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Kiss: Monster

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There are few things more ridiculously entertaining than a Kiss gig. Nor are there many bands with such a gleaming arsenal of scream-along anthems. But Kiss studio albums have seldom been so reliable or consistent, which is why 2009’s joyously bombastic Sonic Boom was such an invigorating surprise and why the follow-up, which cockily trumps its predecessor on every conceivable level, could well be the finest album of the New Yorkers’ careers.

By tapping into the strutting exuberance that made their greatest hits such an integral part of hard rock’s spiritual fabric, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons have rejuvenated themselves. The opening Hell Or Hallelujah is a case in point: brash, fiery and celebratory, it’s a timeless four-minute party starter blessed with an effervescent Stanley vocal that belies the frontman’s sexagenarian status.

Similarly, second single The Devil In Me reveals that Gene Simmons still has plenty of the God Of Thunder lurking behind those dollar-hungry eyes. With no real filler to try the patience and a few songs – Eat Your Heart Out and Shout Mercy in particular – that rival anything in their catalogue, Monster lives up to its name and then some.