Growing up long, long, long after their heyday, it’s pretty confusing and even funny to know that there was once a time when Kiss was taken seriously as one of the great rock and roll bands out there. My entire life, they’ve been seen as out of touch at best, complete jokes at worst. And sure, everything Gene Symons has done in the last few decades would indicate that he’s an asshole who warrants zero attention. But I still can’t get past the fact that they were once considered one of the great rock and roll bands out there. Maybe some of that perplexion will be abated with Destroyer.
Strutter is a song I’m pretty sure I’ve heard before. It’s no mega hit like Rock and Roll all Night, but it’s kind of familiar. It also sounds like it’s straight off the soundtrack to a really corny rock musical. Like if Grease was set in the 70s. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just not a basis for being considered a legit rock and roll band in any era. Or at least, it shouldn’t be. Maybe people were just doing a lot of drugs in the 70s and lost all perspective.
Three songs in, and I can’t get past the cornball factor of Kiss. I have to assume that the only reason they can still sell tickets today is because they targeted young kids back then, who have grown up with a certain sense of nostalgic fondness that they can’t kick. I can’t imagine any self respecting adult hearing or seeing this band for the first time would think the music of these buffoons would be worth any time or attention. Gene Symons performing the mostly spoken word God of Thunder sounds like what an ADD addled 10 year old would imagine a badass rock and roll band to sound like.
When Shout it Out Loud popped up, I realised I never would have thought of it off the top of my head as an all time, well known classic, but the second it started, I knew exactly what it was. It’s the kind of easy pop/rock song that has made its way into my subconscious and that’s not such a terrible thing. What makes it stand out on Destroyer is how simple and to the point it is. Every other song before this just tries too hard. With Shout it Out Loud, it’s like Kiss knew they were onto something and actually restrained themselves from going too far. The exact opposite comes two songs later with Do You Love Me. All self conscious bravado and sad posturing.
Yeah, so, it turns out that Kiss are terrible and a complete waste of your time.