Kissin’ Dynamite – Not the End of the Road (Napalm Records)Wednesday, 26th January 2022
The evolution of childhood friends as a school band to headliners in fifteen years playing an 80’s-oriented form of melodic heavy metal that isn’t necessarily in vogue speaks to the character, persistence, and tenacious abilities of Kissin’ Dynamite. Hitting the top ten album charts in Germany for their last album Ecstasy, this seventh record Not the End of the Road conveys a solid sense of who these gentlemen are as musicians, how they want to portray themselves as solid songwriters, and engage their growing fanbase into material that makes people feel alive, energized, and live for the good times even in the face of turbulence and uncertainty.
To those familiar with the band, Kissin’ Dynamite excel at writing catchy songs in a variety of molds – sometimes heavier, sometimes lighter, yet always containing the mandatory choruses and main musical hooks that leave you lingering for days in the deepest parts of your brain. You’ll hear gospel/church-like strains during the semi-acoustic ballad “Good Life” that features Charlotte Wessels on guest duet vocals, and a Def Leppard/Aerosmith-like stomp circa 1989-1991 for “What Goes Up” – guitar licks and background unison vocal support aligning to make for the party anthem of 2022. Driving mid-tempo riffing and stunted rhythms make “All for Halleluja” another cranking highlight, guitarists Jim Müller and Ande Braun providing quick hitting divebomb moments beyond the driving main chords and tasty transitions. The occasional use of keyboards allows “Yoko Ono” and “No One Dies A Virgin” to dip a little into the modern music platform, yet the band doesn’t veer too far from the hard rock/metal style that they live for. Closing on a vulnerable effort for “Scars” illustrates that even through the torment and struggles of a pandemic, vocalist Hannes Braun can channel the pain and misfortune into a poignant song that listeners relate to and gain cathartic clarity from.
Melodic hard rock, glam metal, and traditional heavy music fans all should delight in the professionalism and focus Kissin’ Dynamite deliver once again for this record. We may not necessarily see their ‘stadium rock’ attitude and presentation reach that height as it was during the 80’s to early 90’s, but it’s nice to hear and see a band with that never say die – or never give up – work ethic on display executing high quality records time and time again.