October 26, 1987 12:00 PM


When people seek to stretch beyond their limitations, the effort should always be commended. Bravo, Kiss. On this album’s first cut, Crazy, Crazy Nights, the veteran sludge rockers take a stab at a much lighter pop style, which is levitated by a bright guitar riff reminiscent of the ’70s group the Raspberries. There are also two songs, My Way (not the Paul Anka tune) and Reason To Live, with slower tempos than is customary for the group. All right, not one of these is a great song, but after 13 years of unrelieved hammerheaded din, the change of pace is welcome. The rest of the record is standard Kiss fare: Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley singing about insatiable dudes and naughty girls while the rest of the band bashes away dizzily. The lyrics of Bang Bang You are representative: “I’m gonna bang, bang you/ I’ll shoot you down with my love gun, baby/ Bang, bang you/ Got you in the heart, you’re gonna be mine, yeah.” Over the years Kiss has developed a penchant for grooming flashy, high-speed guitar players. In this case Bruce Kulick gets ample opportunities to let his nimble fingers fly, especially on No, No, No. At least Kiss has a workmanlike attitude toward their records. Like a crew of plumbers, they show up and plunge right in. Some people are fascinated by their activities; most would rather leave the house while they’re around. But they do get the job done. And they always get paid handsomely. (Mercury)

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