Review: Kissin’ Dynamite – Not The End of the Road
Napalm Records (January 21st 2022)
Reviewer: Jason Hopper
Kissin’ Dynamite return with a bang with new album ‘Not The End of the Road‘. The band have been gaining momentum since their debut back in 2008, with each release being slightly better than their previous effort. I was a big fan of 2018’s ‘Ecstasy‘ and was not sure they would be able to top it. I am happy to report that I was wrong. This album is a masterclass study in how to construct a perfect melodic rock record that stands alongside all of the other greats in its genre.
I am not bloviating here. In fact, Napalm Records has so much faith in this album, they sanctioned five singles, with location videos to match, PRIOR to the album’s release! I cannot recall a time where that has ever happened. The kicker for me is, while those singles are some great tracks, I found a few songs on the album to be even better than what was released.
I decided to not review the singles, since some of those songs have been out for months already (the title track first single was released nearly 5 months ago) and will focus on all the other tracks. All of the singles released can be found on the first half of the album, but smack in the middle of them, a track that was not a single, is my favorite song on the album, ‘Only The Dead’. What makes the song so special is its incorporation of two different choruses. One features your typical lyrics found in a chorus and the other is singer Hannes Braun repeating the title in a sing-along fashion which will make for a great track to be played live as it’s designed for crowds to sing back and forth with the band. Its placement of this album completes an absolutely flawless first half.
That’s not to say the second half is not as good. Any band would kill to have a second half with these tunes on their album. ‘All for a Halleluja’, ‘Defeat It’, and ‘Voodoo Spell’ all rock in their own distinct way. What I love about this album is every song had a distinct vibe to it that doesn’t sound like some other song on the album. The album also had two soulful heartbreak ballads sung with perfect emotion (‘Gone for Good’ and ‘Scars’) making for a great contrast to the rest of the album. What makes this half slightly less than the first half is the track ‘No One Dies a Virgin’. It’s not a bad song and it’s one of the more fast-paced tracks on the album, but the chorus is a little clunky with the title of the song paired with the line “In the very end life fucks us all”. Funny, yet still clunky.
Outside of that, the only criticism I can point to on this album is track placement. Track 9 and 12 are ballads and perhaps they could have been more spaced out. That’s a very minor quip for an album that is practically impervious to criticism.
Every year I compile a list of my Top 3 albums of the year. I’ve had a running list going since the early 90s. Some years have been tougher than others to find three great albums (especially in those lean mid-90s years) but every year it takes a few months before I can begin to rate anything that would be worthy of my Top 3. I can safely say I have broken that tradition by stating, this first week into the new year, I have listened to an album that will easily rank in my Top 3. If you’re not a fan of this band, you will be converted upon hearing this release. Every great band has one or two albums that define their legacy. For Kissin’ Dynamite, it’s guaranteed to be this one.