Kiss: Monster [2012]

Released
  • October 5, 2012 (Europe)
  • October 9, 2012 (North America)
  • October 10, 2012 (Japan)
Recorded April 13, 2011 – January 6, 2012 at Conway Recording Studios, Hollywood, California and the Nook, Studio City, Los Angeles
Genre Heavy metal, hard rock
Length 43:45
Label Universal Music Group
Producer Paul Stanley, Greg Collins

Monster is the 20th studio album by American rock band Kiss, and was released on October 9, 2012. The album was recorded at Conway Recording Studios in Hollywood, CA and The Nook in Studio City, Los Angeles. Monster was produced by the band’s co-founder and lead singer Paul Stanley and co-produced by Greg Collins, as was 2009’s Sonic Boom.

Bassist and vocalist Gene Simmons first mentioned the band’s intention to record a follow-up to 2009’s Sonic Boom in an interview promoting Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock in 2010.[1] On March 10, 2011, Simmons said in radio interview for Heavy Metal Thunder that the band will enter the studio in three weeks and that they have around 20 to 25 songs ready to record.[2] Drummer Eric Singer confirmed during an Eric Singer Project soundcheck that the band will start recording the album on April 4.[3]

In an interview with Elliot Segal on Elliot in the Morning, May 2, 2011, Simmons mentioned that the band had recorded around five songs.[4] The album was originally supposed to contain 10 songs, but Simmons revealed before the American Music Awards of 2011 that Monster will contain 15 brand new songs, all studio written by the band. This was then reduced to 13 songs.[5]

On August 21, 2011, the band officially revealed the album’s title and confirmed that it was being recorded in Los Angeles, with vocalist and guitarist Paul Stanley producing, for a 2012 release.[6]

The band uploaded a video on January 3, 2012 on YouTube in which Stanley commented that the album was two to three days from completion.[7] The recording process ended on January 6, 2012. The following day, Stanley stated, “Listening to the tracks back to back is like sensory overload. Everyone who has heard any of it is completely blown away. Powerful, heavy, melodic and epic. It makes us very proud. You all will be too.”[8]

The album’s first single, “Hell or Hallelujah“, was released on July 2, 2012 internationally and on July 3 in North America along with the Monster Book. The second single from Monster, “Long Way Down”, will be released to radio stations on October 23, 2012. [9]

After several release delays, Monster was released in North America on October 9, 2012.

According to an interview with lead guitarist Tommy Thayer, the band had the intention of creating an album with a slightly heavier sound than Sonic Boom, as well as recreating the vibe that existed on the band’s earlier material.[10] Similarly, Gene Simmons has likened the album to a combination of three of the band’s previous albums, Destroyer, Revenge and the album’s predecessor Sonic Boom.[11]

While doing interviews for his appearance in ABC‘s TV-show Castle, Simmons commented on the album’s sound: “Meat and potatoes. You know it’s going to be like Santa Claus. Up and down, everybody gets used to this and that, and things change, and fashion changes, but it’s good to know that Santa comes, and he’s not going to change his outfit and you know what you’re going to get: gifts. Consistency of message.”[12]

The band also decided to use old analog equipment instead of more popular digital recording gear. In justifying the band’s choice, Simmons commented: “Technology is a seductive bitch, she will seduce you. You press this button, you don’t have to do anything. But analog is the love of your life. You can push real hard and it always gives back. For the new album, the actual recording process was 24-track tape and an old Trident board. And as many tubes as possible. You need tubes, electricity and thick wood to make that thick sound.”[13]

On March 22, 2012, Stanley said in an interview with VH1 Radio Network’s Dave Basner, “Monster is really the culmination of everything this band has been in the past and where we’re going. When we did Sonic Boom, it was a big task for us because we were saying, ‘How do we define who we are today without losing who we’ve been?’ So, that was a tall order for us, but once we got that under our belts, we wanted to go back in and Monster is far, far beyond anything we’ve done in terms of Sonic Boom and yet it’s right up there with some of the best stuff we’ve done. It’s KISS.”

