Klassik Licks

The stupid grin on my face wouldn’t come off as I previewed the tracks by a group of KISS fans who’ve attempted to create an original 70s era KISS album. Of course, I bought it immediately.

Klassik ’78 Side One captures the essence, sound, and feel of that time perfectly. I’d love it if Tommy Thayer would hear this and bring it to Gene and Paul. I mean, if I was the band I’d buy “Standing Tall” immediately from these guys and record it.

Here’s my review of each song.

Standing Tall
From the dropping of the needle sound to the opening riff to the Paul Stanley soundalike, we’ve got the makings of the most 70s KISS sounding song on the EP. This track feels like it comes right off of Love Gun or Rock and Roll Over. The solo guitar work replicates the stylings of Ace Frehley perfectly.

Please ‘N Tease
The first “Gene” song is going for the “Ladies Room,” “Love ’em and Leave ‘em” vibe and succeeds fairly well. The vocals do their best to replicate the inflection and style. Lyrically, it’s a bit forced. The “win, place or show” line is a good example. Another “Ace” solo that captures the 70s era.

Mean Business
A “Peter” song that does the Catman justice. The chorus is catchy and I think Peter Criss could record this tomorrow and fans would buy it in drove. As it stands the vocal doesn’t quite have the soundalike feel of the other songs. It’s my least favorite song on the EP, but the riff is good and it’s still imminently listenable. The solo is appropriately weird.

Passion and Love
A “Mr. Speed”-like gem for the second “Paul” song. Not nearly as good as “Standing Tall,” but nails the 70s sound really well. Added points for the cowbell.

Rock and Roll You
More cowbell! Another “Gene” song that I think could have easily come off of Hotter Than Hell or Dressed to Kill. The solo seems quite “Ace”-like and a bit longer than some of the others.

While I think “Standing Tall” should be re-recorded by KISS, this track really needs to be recorded by the real Ace Frehley. It’s by far the best “Ace” song written in a long time. The guy singing the vocals feels like he’s really trying to sound like Ace, which is good and bad. The riff is infectious and the solo is the most “Ace”-like on the EP. The street sounds only add to the sonic quality.

While you’re listening to this album, don’t miss DoubleVirgo’s version of 80s Asylum track “Secretly Cruel” done in 70s style. It’s awesome.