Released: 2014, AFM Records
Glam metal bands from Germany are far from commonplace, so when I received Kissin’ Dynamite’s 4th release, MEGALOMANIA, I was definitely intrigued. After a few spins I was also surprised that I had not heard of the band prior to this. Formed in Rothenberg, Germany in 2006 as teenagers, the band is even now only in their early 20s. With the strong support of Udo Dirkschneider, people began to take notice of Kissin’ Dynamite’s take on Glam Metal.
MEGALOMANIA is in many ways a unique approach to the genre. Sure there are plenty of hints and elements from Glam’s golden age in the 80s, but the band has infused the record with modern elements and production as well. Take album lead off track “DNA” for instance, a catchy combination of industrial thump and keyboards mixed with rock vocal melodies. Listen closely and its main melody is an undeniable homage (ripoff?) of New Order’s “Blue Monday.” It is a completely modern and somewhat unconventional take on Glam, but it works. “Maniac Ball” continues with the industrial thump in the verse and changes course a bit for the chorus.
Though most of the songs are somewhat basic in execution, and lean heavily on rhythmic structures, “VIP In Hell” features a ripping and inspired solo near the end. The ballad “Fireflies”, though decent, is probably my least favorite tune, but credit to the band for giving it a different feel than most power ballads. Hannes Braun’s vocals complement the music well, closest comparison being Olli Herman of Reckless Love. The rhythmic pulse is sustained competently by bassist Steffen Haile and drummer Andreas Schnitzer while the guitars are decent but clearly serve more as an adjunct to the songs overall. “God In You” is one of the stronger industrial sounding verses, but again moves more towards rock on the chorus.
MEGALOMANIA is an album that is initially impressive but the shine wears off as things progress, largely because the basic industrial verse/happy rock chorus template never deviates. Production wise, this is a very slick album with emphasis to deliver the thump that grounds most of the songs. Still, taken from a creativity perspective, this is something a bit different and has enough good songs on it to enjoy from time to time though digesting the whole album in one sitting will likely be a tall order for even the most ardent of fans of Wig Wam.