Reviews

BOB KULICK – Skeletons in the Closet (Album Review)

As a total bonus to an already set up Las Vegas trip with friends, I had the pleasure of attending the Grammy award winning producer Bob Kulick’s, Skeletons in the Closet listening party.

It was my first visit to a club called Count Vamp’d.  The venue capacity is about 250-300… an intimate setting to see a concert… and it does attract national acts.  However, on this night, only 50-60 folks showed.  It was a Sunday night but I was still surprised that the place wasn’t packed… especially since it cost nothing to attend.

I’m not going to bore you with the Kisstory that includes Bob Kulick, blah, blah, blah… that info is all over the web.  You can consult your local Wiki page for that type of info.  I will say that Bob Kulick played guitar (most of the time uncredited) on some of my favorite Kiss songs of all time.  If you haven’t heard side 4 of Alive II (the studio tracks) then you are missing out.  Bob does some great guitar work on those tracks.

So…. enter our hero.  Bob takes the stage, thanks the audience for coming and starts explaining the ins and outs of the new album.  You can immediately tell that he is somewhat shy and unassuming guy.  He was very appreciative of all the support over the years.  Included in this conversation Bob shares that 23 different musicians played on the album, including Todd Kerns and Brent Fitz (both from Slash’s solo band) who will be joining him and Bruce Kulick on the Kiss Kruise coming up in November.  If you have the pleasure of being on this cruise, this 4-piece band will be amongst the best you hear on the ship. He then explains that the first 5 songs are newly recorded tracks and leaves the stage while the songs are played over the venue speakers.

Note: For the folks that don’t regularly buy physical product, I have listed all the musicians on each song.  So, before we begin… not to continually repeat myself, Bob Kulick plays guitar on all the songs 😉

Album: Skeletons in the Closet (Vanity Music Group)

 

Producers: Bobby Ferrari and Bob Kulick

 

“Rich Man”

Lead vocal: Todd Kerns 

Bass: Rudy Sarzo

Keyboards and backing vocals: Doug Katsaros

Drums: Vinny Appice

This up-tempo track has a super catchy melody, a smokin’ guitar solo (… big surprise 😊) and has thunderous drum parts.  Todd is a surprisingly good singer.

 

“Not Before You”

Lead vocal: Robin McAuley

Bass: Bruce Kulick

Keyboards and backing vocals: Doug Katsaros

Drums: Brent Fitz

Song has a modern sound with a cool unique vocal melody.  The drums and backing vocals sound big, there is a unique guitar solo and the guitar tone is nice and gritty.

 

“London”

Lead vocal: Dee Snider

Bass: Bobby Ferrari

Keyboards/Orchestration: Doug Katsaros

Drums: Frankie Banali

Dee Snider delivers an emotional vocal in this mid-tempo track.  The production is massive and gives the song an epic feeling.  The guitar work is creative and fits the song well.  This song is nothing like Twisted Sister or the current Quiet Riot.  Wow!

 

“Goldfinger”

Lead vocal: Vick Wright

Bass: Bobby Ferrari

Keyboards: Doug Katsaros

Drums: Scott Coogan

The tempo picks back up with the theme song from the 1964 James Bond film originally sang by Shirley Bassey.  The musicianship… especially the guitar work is excellent.

 

“Player”

Lead vocal: Andrew Freeman

Bass: Rudy Sarzo

Keyboards and backing vocals: Doug Katsaros

Drums: Scott Coogan

Song has arena level feel.  In my opinion, the best of the first five. Outstanding memorable vocal melody.  Reminded me of 80s sleaze rock.

Bob comes back to the stage.  “There you have it.  Five new songs.  The next 5 are the actual skeletons….”

 

“India”

Lead vocal: David Glen Eisley

Bass: Chuck Wright

Keyboards: Jimmy Waldo

Drums: Jay Schellen

Murderer’s Row song from the S/T album released in 1995.  Starts with great punch and has an awesome riff.  Wish I would’ve heard this song 20 years ago.  David has a great voice.  I found myself humming this song for about 2 weeks straight…

 

“Skeletons in the Closet”

Lead vocal: David Glen Eisley

Bass: Chuck Wright

Keyboards: Jimmy Waldo

Drums: Jay Schellen

Another Murderer’s Row off the same S/T album.  When I heard it at the listening party I thought Blackie Lawless was singing.  This song could’ve been on the heaviest of W.A.S.P. records.

 

“Can’t Stop the Rock”

Lead vocal: David Glen Eisley

Bass: Bob Kulick

Drums: Eric Singer

Bob says: “No one showed up to play bass that day, so I played bass”.  This is a previously unreleased track, anthem/crowd participation type song.  Bob could’ve easily sold this song to Kiss.  “You can’t stop, you can’t stop the rock…”

 

“Guitar Commandos”

Lead vocal: Dennis St. James

2nd Guitar: Bruce Kulick

Bass: Dennis St. James

Drums: Chuck Burgi

From a band called Skull off the album No Bones About It released in 1991. The song has a huge drum sound.  It’s more of an 80s radio friendly tune.  There is an awesome guitar duel between Bruce and Bob.  I believe if their fates would’ve been different, these two could’ve been one of the best guitar duos in rock history.

 

“Eyes of a Stranger”

Lead vocal: Dennis St. James

Bass: Kjell Benner

Drums: Bobby Rock

Another song from Skull off the same album.  The most marketable song if released in the “hair metal” era.  This song would’ve been ALL OVER MTV in the late 80s.

There you have it.  5 new songs, 5 old songs (remastered but not re-recorded).  “Player”, “India” and “Eyes of a Stranger” are my favorites.  Not sure what took so long for Bob Kulick to release this music but it was worth the wait.  If you are a melodic hard rock or Kiss fan, this CD is an absolute MUST!  Bob, if you are reading this, YOU DA MAN!!!!

Pooni out!

Buy: Bob Kulick

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