Getting The Spins: KISS – Revenge

(Mercury, 1992)

This record was a huge deal for KISS fans when it was released 28 years ago (unholy shit!). Revenge came out as grunge was coming in, and leading up to the release Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley promised a heavier, no-nonsense rock record (they’d just suffered the loss of drummer Eric Carr as well, which seemed to help refocus the band). Of course, KISS fans had been subjected to this sort of bluster before only to be let down (see Crazy Nights). My confidence was restored the night I tuned in to watch MTV debut the video for lead single “Unholy” a month before the album came out. The single and vid delivered–the opening riff was killer, and Gene looked and sounded more evil than he had in a decade. And the record itself? I loved it at the time, even if I secretly hoped for something heavier (by that point I was on a steady diet of Prong, Sepultura and Soundgarden). I should note that then-lead guitarist Bruce Kulick absolutely owns on Revenge, and drummer Eric Singer showcases by he’s arguably KISS’s best-ever drummer.

In the years since, Revenge has generally been held in high regard by both fans and the band. I’ve gone back and forth as to where I rank it, or whether or not it’s worth the acclaim. That said, I finally bought it on vinyl a couple weeks ago, and I’ve been thoroughly digging it (hearing the trashy “Take It Off” and the underrated deep cut “Paralyzed” blast through the speakers is just what the doctor ordered). Soooo…my not-so-quick reassessment: I guess I really do like Revenge.