Initial reaction from the audience was positive. Sebastian Bach revealed on his Twitter account the track “The Devil Is Me”, saying “it kicks TOTAL ASS!!”.[24] Skid Row’s lead guitarist Dave “The Snake” Sabo was also of positive opinion of the album, posting on Twitter “its [sic] very good!!”.[25] BackstageAxxess wrote: “This solid release by Kiss should delight the Kiss Army!” [26] Grande Rock stated: “Monster is not all that bad, and it is definitely a grower”.[17] Following the album’s release, the album has been met with mixed to positive responses. William Clark with Guitar International wrote, “Monster shows Eric and Tommy truly stepping into the shoes of their predecessors, while Gene and Paul create some of their best tracks in many years”.

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Lead Vocals Length
1. Hell or Hallelujah”   Paul Stanley Stanley 4:07
2. “Wall of Sound”   Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer Simmons 2:55
3. “Freak”   Stanley, Thayer Stanley 3:35
4. “Back to the Stone Age”   Simmons, Stanley, Thayer, Eric Singer Simmons 3:01
5. “Shout Mercy”   Stanley, Thayer Stanley 4:04
6. “Long Way Down”   Stanley, Thayer Stanley 3:51
7. “Eat Your Heart Out”   Simmons Simmons 4:06
8. “The Devil Is Me”   Simmons, Stanley, Thayer Simmons 3:40
9. “Outta This World”   Thayer Thayer 4:29
10. “All for the Love of Rock & Roll”   Stanley Singer 3:21
11. “Take Me Down Below”   Simmons, Stanley, Thayer Simmons, Stanley 3:24
12. “Last Chance”   Stanley, Simmons, Thayer Stanley 3:05
iTunes Bonus Track
No. Title Writer(s) Lead Vocals Length
13. “Right Here Right Now”   Stanley Stanley 3:58

Lyrics

1. Hell or Hallelujah

I rode the highway to heartache
I took a trip on the ship of fools, woah yeah!
And I paid the price to have my way
‘Cause money makes the rules, yeah!

Sing it!
Lay down!
I’m looking through ya
Stay down!
You got what you should
Pay now!
All that you never would
It feels good!

Hell or hallelujah!
No matter what you do
I’m running through ya
Yeah!

You said that love’s never lasting
We surrender our hearts to lose, yeah
Time’s up there’s nobody askin’
This time I get to choose

Let me hear ya!
Lay down!
Don’t say you’re sorry
Stay down!
I knew that you would
Pay now!
Don’t say you’re misunderstood
It feels good

Hell or hallelujah!
No matter what you do
I’m running through ya
One more time!
Hell or hallelujah!
Come on, come on
The rest is up to you
It’s overdue, ya

Listen!
One heart is breakin’
One chance I’m takin’
No lies, no fakin’
Goodbye, feels like it should!
It feels good!

Oh yeah!

Hey
One heart is breakin’
One chance I’m takin’
No lies, no fakin’
Goodbye, feels like it should!

Yeah, let me tell ya how it feels…
It feels good!

Hell or hallelujah!
No matter what you do
I’m running through ya
Come on, come on
Hell or hallelujah!
The rest is up to you
It’s overdue, yeah!

2. Wall Of Sound

The blood’s getting hot
No matter what you’ve got
You can’t stop the roll of the thunder (yeah)
You wanna take a shot
So give me all you’ve got
Can’t break the spell that I’m under (no)

And the battle never ends
And the soldiers never die
And you don’t back down
And you don’t pretend when you look them in the eye

And it all comes down
To the wall of sound
Yeah, and it all comes down

When it all goes wrong
You’ve got to be strong
The rest of the world’s going to shatter
It doesn’t matter

Let the floods go raging by
Let the sinners wash away
To the dark of man there’s a ray of light
There begins another day

And it all comes down
To the wall of sound (ooh)

Yeah!

And the battle never ends
And the soldiers never die
And you don’t back down
And you pretend when you look them in the eye

Yeah!

