30 years ago today on May 19, 2022, KISS released the first album after the passing of powerhouse drummer Eric Carr. It marked a sonic directional change with a more raw sound than what was experienced in all of the records post “Creatures of The Night”. It was an interesting time for music with the swift rise of Seattle’s scene taking over radio airwaves and car stereo cassette players.
With songwriting contributions from former KISS member Vinnie Vincent, veteran performer, producer Bob Ezrin and others, the album remains memorable for being a boisterous reminder of rock and roll and an era that at the time was in danger of fading from the music pages.
Listening now, I can pass over the modified version of Argent’s “God Gave Rock and Roll To You” and the power ballad “Every Time I Look at You”. The heavier songs are an instant draw to many fun memories of the early and mid-nineties. The closing track “Carr Jam 1981” is a fabulous mark-up of a track demoed in 1980 featuring a musically thunderous drum solo by Eric Carr. For a few months after this record came out, a few drummers in my hometown area wanted to learn that solo, bash for bash and crash for crash.
“Revenge” is arguably one of KISS’s best records from a musical standpoint. I’m not certain anyone predicted them taking things in a heavier direction that followed when “Carnival of Souls” was finally released in late 1997. Demos copies of that album literally reached all parts of the world up to a year before the official release.