February 16, 2022

German purveyors of glam metal Kissin’ Dynamite have bounced around the labels a bit since forming as a school band in 2007. Their first couple of albums were recorded for Capitol Records, a subsidiary of Universal, before they jumped ship to German metal label AFM in 2011. This new opus, their seventh full-length offering, is also their debut for Napalm, and I have to admit it’s a fine peiece of work. Fresh-faced frontman Hannes Braun looks every inch the platinum blond poster boy, but he has a great voice, and also undertakes production duties for the five-piece. The result is a full-sounding set of rock anthems and power ballads that sits easily with the likes of Aerosmith or Bon Jovi, without being quite a tongue-in-cheek as the former or as squeaky-clean as the latter. The opening title track Not The End Of The Road is a highlight of the album, with shades of Bruce Dickinson and a lovely solo from lead guitarist Jim Müller, while the jolly What Goes Up is a riffy rocker reminiscent of Van Halen or Aerosmith. Nihilistic anthem Only The Dead name-checks Ronnie James Dio and Kurt Cobain amongst the heroes they would want to raise a glass with in the afterlife.

Photo: Holger Fichtner & Patrick Schneiderwind

Charity song Good Life, a charity single with all proceeds going to Child Cancer clinic Tübingen, drifts further into 1980s commercial territory punctuated with digital claps, and guest female vocals from Guernica Mancini and Charlotte Wessels – not to mention a bagpipe solo from the impressively-named Falk Irmenfried von Hasen-Mümmelstein of medieval metal outfit Saltatio Mortis. No One Dies A Virgin sounds like an attempt to move into the same brash orbit as Motley Crüe, but the lyric, while angrily cynical, isn’t quite as un-PC as you might think. It also features some nice harmony guitar background riffs and a half-tempo bridge, leading into a creditable shredding, tapping guitar solo.

Defeat It is pure Paul Stanley and Kiss, but really I’d have to say the most adventurous tracks are the power ballads – Gone For Good and the album-closer Scars are two of the best tracks in the set, with plenty of texture, variation, and crystal-clear engineering. A total of twelve songs brings the total up to about 50 minutes. The tracks are all of about the same quality; there’s some variation in the feel and mood of the pieces, but it’s difficult to pinpoint a stand-out highlight – but then there are no outright tukeys either. The whole set is of a consistently high standard, Braun is an excellent front man, Müller a wicked guitarist, complemented by an excellent back three of Andi Schnitzer on drums, Steffen Haile on bass, and rhythm guitarist Andi Braun. It’s unashamedly hair and glam, and really ought to be shallow and adolescently immature, but instead it is sharp, tight and professional. And from a personal point of view, it’s nice to hear an album that makes no attempt to be hip, woke, environmentally conscious or socially aware. Rock on, guys.