HardReviews 4
by Martin Popoff

Room Full Of Sinners (Locomotive)

The Cursed is a project band featuring Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth from Overkill and Dan Lorenzo of Hades and Non-Fiction fame making a big, black 'n' blue pile of noise. And I love it... I mean, Dan's always had this canny ability to fuse doom to classic rock, and that's what he does here, throttling each stone-free track with big grungy Cathedral-tinged chords, o'er which Blitz does his best Dan McCafferty to pleasureable effect, in fact, turning in a room full of sinners on his own, with respect to vocal guises. Oddly, the latest Quiet Riot and that 3 Legged Dog thing come to mind (as well as Snake Eyes Seven on Chavis), each - and this - going for an Iommi solo sound of sorts. But I'd say The Cursed is the best at it, because there's some added synergy here of Blitz getting away from the seriousness of Overkill, while, ironically, Dan is more serious than usual! Is it as good as Down or Trouble? No, I suppose not, but this is a modest project rock treasure all the same, better than Supershine from Doug and Bruce, which was pretty cool in itself. Call it a tie with D.D.'s Bronx Casket Co., and while yer at it, call for a cold compress for my headbanged head.
Rating 7.5

Kissology: The Ultimate Kiss Collection Vol. 2 1978 - 1991

This thing is a blast, and might actually eclipse the first one that covered the classic era. Why? Well, you get to see the movement through different lineups, including the very hiring (well, introduction) of Eric Carr, Vinnie Vincent talking and not suing, and then Bruce Kulick bringing some musicianship (and a very weird suit) to the fold. The costumes and hair styles change, but the venues are all big, proving that the hangover from being huge can be a long one, especially if you take the show to Australia. You get the inaugural unmasking of the band on MTV, a vintage interview with Peter Criss as he just left the band. All sorts of worldwide pop TV show performances as well become unearthed, with the band performing their shocking and ill-advised pop stuff, but then rebounding with a roar for Creatures Of The Night. The live stuff (including the first show the band did without makeup, in Portugal) demonstrates what a showman both Paul and Gene can be, and how multidimensional and different from each other both are. There's the glam clothes from the Crazy Nights era, there's the skintight suits from the late '70s... there's all sorts of new songs mixed with the old until one bursts with Kissology without apology. On a physical tack, there's three discs in a four panel case, which then fits in a slipcover. The booklet is stuffed with text and picture and also included in the side-flap, a nine track bonus CD documenting a Japanese show from '88, and a souvenir ticket to Phantom Of The Park. This is a great series - I await Vol. 3, 'cos Revenge is a kick-ass Kiss album.
Rating 10