KISSIN’ DYNAMITE – Back With A Bang (Album Review)

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They rock with lips of fire!

In a time dominated by EDM and synthesizer-steeped rap, the concept of rocking the house with the traditional guitars, bass, and drums seems a lost art from a bygone age, at least insofar as the musical mainstream is concerned. Then again, the raucous titans of yesteryear were always on the fringes when compared to their lighter contemporaries, and it was more the exception than the rule that an Aerosmith or a Skid Row makes it to number 1 on the charts.

Among the current crop of rockers looking to crack that coveted top-selling slot in Europe is a German outfit known as Kissin’ Dynamite, an apt title given the over-the-top character of their sound and also inspired by the AC/DC song by the same name. Now eight LPs deep into a career reaching back a little over 15 years and their 7th studio entry “Not The End Of The Road” managing to reach number 2 on the German charts, their latest album “Back With A Bang” is practically poised to hit the top.

Alongside the obvious influences by said rock icons from Down Under, Mötley Crüe and Bon Jovi stand among the stylistic influences that have shaped this quintet’s sound over the years, and it could not be more blatant on this latest studio outing. Everything at play here has been amped up to 11, including the presentation of the highly flamboyant frontman Hannes Braun, whose larger-than-live retro 80s image betrays a highly bombastic and powerful vocal presence that wouldn’t have been out of place during the heyday of the Sunset Strip.

Supported by a rock solid rhythm section in drummer Sebastian Berg and Steffen Haile, who unapologetically get the lead out like Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx in their prime, and the twin guitar assault of brother Andre Braun and Jim Muller; Hannes’ leads a veritable carnival of sonic wonders that essentially run the gamut of every relevant stylistic expression of hard rock from the late 70s up until the newer arena fodder spearheaded by the likes of Buckcherry and Alter Bridge.

Variety is the name of the game being played on this album, occasionally proving both its greatest strength and weakness. The opening volley of riff happy rock and title anthem “Back With A Bang” pulls no punches in going loud and proud, cruising at a swift tempo and sporting all the punch and swagger of “Kickstart My Heart”. Among the other entries that land with a mighty crash is the mid-paced metallic machine “My Monster”, featuring one of the most infectious chorus hooks to grace 2024 and is among a couple of tracks to include that signature talkbox sound popularized by Richie Sambora.

“Back With A Bang” Album Artwork

Things take on a decidedly modern rocking tone on the upbeat “Raise Your Glass” and almost feels 2000s pop/punk informed, while the overt throwback “Queen Of The Night” could almost be mistaken for a mid-80s offering out of Dio or even Dokken were the production dialed back about 40 years. Among the other interesting stylistic twists that still manage to be utterly infectious is the attitude-steeped rocker “The Devil Is A Woman”, the modern power ballad “I Do It My Way” and the unapologetic nod to modern Bon Jovis “More Is More”. But ironically the most impactful entry in this album’s arsenal proves to be the acoustic ballad that closes everything out “Not A Wise Man”, channeling the blues/rock craze of the early 90s as heard on Warrant’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and Tesla’s “What You Give”.

This is the sort of album that plays well to both the older guard who were there when the L.A. sleaze sound was at its peak, as well as the various younger audiences that have grown to appreciate the style since its first revival at the turn of the millennium. It carries with it the same sort of modern arena vibes that one might expect from the likes of Nickelback, but the presentation definitely tilts towards the flamboyance and largess that one would expect from Steel Panther or The Darkness. But behind the glam image is a serious group of musicians who know how to put the right amount of flash into an otherwise compact and straightforward package, with the wild guitar work put forth here being a cut above some of the original purveyors of the style.

This is an album that makes zero apologies for where it goes for inspiration, and between the expert craftsmanship and enthusiasm behind it; it’s an album that deserves its day at the top and will hopefully reverberate in the North American market where rock of this explosive caliber is in short supply.

Released By: Napalm Records
Release Date: July 5th, 2024
Genre: Hard Rock

Musicians:

  • Hannes Braun / Vocals
  • Sebastian Berg / Drums
  • Steffen Haile / Bass
  • Andre Braun / Guitars
  • Jim Muller / Guitars

Back With A Bang” Track List:

1. Back With A Bang
2. My Monster
3. Raise Your Glass
4. Queen Of The Night
5. The Devil Is A Woman
6. The Best Is Yet To Come
7. I Do It My Way
8. More Is More
9. Iconic
10. Learn To Fly
11. When The Lights Go Out
12. Not A Wise Man

Order Back With A BangHERE

8.4 Great

Delivering another collection of classic hard rock-inspired mayhem with a modern edge, Germany’s own Kissin’ Dynamite edge closer to the top of the charts of their homeland and invite more onlookers from Europe and beyond to feel the explosive grooves

  • Songwriting 8.5
  • Musicianship 9
  • Originality 8
  • Production 8
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