And we all bow down
To the wall of sound
Yeah, we all bow down
To the wall of sound
Bow down
Yeah, bow down
Bow down

3. Freak

I used to wonder why
When I was walking by
They talked about me
What could it be
They tried to break me
Never could make me

Out in the streets
Takin’ all the heat
Dancin’ in the sheets, oh yeah

All those streaks in my hair
People point at me and stare
If they ask me I’ll say, “yeah!”
I’m a freak
And I love the clothes I wear
Where their life goes I don’t care
It’s my price I’m proud to pay
I’m a freak

The called me crazy
It doesn’t faze me
I’m doing fine, they’re doing time
They tried to break me
Never could make me
Live like a fire
Dancin’ with desire
Walkin’ on the wire, oh yeah (yeah, yeah, yeah)

I’m a freak and love what I see
I’m a freak and I love being me (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

Out in the streets
Takin’ all the heat
Dancin’ in the sheets, oh yeah

[Gene:] I pledge allegience… to the state of… independence…

I got streaks in my hair
People point at me and stare
If they ask me I’ll say, “yeah!”
I’m a freak
And I love the clothes I wear
Where their life goes I don’t care
It’s my price I’m proud to pay
I’m a freak
I’m the freak and I love what I see
I’m the freak and I love being me
I’m a freak and that’s all I can be
I’m a freak, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

[Gene:] I pledge allegience… to the state of… independence…

4. Back to the Stone Age

Yeah…
In the beginning there was darkness and there was light
At the dawn of creation there was fear in the dead of night
There was thunder, there was flame
The whole wide world is driving me insane

Don’t want to run, don’t want to hide
I keep the fire buring deep inside
I howl at the moon, I pray to the sun
I’ve got a one-way ticket to kingdom come

I’m going back to the stone age
I’m going back where I belong
I’m going back to the stone age
Back where I come from

Telling the world I’m going back where I belong
To a place where the sky is clear, the wind is strong
Climb the mountains, cross the seas
Clear in my soul I want to be free
Sit on the throne, let ’em kiss the ring
‘Cause I’m a stone age man (yeah)

(I’m the king) back to the stone age
Back where I belong
I’m going back to the stone age
Back where I belong

I like it

Yeah…

Back to the stone age (I’m going back)
Back to the stone age (I’m going back)
Back to the stone age (yeah)
Bye-bye, so long

5. Shout Mercy

Hey!
I don’t want a lover’s heartache
I don’t need nobody’s sympathy
So come on get the party started
All I need is lying next to me

We got our own situation
Ready, and steady, to go
Come out, put out, get out
That’s what we’re all about

I want to hear you shout mercy (whoo-hoo)
I wanna get a little crazy (oh yeah)

Hey!

You got everything I’m after
Flesh and blood just like a fantasy (whoo-hoo)
Alright

So make my heart start beatin’ faster
Never is and what can never be (whoo-hoo)
Mercy

You gotta a line to keep waitin’
How is it nobody sees
Come out, put out, get out
That’s what we’re all about

Yeah!

I want to hear you shout mercy (whoo-hoo)
I wanna get a little crazy (oh yeah)
We’re gonna make a little exstacy, you and me (whoo-hoo)
That’s what we’re all about
Mercy (mercy)

Yeah!

C’mon (whoo-hoo)
Alright, alright (oh heay)
Mercy (whoo-hoo)
Mercy

Listen!
We got our own situation
Ready, and steady, to go
Come out, put out, get out
That’s what we’re all about

I want to hear you shout mercy (whoo-hoo)
I wanna get a little crazy (oh yeah)
We’re gonna make a little exstacy, you and me (whoo-hoo)
That’s what we’re all about
Mercy (mercy)

I don’t want a lover’s heartache
I don’t need nobody’s sympathy
I don’t want it
And I don’t need it
Mercy
Oh yeah!

6. Long Way Down

Gypsy, has eyes that hide the secrets no one sees
Easy, you smile until she brings you to your knees
Stick around ’til you get the truth
Taste blood when you get your proof (oh yeah)
Find that you’ve never understood
Give it all, but it’s meant for good (oh yeah)

And I know this life makes fools of wise men, thieves, and kings (yeah)
When we lose we live our lives like puppets on a string
Close your eyes and you’ll lose your soul
Do your time, but there’s no parole from here
No chance when the end is near
Hear the words that you never thought you’d hear (yeah)
Life whispers in your ear

It’s a long way down
When ground starts comin’
I tried to tell you, but you would not listen
It’s a long way when you fall from the top

Yeah!

