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Aural Pleasure Review

Kiss: "Hell or Hallelujah" (Single)

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With their first new album in three years set to pop in October, Kiss is getting fans in the mood with "Hell or Hallelujah," the leadoff single from Monster. There isn't anything surprising whatsoever about the song — it's pure factory-stamped boilerplate hard rock, and it's doubtful that the band would take that description as anything but a compliment. After five decades in the business, AARP-aged Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons have as little interest in breaking new musical ground as their fans. It's telling that the most spectacular bits of "Hell or Hallelujah" are the spitting guitar solos from replacement guitarist Tommy Thayer, who, at 51, is the band's spring chicken. But Kiss fanatics will eat it up, and non-fans aren't much going to care. The only real criticism one could make at this point is the poor choice of title, which is entirely too reminiscent of Lordi's big hit "Hard Rock Hallelujah." It can't do a band any good to remind people that there's a younger version of them out there beating them at their own game.

★★★ (out of 5 stars)

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