KISSIN’ DYNAMITE is another one of those European bands I had heard in passing but never really took notice of. Well, that’s about to change. With this new album Megalomania (Sept. 30, AFM Records) they certainly have my attention. Everything about this record works on so many levels. There are guilty pleasure sing-along hooks, big scoops of 80’s cheese, nifty electronic effects, and also…great songs. I really shouldn’t be surprised as the band hails from Germany, a country that routinely exports top-notch rock and metal to the rest of the world. And when you find out that these guys are all in their early twenties and on their fourth record, you have to hand it to them. They have no illusions about who or what they are, and what they are is a good-time rock and roll band.
When the album opener “DNA” was released as a single I must have played the shit out of it for days. That fucking chorus is definitely one of my favorites this year. But the other thing that got me was the guitars. There’s a real solid, arena-ready quality to them on this and several other songs that show this band is big-time for a reason. Speaking of guitars, “VIP in Hell” is a fast-paced guitar chug that will have feets tapping and heads bobbing for sure, and the solo is fantastic. Another standout is “Deadly” with an uplifting HELLOWEEN-esque chorus, singer Hannes Braun selling the shit out of it. A sexy tribal drum groove slithers through the start of “God in You” before the electronics wrap themselves around the song and fuck it into submission. Another killer solo here, too.
Fuckin’ hell I can’t even begin to do “Running Free” (no, not THAT one!) justice; you have to hear this one yourselves. This ties with “DNA” for best hooks and best arrangements on the whole record. Goddamn, I just can’t get enough of this one. I defy anyone to be in a bad mood after listening to this song. “Fireflies” is very, very interesting because it is a complete 180 from the songs that bookend it. Even when this band slows it down, they do it with big, majestic refrains that will stay with you long afterwards. More electronica shows up for “Legion of the Legendary” and once again they won my metal heart with what? That’s right, the friggin’ chorus!! I can’t believe I went into this CD not expecting much.
Complete and total misdirection starts off “Maniac Ball” because you’ll wrongly say, “What’s this? A ballad already?” Not so, good people. It’s a mid-tempo rocker that moves and grooves. The one true lovers lament song comes in “The Final Dance” which isn’t bad at all. KISSIN’ DYNAMITE end things with yet another uplifting number “Ticket to Paradise” that just might have you dancing in the aisles. Or at your desk. Or on the bus. Wherever it is you do your dancing, you’ll probably be doing so to this feel-good song. This is also a great way to sum up Megalomania. It really is a record that when it’s over I guarantee you’ll be that much happier than when you started it. And isn’t that what rock music is supposed to do for us?
STANDOUT TRACKS: “DNA”, “Running Free”, “Ticket to Paradise”, “God in You”, “Deadly”, “Legion of the Legendary”