The core hard rock sound hasn’t changed much in the last few decades. Sure, there have been different sounds since the late 80s and it can still be classified as such, bands have added in new bits here, removed bits and it can still be hard rock. But that essential sound which springs to mind when you say those two magic words? It’s still going to be long-haired, clad in denim, leather and some spandex for good measure.
But then again, why fix something which ain’t broke? Which is what Kissin’ Dynamite do. Sure, hard rock bands like these guys aren’t providing anything new but they’re doubling down on providing quality to make sure you have a new band to listen to. Mixing the traditional hard rock tropes with a dash of NWOBHM and a sprinkling of pop hooks and Ecstasy could have come staggered from the Sunset Strip, complete with its own drug habit.
Full of bravado, Kissin’ Dynamite essentially sound like H.E.A.T would if they weren’t from the land of flat-pack furniture, albeit a bit punchier and the pop side toned back a notch. Naturally, with a band such as this going into their second decade, they put in a slick performance. Other than being weighed down with a couple of tracks more than necessary, there’s not a weak link on show with the exception of the ballads which have been ripped straight from the “As saccharine as Bon Jovi coated in syrup” playbook.
Elsewhere, there’s a power metal moment in the form of “Waging War” and “Wild Wind” is the band’s ode to Slash with it’s “Sweet Child O’ Mine”-esque intro. However, the band should be commended for their opening track “I’ve Got the Fire” as it grabs the listener by the scruff of the neck and refuses to let go. It’s a statement of intent and tells you exactly what lies within is as rough and ready as this track. With the drawling vocals of Joe Elliott in his prime from Hannes Braun combined with the high-octane guitar attack in the form of Ande Braun and Jim Müller, this could have been taken straight from one of H.E.A.T’s later albums.
Meanwhile, “You’re Not Alone” and “Ecstasy” have a powerful anthemic tone to them – the sort Scorpions built their career on. Full of catchy hooks and singalong choruses, there’s still enough meat to call it hard rock which would work in sweaty basement clubs or with 50,000 people in a stadium somewhere.
Ecstasy isn’t the reinvention of the wheel, nor is it even a refinement of it. Instead, Kissin’ Dynamite have made an album full of songs that they want to play, inspired by the bands they love. With their punchy drums and soaring guitars, it’s everything which makes straight-forward hard rock so great and they want to remind everyone of that.
Ecstasy is out now