Build it all on a bed of lies
Standing tall ’til you realize you’re here
Look away, but you can’t pretend
Gonna pray for a way when the end is near
Life whispers in your ear

It’s a long way down
When ground starts comin’
I tried to tell you
But you would not listen
It’s a long way
Such a long, long way
It’s a long way down
When the ground starts comin’
I tried to tell you
But you would not listen
It’s a long way
Such a long, long way
A long way down
A long way down
When you fall from the top

7. Eat Your Heart Out

Eat your heart out baby
Oh, won’t you get me something sweet
Eat your heart out baby (yeah)
A hot mess is just what I need (uh, yeah)

Yeah, give me a kiss I’ll bite your lip
C’mon baby let your backbone slip
You’ve got something that gets me jumpin’
I got something wanna talk about
I ain’t lyin’ there’s no denying
There ain’t no doubt about that

Eat your heart out baby
Oh, won’t you get me something sweet
Eat your heart out baby (yeah)
A hot mess is just what I need

You got big trouble crawling up your spine (yeah, yeah)
If you want double trouble stop wasting time (yeah, yeah)
Sparks fly, my blood runs high
I wanna show you what it’s all about
Grease lightning at my feet
I know I feel the heat

You’re my pleasure
You’re my pain
I’m coming back again

It feels right
It feels goods
You give me pleasure like a big girl should

Oh, yeah!
Ooh!

I wanna eat your heart out baby
Oh, won’t you get me something sweet
Eat your heart out baby (yeah)
A hot mess is just what I need
What I need
Eat your heart out baby
You’ve got something sweet
Sweet!
Eat your heart out baby
I wanna
Eat your heart out baby
Oh yeah

8. The Devil Is Me

I ran from temptation
I prayed for salvation (yeah)
I screamed at God
Save me from my own damnation (yeah)
My eyes were cold and blinded
I held the page I could not read
Drew up my blood inside him
I woke up in a sweat
And heard the Lord’s decree

The Devil is me
The Devil is me
I fought myself to be set free
‘Cause the Devil is me (yeah)

I lived in confusion
Choked on my past illusions
I sinned a thousand times
And drank the wine
While screaming out for absolution (yeah)
I stood on mountain broken
I woke up in a sweat
And heard the Lord’s decree

Take a look at yourself and tell me what you see…
The Devil is me

My eyes were cold and blinded
I held the page I could not read
Drew up my blood inside him
I woke up in a sweat
And heard the Lord’s decree

Yeah!

The Devil is me…

9. Outta This World

Ah yeah!
I was born to the human race
Livin’ life feelin’ out of place
People said I was wasting my time
Looking to find my kind

I saw you and I realized
You got the fire burnin’ in your eyes
Let’s get away, leave it all behind
I’m ready to blow your mind

I’ll take you out of this world (to the other side)
On a midnight rocket (’til the morning light)
Going up, going down (it’s gonna be alright)
I’ll take you out of this world tonight

You and me we’re like TNT
Light the fuse that’s inside of me
You get your ticket when you understand
I’m ready to be your man

You got a hunger baby there’s no doubt
You got desire – gotta get it out
I’ll free your body, if you free your soul
If you’re ready to rock
I’m ready to roll

I’ll take you out of this world (to the other side)
On a midnight rocket (’til the morning light)
Going up, going down (it’s gonna be alright)
I’ll take you out of this world tonight

I see the glow
Burnin’ down the midnight sky
I feel the flow
I’m gonna take you high

I see the glow
Burnin’ down the midnight sky
I feel the flow
I’m gonna take you high
C’mon!

Yeah!
I’ll take you out of this world
Take you out of this world
On a midnight rocket
I’ll take you out of this world tonight

Outta this world
Outta this world
Outta this world tonight
Outta this world
Outta this world
Outta this world tonight
Outta this world
Outta this world
Outta this world tonight

10. All for the Love of Rock & Roll

Yeah, yeah,
I was just another child going wild in the city
Just getting by on a dream
I was thinking that was gonna be so pretty, it was pretty mean
Yeah, I hit the road of no expectations
Just leave them where I’ve been
I didn’t care about the fame or the money
Show me a place to ṗay and I wanna go

Cause it’s all for the love of rock & roll
Hear my music in the air, and I’m losing control
I don’t care what you heard, I don’t care what you do
Cause it’s all for the love of rock & roll

I hitched a ride on a train going no where
Got 50 bucks in the bank
Ain’t a lot of dough, but when you know the feeling, well it feels alright
Alright!
When you finish with a bang, and some honey grabs your hand, yeah
You get to thinking you’re right
That’s when you notice there’s a ring on her finger
That’s when she tells you that she’s single tonight

