097: KISS

A lot of times with ABAD, as I’m writing, I’ll consider the fact that, even with bigger bands, somebody might not know them, so I’ll make it my mission to convince you of why the band is question is worth your time.

So what happens when it’s one of the most recognisable bands on the planet? Nobody needs convincing when it comes to Kiss. Positive or negative, your mind is already well and truly made up.

For me, for as long as I can remember, Kiss have been this larger than life, almost mythical band. As a kid I was fascinated but, being a dumb kid, I never appreciated the band for the music. I never saw past the crazy outfits and face paint. But as I grew older, and my taste in music started to expand into broader subgenres of rock and metal, I realised not only that I genuinely loved the music, but that I’d known and liked so much of it without realising for a substantial portion of my life.

The first time I saw Kiss live it was almost too much to comprehend. It was as surreal a live music experience I’d ever had. I’ve seen some pretty jaw dropping names – Sabbath, Maiden, and Priest, for example – but I didn’t know who those bands were when I was 7 years old. But Kiss? I’ve always known Kiss. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t. So to see the Starchild zip lining around an arena while the Demon spit blood was a dream come true.

It’s bombastic, it’s fun, and it’s solid straightforward rock. It often gets overlooked – Kiss will forever be seen as a gimmick band, after all – but a band can’t get by on incredible showmanship alone. The music has to be strong enough to lift it up, and the longevity Kiss has seen speaks for itself.