Kiss-"Creatures Of The Night"-1982
The early 1980s` were not kind to Kiss. Want proof? "Dynasty", "Unmasked", "The Elder". Need I say more? Peter Criss left after "Unmasked" [to be replaced by the EXCELLENT Eric "The Fox" Carr], concert tickets & album sales were down, plus New Wave and Punk were the genre`s of choice. It looked like the end of the line for the grease painted warhorses. But Kiss were not about to go down quietly! To prove it, they released "Creatures Of The Night", hands down the HEAVIEST record of their career, then AND now! Kiss showed their detractors they had what it takes to survive. Crunching guitar riffs [though featured on the cover, Ace Frehley did NOT play on album. Session musician & song writing contributor Vincent Cusano aka Vinnie Vincent did most of the guitar work, later becoming a permanant member. Well, SORT of, anyway!], abound, and Carr showed the world what Kiss sounded like with a REAL drummer, creating an earth shattering backbone for the re-charged Stanley/Simmons song writing team. The tunes? The title cut "Danger", "Rock and Roll Hell", THE Kiss anthem "I Love It Loud", a great semi-ballad in "I Still Love You", and the super heavy "War Machine", MY favorite Kiss tune on My favorite Kiss album; in fact, "Creatures...." is one of my favorite albums PERIOD! "Loud, wanna hear it Loud, right between the eyes......"
Gaskin-"End Of The World"-1981
One of the BEST [and most overlooked, sadly] NWOBHM bands! Fronted by guitarist/main man Paul Gaskin, the band had a sound that stood out from the hordes of other acts in that short lived but highly influential era. More blues based, Gaskin was a nod to the progenitors of the Metal sound, such as Sabbath, Purple, etc. And they stuck to these roots, while fellow Brit Metalers like, say, Def Leppard, went for the American top 10. "End Of The World" is considered to be their best effort. As a 3 piece [Paul Gaskin,Guitar, Vox, Stef Prokopczuk,Bass Dave Norman,Drums], the band pounded out Metal classics like "Sweet Dream Maker", "Victim Of The City", "I'm No Fool", "End Of The World", in such a way, they made it sound as BIG as if they were a 5 piece. And Mr. Gaskin`s firey, blusey leads and riffing put him head and shoulders above most of his peers! Like many acts of the day,they weren`t quite able to recapture the magic of the first album on later releases, and faded into obscurity in the late `80s`. But ya can`t keep a good man down, and Gaskin [the man AND the band] are back! A new album & line up, as well as an appearence at Wacken 2000, will help propel the band into the 21st century, surely winning new converts along the way! [To Paul Gaskin: Sorry I neglected to put you in here sooner, Paul! I have ,hopefully, made amends for this gross oversite. Cheers & keep Rockin`, my friend!]