KAOL: Music From The Folder
Better start out commenting on the packaging, it's great! I love the cover, and the inner notes and key are very useful. The CD is nicely printed, featuring a graphic of Eric's makeup design. The music? Well, Music From The Folder starts off with an awsome version of "Got Love For Sale" by The Mass. Good tight music, and the singer, how can I describe him? He's good, he sounds like the singer from the Joe Perry Project albums - that's a compliment in my book! There's a nice live mix at the end of the solo, and the whole song is not a generic copy of the original, The Mass make it their own song! Next comes Bone Daddy's version of "Strange Ways", and judging by the dark nature of the song I bet this guy loves COS. Again, it's well played, and it's an enjoyable song quite faithful to the original version. I like it, great solo! Shirk Smile handles "Mr Speed" extremely well. You know what's coming when that guitar kicks in! Very tight piece of music, with a great singer. One of the high points, on this initial listen of the album (I'm listeneing to it for the first time while writing this to give honest first impressions) is Kathy LaBonte's version of "Naked City". I've always liked this song, and this instrumental version, while having some similarities to Yoshinki's orchestral version of "Black Diamond" on KISS My A$$, is probably better musically than the original. LOVE IT! DA GIRL ROCKS! Jheni Clason performance of "X-Ray Eyes" follows. This is one of the interesting cuts, I thought that it was an unusual cover. But it works well. Jheni has a nice voice well suited to the mood of the song. It's a fun rendition! The old standard "Creatures Of The Night" follows. Performed by Destroyer it is a faithful and rocking version, done very well. The it's fun time again with Loungelizardboot's version of "War Mahcine". Spoken word, I love it! The speaker sounds so cool and the Van Morrison style is brilliant (sing along War Machine to Moondance! Got the idea! And add in a bit of Homer Simpson. Mad!). This is another high point of the album, so far... A raucous version of "Got To Choose" follows with dark and heavy guitars. Performed by Ace Steel's Fabulous Disaster, the song has the raw energy and harmonies of the original. Again, great stuff, a solid rocker with a nice mellow bit in the middle. Janiece Teichmann cover's "A World Without Heroes". Great vocal performance, and the mellow music is very nice. One of the quieter moments on the disc, but a very functional interlude! I've always loved the original version of "See You Tonite", and Nile Carter's version is sung extremely well. Do I detect a hint of Garth Brookes in his voice?
I had to take a paragraph break to prepare for Mistress Julie's version of "Sweet Pain", LOL! I will dedicate one word to describe this song: "OOOOOHHHHHH!". 'Nuff said! Excellent, for fun dial 1-900-SWEET-PAIN! Where's Izzy?! does "Domino" better than KISS did! I like the style, and the guitar is better! "C'mon And Love Me" is covered by Black Krystol (featuring Russ Blatt). Another one of my favorite KISS tracks, this one is a faithful version, with a slightly mellower edge. A heavier version of "Hard Times" is next, sung by Lemmy from Motorhead. Whoops, it's Roberto Boshian and Bubba Felix. Yeah, Beavis, I think these guys like Pantera! Well done, it's different! And then the band which wins a prize for the best name on the album, the Assgoblins perform "Almost Human". And you know what? I really like this track, it's very industrial (Rage-ish) and it's really cool to hear alternative versions. "Let Me Know" by Backlash is in the good 'ole rock and roll style of the original. This song rocks, and it breaks into "Nothin' To Lose" at the end. The Hooligan's version of "Firehouse" is slightly heavier than the original. Next comes "God Of Thunder" by Jurassik Army. Whay, it's Lemmy again! Sorry, this is a kick-ass rendition. Penultimately, Cronic Disorder blasts through "All American Man". Love the drums. Love the style. This is what happens when KISS and Metallica have a baby! Finally, Kathy LaBonte, who's been very busy on this disc (!), closes the experience out with "Love Theme From KAOL". A nice touch to end 70 minutes of completely rocking music. It's not "Love Theme From KISS", but it's based on it. And now I'm going to listen to it all again, and you know what? I'm not going to skip any tracks!
All in all, the 20 tracks that make KAOL: Music From The Folder show an amazing level of performance and commitment from the Online community. The diversity of interpretation makes this more than a bog standard Tribute. It exudes professionalism and above all else FUN! To all those involved: WELL DONE, I look forward to the next installment, KAOL II: "Creatures Of The Net". The dedication to Eric Carr is touching, and it's nice to see him remebered by the fans. I can't pick a favourite track, I love them all, so a big well done to everyone on the disc, and especially to the executive producer, Kathy LaBonte. And if you still doubt me, get it yourself!