Jul 25, 2018

Part of me wants to ignore that this record goes to lengths to let you know it’s “Swedish Punk with special guests Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols), Brian James (Damned), and Bruce Kulick (Grand Funk Railroad/Kiss).” There’s a lot to unpack there. Kulick was the fourth guitar player in Kiss, one who never wore makeup and played during a time when it was particularly difficult to get noticed in Kiss. He was also in a (sort of) proto punk band called The Good Rats, a band that probably won’t appeal across the board, but they’re a band way more interesting to know about than Kiss in ‘84. I’m glad Glen Matlock is staying busy, but it’s also hard to distinguish yourself as a guest bassist. I paid attention to the bass on the songs he played on. It was fine. He’s a great bass player. Which brings me to the highlight of the album: Brian James’ guitar solo on “Everything I Failed to Be.” The solo is excellent. Everything I told you about the guests on this record is more interesting than the record itself, which is fine pop punk with competent hints of mainstream, big-vocal hardcore. None of it much scratches the surface for me. –Billups Allen (Dead Lamb, deadlambrecords.com)