Bob Kulick – Skeletons in the Closet

Skeletons In The Closet Cover


Bob Kulick – Skeletons In The Closet
Vanity Music Group
Release Date: 15/09/2017
Running Time: 43:55
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
8/10

You must be doing a good job as a review website when someone approaches you to review their latest album, right? But, when that someone is none other than American guitarist and Grammy Award winning record producer, Bob Kulick, you must be doing an awesome job! Well, that’s exactly what happened to us at Ever Metal headquarters and we are honoured to review his latest album ‘Skeletons in The Closet.’

Best known for his studio work with Kiss and his tenure with WASP, Bob was born in Brooklyn, New York, and is the older brother of former Kiss lead guitarist, Bruce Kulick, who, incidentally, was put forward for the job by Bob, himself.

Bob took a chance in 1973 and auditioned for the lead guitar spot in the then-new band, Kiss, but, although he impressed the other members of the band, it was the glitzier, Ace Frehley, who had auditioned directly after him, who was chosen to fill the spot.

Despite this, Bob later played (albeit uncredited) on four Kiss albums: Alive II (he played on three of the five studio tracks on the second side), Unmasked (where he played guitar on the track Naked City), Killers (playing on all four of the new studio tracks) and some minimal work on Creatures of the Night. He also played guitar on Paul Stanley’s 1978 solo album and on his 1989 solo tour.

But his contribution to the music world didn’t stop there. He has also worked with the likes of Motorhead, Meatloaf, Doro, Lou Reed and Tim “Ripper” Owens as well as playing guitar on WASP albums The Crimson Idol and Still Not Black Enough. This, as well as forming his own bands Balance, Skull and Murderer’s Row, have earned him 11 platinum or gold records throughout his career.

So, what of this album? Well, after a career spanning over forty years, this is actually Bob’s first solo album!! Recorded at Vegas View Recordings in Las Vegas, and produced and engineered by Bob himself, along with Bobby Ferrari, this is a collection of five new tracks and five classics from his albums with Skull and Murderer’s Row and features an array of musicians.

For a first solo album it would have been nice for all the tracks to be brand new ones, but I don’t really know much about Bob’s catalogue, so they were all new to me. While this is fine with me, older fans might feel a bit cheated by this.

Despite this, Skeletons in the Closet is a feel-good album, with lots of great rock tracks. The first half of the album consists of the five new tracks, probably the best of these being “London”, which tells the story of Jack the Ripper, and features the vocals of Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider. The only slightly ‘dodgy’ track of these five being the cover of “Goldfinger!” I didn’t really see the point of it and didn’t think it quite worked. I would have much rather seen another track like “London” or opening track “Rich Man”.

As previously mentioned, I don’t know much about Bob’s back catalogue so none of the classic tracks were known to me, but my favourite of these must have been title track “Skeletons in the Closet”. Sounding like it could easily have been pinched from the back catalogue of WASP, it features the vocals of David Glen Eisley, although he could easily be mistaken for Blackie Lawless (who I actually thought was singing at first!)

This album was never going to break any new ground, and I can picture some of the “older” music fans saying that it’s all been done before but even if you buy it simply for Bob’s guitar playing, its more than worth it. I’ve had this in my car for over a week now and I am still not bored with it, each track sounding better the more times I listen to it.

So, if you are a fan of technical music and poetic lyrics then this is not the album for you, but if you like a bit of rock you can listen to loud in your car with the roof down then go and get a copy of this! I loved it and I am sure you will too!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Rich Man
02. Not Before You
03. London
04. Goldfinger
05. Player
06. India
07. Skeletons in The Closet
08. Guitar Commandos
09. Eyes of A Stranger

LINKS:

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

KISS Live at The O2 Arena London – 31st May 2017

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KISS Live at The O2 Arena, London
31/05/2017
Review by Dawn King

9/10

OK, I admit I am not the biggest Kiss fan around but even I had to try and get tickets for this show when it was announced in November of last year. With a combined age of nearly a quarter of a millenium there was no telling when, or even if, the glam-rock band from New York City would hit these shores again. I had only seen them previously once before, a small charity gig at the Kentish Town Forum a few years back, a gig with no stage show, no pyrotechnics, no over the top antics so I was, in fact, a Kiss virgin.

My cherry was well and truly popped at the O2.

The journey to the venue was a sombre one. With the terrorist attack in Manchester just over a week previous, I was expecting tightened security and that’s exactly what we got. Airport style metal detectors and bag scanners were employed just inside the doors and additional ones further inside the venue but not one person complained. Music is there is bring us all together and if these added measures made sure this happened then it was fine by all of us.

Once inside the venue, I was confronted by an onslaught of Kiss logos emblazoned across the chests of people of all shapes and sizes ranging from the toughest looking man to the smallest child and painted faces were everywhere. I have been to a fair few gigs over the years but nothing really prepared me for the enthusiasm showed by Kiss fans.

Queues for the merchandise stall were ten or twelve people deep, each person wanting this year’s tour shirt to add to their many already hanging in their wardrobes back home, and venders selling the tour programme were literally everywhere.

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We all know the history of Kiss. Formed in 1973 in New York City with original members Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, they have often been described in the past as a brand masquerading as a band. Ok, so they are not the most talented of musicians, and I can think of a LOT worse ones, but they don’t need to be. Their career has always been based on their live performances, their Kiss Alive album catapulting them to superstardom, and really they are just four guys playing good old fashioned rock and roll.

Opening with Deuce, from the album Kiss, it was apparent from the start this would be an evening of classics. Shout It Out Loud came next and this was followed by a moments silence for the victims of the Manchester bombing. Union Jack flags blazed onto the screens along with the slogan “We Stand with Manchester”, a fitting memorial for the atrocities that had occurred a week before.

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The music kicked in again with Lick It Up, an obvious crowd favourite, and this was followed by Firehouse. All in all there were only two songs on the whole set list that I didn’t know, so the die-hard Kiss fans would have been extremely happy.

All the hits were there from Crazy, Crazy Nights to Psycho Circus to Black Diamond and a Kiss show wouldn’t be a Kiss show without God of Thunder and Gene Simmons’ blood-spitting demon routine. I have heard this being compared to an old grandad’s party piece that people humour so not offend said grandad but I think it’s a little more than that. It’s part of the backbone of a Kiss gig and any new Kiss fans or people seeing them for the first time would hate for it to now, after all these years, be suddenly omitted from the show.

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With pyrotechnics galore, ticker tape (do we call it that here in England?) and Paul Stanley zip-wiring to a circular stage amongst the crowd, this show certainly had all the hall-marks of a Kiss show. But let’s face it. To call a Kiss gig a show is really an understatement, with words such as “spectacular” and “extravaganza” springing to mind.

All four guys were on top form for the whole performance, Paul Stanley’s voice faltering ever so slightly at times but his showmanship more than made up for it, Gene’s tongue appeared more times than a snake’s searching for food, and both Eric and Tommy were fantastic. Never before have I seen a band with more stage presence and charisma as these guys…..and I have seen some egos over the years.

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Their closing song was, none other than, Rock n Roll All Nite, with an encore of singalong song, I Was Made For Loving You and the awesome Detroit Rock City. My only gripe is that they never played Strutter, my favourite, but them’s the breaks I guess. They can’t play EVERYONE’S favourite song now, can they?

All in all, a Kiss gig is an absolute must and I, for one, am glad I was able to see them before they hang up their platforms and face paints for good.

Disclaimer: This review and photographs are solely the property of Dawn King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.