Friday, February 12, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Hotter Than Hell, by Kiss

In 1974 arena rock legends Kiss were still working hard at making a big break into the music industry. Although they had had some minor success with the release of their debut album Kiss the year before, they weren't anywhere near the household name they are today. Nonetheless, they decided to press on and make another go at it by writing, recording, and releasing a second album titled Hotter Than Hell. Although this also didn't launch them into super-stardom, it still had some tasty gems for Kiss fans to treasure.

Hotter Than Hell is known for having a rather loud and colorful Japanese manga looking cover. It features a lot of Japanese characters on it including the kanji for "power". In terms of the songs, they are darker in terms of lyrical themes and production quality. Where the songs on the first album had a dirty shimmer to it, this time around they were just plain murky (though not necessarily in a bad way). In fact, the album even features some of lead guitarist Ace Frehley's best soloing.

Parasite is probably one of the absolute heaviest songs from Kiss's classic line-up that I have ever heard. Countless metal bands have covered it over the years including thrash metal band Anthrax. It has such a powerful yet lightning quick riff to it. This is definitely some of Frehley's better song writing to be honest. There is definitely a reason that the song is considered a classic to this day by fans.

Mainline in my opinion is one of the most absolutely under rated Kiss songs of all time. Drummer Peter Criss sings lead on it and in my opinion does a fantastic job. It is so fun, happy, and melodic; which is definitely something the album needed considering how dark it was. Of course the lyrical content is all about sex, but considering what a lot of Kiss's songs are about that is absolutely no surprise whatsoever. That said, that doesn't necessarily make it a bad thing.

Hotter Than Hell is one of those albums that sadly falls through the cracks because it doesn't have any of the band's big hits on it. However, if you're willing to dig it up and give it a listen odds are you'll find at least a couple tracks on it that you will like enough to put into your playlist. Plus, it's a great way to hear Kiss before all of the fortune and fame got to their heads and they became a brand rather than a band.

Hotter Than Hell, by Kiss receives 3 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Got to Choose
2. Parasite
3. Goin' Blind
4. Hotter Than Hell
5. Let Me Go, Rock n' Roll
6. All the Way
7. Watchin' You
8. Mainline
9. Comin' Home
10. Strange Ways

Buy the album on Amazon:

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