Well it’s all for the love of rock & roll
Hear my music in the air, and I’m losing control
I don’t care what you heard, I don’t care what you do
Cause it’s all for the love of rock & roll

I got it made when I hit the stage at quarter to nine
Yeah! Watch ‘em dancing in the hays, and the fans really pumping
Feel the rush and that’s all it’s about
I’m in for life, and there’s no getting out of the way

Yeah, all I want, all I need, yeah

Cause it’s all for the love of rock & roll
Hear my music in the air, and I’m losing control
I don’t care what you heard, I don’t care what you do
Cause it’s all for the love of rock & roll
All for my love of rock&roll

11. Take Me Down Below

I saw her standing there accross the room
A glass of wine and some sweat perfume
Next thing I knew
She was standing right next to me (oh, yeah!)
I told her that I had a submarine
She said, “I know exactly what you mean”
I told that my ship was ready to ride
She touched my heart when she touched my thigh

She said, take me down below
It doesn’t matter where we go
Yeah, I understand
Lead me by the hand
Won’t you take me down below (yeah)

I took an elevator late one night
This lady by my side looked like she might
The doors were closing
When I asked her to take a ride with me (come here baby!)
She took my finger, here’s a button to press
I raised my thang and she dropped her dress
I’ll take you on a cruise you’ll never forget
She said, “we better move ’cause I’m already wet”

She said, take me down below (yeah, yeah)
It doesn’t matter where we go (it doesn’t matter where we go)
Yeah, I understand
Lead me by the hand
Won’t you take me down below (take me)

I took a flight at night from east to west
I asked the hostess for my flying test
She threw the covers and we started to rock
She whispered, “you can take me bottom or top” (yeah)

C’mon, c’mon

Take me down below (c’mon down below)
It doesn’t matter where we go (it doesn’t matter where we go)
Yeah, I understand
Lead me by the hand
Won’t you take me down below (oh yeah)
Take me down below (yeah, yeah)
Won’t you take me down below (you know you wanted it)
Take me down below (oh yeah)
Won’t you take me down below

12. Last Chance

Open the door and let the night come crawlin’ in
Take a bite of the core of the original sin
Yeah, you’re ready for more
But you just don’t know where to begin (yeah you do)

This is your last chance to get it right
Do your dance on the edge of the knife
It’s your last chance so just roll the dice
‘Cause nobody here is getting out alive

You want it, you need it so get on the ride
Yeah, you heard you’ll be sorry but you know that they lied
Yeah, there’s so much here that you wanna see
You’ll give it up eventually, yeah, yeah
So come on and open your eyes
You gotta live or you die

Hey!
Your last chance

This is your last chance to get it right
Do your dance on the edge of the knife
Do your dance, dance, dance on the edge of the knife
Let’s go!

This is your last chance, yeah
This is your last chance, right
This is your last chance
Yeah!

13. Right Here Right Now

I can see in your eyes
That you’re tired of the talk
You’re tired of the lies
Every time you let a day pass you by
A part of you dies
Yeah

Take a chance, win or lose
Don’t ever give up on the life that you choose

You’ve gotta hit ’em like a freight-train comin’
You drop the pedal with the motor runnin’

Right here right now
Yesterday’s gone, tomorrow’s always in doubt
Right here right now
The only time that matters anyhow

You were born, got it all
The rest is all up to you
You stand or you crawl
Gotta chase to break
And run with the fall
Get up when you fall
Yeah

There’s one thing (there’s one thing)
You can bet (you can bet)
I’ll take ’em something
That they’ll never forget

You’ve gotta hit ’em like a freight-train comin’
You drop the pedal with the motor runnin’

Right here, right now
Yesterday’s gone, tomorrow’s always in doubt
Right here, right now
The only time, the only time
That matters is now

Live out every day
Doing whatever’s right for you
Live out every day
Any way that you dare
Is anyone ready to fight for you?
Hell yeah
You’re on your own
Hell yeah
But not alone
Hell yeah
Anywhere that you go

Right here, right now
Yesterday’s gone, tomorrow’s always in doubt
Right here, right now
The only time that matters anyhow
Yeah
Is right now

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