Picks and Pans Review: Animalize

updated 10/01/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/01/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT


It should be apparent by now that Kiss is an acronym standing for "Keep It Simple, Stupid." For more than 10 years the quartet has been working from the same blueprint: buzz-saw electric guitars, screaming vocals, a dash of misogyny, the philosophy of a party animal and a backbeat you couldn't lose in the Grand Canyon. The formula has resulted in nine platinum albums for the group and for its members in solo efforts. Original band members Paul Stanley, who produced Animalize, and Gene Simmons are still alive, kicking and ranting. Drummer Peter Kriss has been replaced by Eric Carr, and Mark St. John is the new lead guitarist. (Ace Frehley took the money and ran; after a couple of drunken-driving incidents, he announced he was going to "take the slow life" and now lives in Connecticut.) The biggest change is that the band, as of its last album, Lick It Up, has decided to forgo its trademark mask makeup. Small wonder. By now they've used more cold cream than a circus full of clowns. On such tracks as Under the Gun, St. John proves he knows his way up and down the neck of a guitar at warp speed. If hard rock is your cup of quicksilver, you'll enjoy Heaven's on Fire, Lonely Is the Hunter and Thrills in the Night, too. If not, why read a Kiss review anyway? (Polygram)

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