Review: Kiss The Vyper – Hope You Like It
Metalapolis Records (June 24th, 2022)
Reviewer: Jason Hopper
Kiss The Vyper is the brainchild of Australian multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, songwriter, engineer and producer Bobby Miller. They are back with their second album Hope You Like It. Since this band was new to me, I decided to check out their debut album after having listened to this album first. I wanted to see what the overall sound was of the first album because their new one sounds very rough, raw, and underproduced.
It turns out their debut ‘Keep The Fire Burning‘ also sounded like a poor quality demo with the drums and guitars suffering the most. ‘Hope You Like It‘ suffers from the same poor sonics but is a notch up in production. That notch is unfortunately not enough for me and the quality of the recordings get in the way of enjoying the album.
The shame of it all is that there are some great songs here. ‘Back to Hollywood’ has a strong riff and melodic chorus that contains a cool break where the instruments cut out around the singer before reintroducing the instruments again. Change-ups like that done well always get the blood pumping.
‘Won’t Break Your Heart’ and ‘When Worlds Collide’ mix together glam rock and AOR very effectively creating catchy pop-infused songs that are fun to sing, dance, or drive along to. ‘Kiss from an Angel’ has a great stand-out chorus. It takes a bit for the song to get to it, but it’s worth the wait. It is tied with ‘Back to Hollywood’ as my favorite tracks on the album.
Not all the songs are winners though. I believe ballad ‘Give Me the Night’ is sung in too high a register. It does not fit the emotionality of the words. It should have been more passionate, with a sense of longing. This is all lost in Bobby Miller’s approach to the song and the sentiments conveyed come across hollow.
Amongst the poor quality sound, last track ‘Don’t Leave Me Lonely’ has the distinction of being the worst of the bunch. It sounds like the mix from their first album, like it was a leftover track from those sessions. Its production sticks out like a sore thumb. The mix on the drums is all wrong with the high-hat way too high in the mix, overpowering all the other instruments.
Unfortunately, the album title has the resounding answer of no. I wanted to enjoy the album, but the sonics just detract too much from the material, which is well played and constructed. Having done a bunch of reviews for Rockposer Dot Com, there seems to be a weird correlation between a press release stating that one person is responsible for every aspect of a project and said project having poor sonics. It’s slightly better sounding than their debut album to be sure, but that’s not saying much. This album needed an outside producer, engineer, and more money for better recording equipment.
Last year I reviewed the Valentine album Demos from the Attic. I gave it a favorable review because the songs were strong despite the poor quality of the recordings. I rated this positive because the band did not try to hide that they were selling you demos. This is different. I cannot abide a band that releases sub-par sonic recordings. There was a six-year gap between their first album and this one. The quality of the recording should have been sorted out by now. Bands can record high caliber material in makeshift home studios these days. This band simply needs to do better.