Leaving a long tradition of semi-concept albums behind (or, at least, albums with a big sense of consistency and self-awareness), The Kiss That Took A Trip takes a deep breath and releases what is just a collection of songs. Fresher and more to the point than past LPs, "Punk Cathedral" is the best possible snapshot of what The Kiss is about in 2017. A musical project that is equally comfortable with standard alternative rock songs, epic instrumentals, acoustic dark ballads and numerous flirtations with diverse genres in touch with experimental music. A polyhedric sound always in search of the best atmosphere.
The carefree nature of the album manifests itself in many ways, but especially in the way this album feels like a tribute to imperfection, randomness and the beauty of a mess, including the artwork. A sketchy spirit that doesn't get in the way of solid songs.
The first few tracks of the album are more effective versions of the classic sound of The Kiss. From the epic post-rock of "Ambient punk", the opening track, to the electronic balladry of "Dry swallowed pill", chiming guitars, pianos, synths and pounding drums steal the show, even in those places where things get weird and experimental ("Stabbing porcelain").
After the unusually brief and sunny "Crapola", detours start to jump on the listener. "Guitar pick chew" toys with lots of uncommon patterns and repetition, "Grounded" couples fast-tempo catchiness with a dark industrial coda, "Love + algebra" is a guilty dance floor pleasure and "Cook, Landis & Griffin" takes the cake as the most uncharacteristic tune by The Kiss ever.
The final third of "Punk Cathedral" blossoms with lots of melody and vocal work. "Faulty logic can cost lives" would make for a good college radio anthem and "Queen of the night shift" closes the album using slide guitars, strings, melancholy, and talking about regret and the uncertainty of the future.
6 JUN 2017
Catalog number: CPR019.
CD album, jewel case.
Print run: 500 copies.
RUNNING TIME: 77:25