May 23, 2021

KISS,Garbage, Liz Phair

Category: CD/Video Reviews

 

KISS

“An A&E Originial Biography KISSTORY”

 
Presented as a 2 night event which airs on June 27, 2021 at 9 EST on the A&E Channel, KISSTORY is an all encompassing look into the world of KISS.  The documentary is told by band leaders: Paul Stanley (Vocals/guitar) and Gene Simmons (vocals/bass) along with archival commentary from former members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.  Current members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer deliver new interviews as well.

 Gene and Paul tell stories of how their manager Bill Aucoin and his boyfriend Sean Delaney helped the band to become the characters they are today by hiring Gene a fire breather to teach him how to breath fire, and Delaney was the first person to ever film the band.  Paul admitted that watching Delaney’s videos of the band assisted him in developing his onstage persona.  

 Part one of the documentary focuses on how a young Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley met, how they formed Wicked Lester, and why they chose to leave Wicked Lester and form KISSWicked Lester had a record deal but Gene and Paul were not happy with the bands musical direction and wanted a flashier, ballsier band.

 Stanley and Simmons reminisce about the old days, and some of the most telling moments come from candid interviews with Gene and Paul.  Paul elaborates on why he stayed with Gene in the early days by saying that he stayed with Gene simply as a way to make sure he was safe; this comment seems takes Gene by surprise and you can tell by the look on his face it was not a scripted moment.  Paul later says that fame simply allows you the freedom to be the asshole that you truly are.

 The archival footage of the band is what makes this documentary fun and part one closes with the 1979 era.  The Tom Snyder footage closes Part one of the documentary and Gene and Paul address the drunken train wreck that was Ace Frehley on that live television broadcast.  Snyder seemed to enjoy the banter with Ace but Paul and Gene admit that the behavior of Ace and Peter on that show was a way of pissing them off.

 Part one of this documentary will debut at the Tribeca Film Festival and be capped off by a short mini set by KISS.

 


 

 GARBAGE

“No Gods No Master”

 Due on June 11, 2021, “No God No Masters” is the bands seventh studio release and their most politically charged record to date.

 Ripping lyrics from current headlines, lead singer Shirley Manson gives listeners a dose of her personal views while offering imaginative metaphors for the seven deadly sins which seems to be a random theme at times on this record.

 Here’s a track by track breakdown of the record:


“The Men Who Rule the World” - The first single from this record which also features a quirky music video.  Opening with the sound of a Slot Machine spinning, this one is an oddly interesting experience in sound and expression.  The pop driven chorus is what makes this one sound like a Garbage track.


“The Creeps” - Fast, Fun, and upbeat, this is a standout track on the record.  

 
“Uncomfortably Me” - A touching, tender reminder that Garbage are human and lyrically this one is autiographical.  


“Wolves” - The second single off this record complete with an artistically odd music video which features some rather adult content.  This is one of the edgier tracks on the record and is reminiscent of the “Version 2.0” era of the band.


"Waiting for God” - lyrically this one touches on the Black Lives Matter and Me Too movements.  Mellow and dark, this one is very unapologetic.


“Godhead” - Sounding very 80’s new wave at times with edge, darkness, and angst.  “Number One Crush” is the sister track to this song.


“Anonymous XXX” - A solid deep album cut that old school Garbage fans will adore.


“A Woman Destroyed” - The soundtrack to a post apocalyptic horror movie, this one is hard to describe but sounds devious.


“Flipping the Bird” - Pop Rock flavor, this is quintessential modern day Garbage.


“No Gods No Masters” - This one sounds very 90’s and will satisfy those who hunger for new Garbage music quite well because this is old school Garbage.


"This City Will Kill You” - This slow, brooding track closes the record off on a damper note.

 
Musically, this record displays an updated, mature sound for the band and while old school fans may not appreciate some of the changes, this record is a great snap shot of where the band are in 2021.  


 

LIZ PHAIR

“Soberish”

 
This is Liz Phair’s first record in ten years….you are probably thinking the same thing I am, it’s been 10 years since her last release?!?!  That’s a long stretch without releasing new music and for her grand return to the Indie Rock world she enlisted Brad Wood to help her craft this 13 song opus into the record that it is.

 This is Liz Phair’s seventh full length release and her first on Chrysalis Records.

 Brad Wood helped Phair evoke elements of her past and every track on this record is written more as a story than a pop song. 

Here’s a track by track breakdown of the record:

 “Spanish Doors” - This is the second single off the record and it’s an adult view on life and relationships.  This may be the most commercial song on the record.

 “The Game” - This one could be considered modern country in some circles with it’s mellow approach and ballad driven nature.

 “Hey Lou” - This was technically the first single from the record despite the fact that “Good Side” was performed several times before being officially released.  This track is an ode to Lou Reed and the accompanying video features a Lou Reed puppet!

 “In There” - This one is the furthest from what old school Liz fans would ever expect from her.  Electronic drums, synths, and a million miles from her Indie rock roots yet still fresh and interesting sounding. 

 “Good Side” - This one has more experimental parts than the early unplugged versions which were released online earlier this year.  This sounds like old school Liz via the Girly Sound days.

 “Sheridan Side” - pure Girly Sounds era Liz!

 “Ba Ba Ba” - This one is hard to explain, it’s pop but not conventional.  That’s what makes this one oddly memorably.

 “Soberish” - Imagine if the Girly Sound tapes were made today…that’s how this one sounds.

 “Soul Sucker” - Very adult, grown up, and stripped of the adolescent era Liz.

 “Lonely Street” - emotional and emerging as one of the must listen to tracks off this record.

 “Dosage” - It becomes clear how strong Liz is as a story teller when you listen to this one.

 “Bad Kitty” - Lyrically this one is fun, and technically the closer of the record since the last track is essentially 47 seconds of rain.

 “Rain Scene” - 47 seconds of rain and ambience close out this record.

 As a complete body of work, “Soberish” is written like a series of short stories put to music and hopefully it doesn’t take Liz 10 more years to release her next record!

Author: Bob Suehs