SIDE ONE / SIDE TWO
Released in February and October, 2017 (Klassik ’78)
Klassic ’78 is a collective of hard core KISS fans out of somewhere in the USA. My contact with the band, Tom, tells me this loose group of musicians are more about the style and interpretation of KISS rather than the need for recognition and personal glory. I can respect that. These guys are way more about interpretation than making simple covers of existing classics.
Now, I have to admit that I am not a particular fan of KISS. They never hit my wheel house until “Lick It Up”, and by then, they were chasing the sound they helped create. I did check with a few people who knew and loved the band, and they were blown away by the dedication to Klassik’s vision. With this review, I will accept that Klassik has captured the old school KISS, and will focus instead on the current proffered music.
The first release from back in February, a six song effort entitled Side One, is apparently a real fix on early KISS. The guitars are crunchy and the drums prominent, with a focus on vocals. Opening track “Standing Tall” is quite good. I love the sound, although it lacks the nuance of today’s production. “Please And Tease” is a technical guitar driven track, again with a strong vocal line. I’m missing the high-end cymbals and clarity, but I get why it was recorded that way. Other tracks, like “Mean Business” and “Rock And Roll You” combine KISS vocals with an AC/DC guitar crunch. I’m pretty into this as an album, and more than I thought I might be.
Moving on to Side Two is a totally different experience. The songwriting is far more creative, while the production is of higher quality. I’m told by Tom that the drum tracks, for example, were using eight mics on this album, as opposed to three on the previous Side One. The first song “Ain’t No Fool” captures a true KISS sound, as does “American Made.” What is interesting to me is that Klassik uses the KISS model to create songs that actually stand up to modern tastes in pure guitar rock. This really exposes itself in the guitar line for “Hot On Her Heels”… a little faster beat and it could be Crashdïet or Hell In The Club. “Jendell” has a tad of Husker Du in it, with floating riffs but a focused vocal line.
So many of the people I’ve talked to can’t get over how much this band sounds like KISS. What fascinates me is that Klassik ’78 has tried to interpret what KISS might sound like today, if that band had stayed true to their 1970’s sound. Tom has dedicated the two albums to Gene, Paul, Ace and Peter. I think they have done an excellent job. Get into this if you’re a KISS fan. The actual KISS could not do better these days.
Track List for Side One:
01. Standing Tall
02. Please N Tease
03. Mean Business
04. Passion & Love
05. Rock And Roll You
Track List for Side Two:
01. Ain’t No Fool
02. American Made
03. Hot On Her Heels
06. World On Fire
A collective of various artists
Reviewed by Metal Mike for Sleaze Roxx, February 2018
Klassik ’78‘s “Victims” lyric video:
KLASSIK ’78 – “Victims” Lyric Video 2017. Victims (words & music by KLASSIK ’78) from the KLASSIK ’78 album “SIDE TWO”. www.klassik78.com *Nosferatu footage via Public Domain
Klassik ’78‘s Side One teaser:
Uploaded by SuperKiss1995 on 2017-12-02.