Kiss Alive IV

It has been a shockingly long time since the relentless, ubiquitous and ludicrous Kiss released their last live album, so why the hell not? Where there’s money to be made, this gang will be there. So here we are in 2003, farewell tours be damned and sans Ace Frehley, still rocking out. The performances on here are surprisingly solid, but man, talk about a travelling parody. Then again, there’s something grudgingly endearing about this band, still stubbornly playing these tunes, clinging on to the power of rock’n’roll (or the power of the dollar sign, more likely). This double-disc set is split into three parts; the first is a rote walk through a handful of Kiss tunes, the second is an acoustic set with some orchestration, and the third finds the band, for some ungodly reason, accompanied by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Surprisingly enough, it works out alright for a few of the tunes, but a lot of it is kind of useless, misplaced, and fluffy. Which actually pretty much sums up Kiss at this point — and this is coming from someone who was a diehard Kiss fan as a kid. (Sanctuary)