machine is back. And, believe it or not, it's Paul Stanley and not Gene Simmons who's the mastermind behind another resurrection of KISS. Simmons commented: '... having Paul simply decide things, works better. Democracy is highly overrated. Paul is kickin' ass.' Stanley himself set down the objectives for Sonic Boom, the first KISS album in eleven years, by indicating that it will a 'real 70's Kiss sound.' Between the music and the cover artwork created by Michael Doret, who did their 1976 album Rock and Roll Over, I would say Stanley accomplished his goal.
Sonic Boom rocks in traditional KISS style with solid melodies and vocal harmonies bolstering some thick bass lines and ripping guitar work. It's even heavier at times as on their first single Modern Day Delilah, but hardly the best cut on the album and not the best to start with either. KISS really doesn't get into form until the third piece Never Enough which displays once more why Kiss is one of the great arena rock bands: they deliver well-crafted melodic hard rock with big hooks. This trend continues with other great hits like Stand, Hot and Cold, All For The Glory, and Say Yeah. Other songs are hit and miss depending on your feeling. Yet Sonic Boom displays the new generation of KISS to be impressive and entertaining.
Never letting their branding or marketing out of sight, KISS is retailing Sonic Boom exclusively through Wal-Mart. KISS are without doubt the poster boys for American capitalism. Fortunately, the package comes with Kiss Klassics (a completely re-recorded greatest hits album already and exclusively released in Japan as Jigoku-Retsuden), and six song live DVD from the South American leg of the Kiss Alive/35 World Tour.