May 15, 2015 Pretty Boy Floyd – Kiss of Death A Tribute to Kiss (Album Review)
Hollywood Glam rockers Pretty Boy Floyd formed in 1987 at the height of the Glam Rock era. They achieved success with their debut album Leather Boyz With Electric Toyz in 1989, but with the emergence of Grunge, their time was short and they went their separate ways in 1991. In 1995, they re-formed, released an EP and an album, Porn Stars, and following a US tour in 2006, they split again. Then in 2011, they announced a new album of brand new songs, something that never materialized, though they have been touring regularly, and have released an EP of covers. They have recently taken the time to record this album, Kiss Of Death, which is 100% KISS classics, given the Pretty Boy Floyd treatment.
Pretty Boy Floyd hailed KISS as one of their heroes back in the ’80s, and with Kiss of Death, released via Cleopatra Records, they pay tribute to the band that set them on the Rock n’ Roll road to fame. Steve Summers (vocals) is now the only original member. Pretty Boy Floyd has been announced to headline Lollapalooza 2015, apparently at the request of Paul McCartney, and to the irritation of Metallica, who perform before them in the bill. Dave Lombardo (ex-Slayer) is currently handling drumming duties, with renowned producer Steve Albini taking on the guitars.
Kiss of Death contains a selection of KISS’s greatest hits, fifteen songs everybody should already know, and opens with “King of the Night Time World.” Pretty Boy Floyd keep to the originals in style, which is expected since they are from the same genre of band themselves. That they love these tracks and enjoyed playing them is obvious from the performances. The cheeky “Room Service” follows, and is sleazy and fun. “I Stole Your Love,” the next track, speeds us towards one of the biggest KISS tracks, the bombastic and unapologetic “I Love It Loud.” “Goin’ Blind” is more bluesy by comparison, with lush guitars. Always a favorite amongst KISS fans, “Deuce” is true to the original. “Creatures of the Night” leads us into another of the KISS giants, “Detroit Rock City,” and for a song about a fatal car crash, it is both joyous and flamboyant. “Firehouse” is up next, with its dirty riffs. Dirtier still is the double entendre filled “Love Gun,” taking things to the extreme and is another huge song. Equally essential for any KISS greatest hits album is “Shout It Loud,” a sing-along anthem, while “Christine 16” is one of their older hits. The sublime “Strutter” will please many, leading into the lesser known “Let Me Go Rock N’Roll.” Finally, “Black Diamond” brings the album to a fabulous and thrilling end.
There are many KISS “Greatest Hits” albums, and most of these songs appear on those albums. A couple of them are unexpected and there are a few of the big anthems that are missing, but KISS is so well-known and has so many huge hits, it is hard to choose just fifteen tracks without missing out a few. Pretty Boy Floyd does a fine job of covering these songs, and their respect for the band shines through. Musically, it is not the most technically difficult, but KISS is always fun to listen to, and Pretty Boy Floyd has captured the fun side of things. This album is easy to sing along to and is up-beat to the excess. Maybe now is the time for that new original album from this overlooked ’80s hair band. CrypticRock gives Kiss of Death 4 out of 5 stars.