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Intriguing, but all over the map

Kiss or Kill
Kiss or Kill
By EndeverafteR

Razor & Tie Records: 2007

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This review first appeared in Turbula in January 2008.

Los Angeles' EndeverafteR combines campy glam rock with the hard-driving pop metal of the mid-'80s for a sound that's interesting, if never quite consistent on their new CD, "Kiss or Kill."

As lead singer and lead guitarist, Michael Grant is pretty much the face of EndeverafteR. He plays guitar with utter abandon and exuberance, with the kind of fast runs and fancy tricks right out of the '80s metal scene. As a singer, he possesses a nice flair for the dramatic and possesses more than a little David Lee Roth-style swagger.

Add it all up, and you should have something like a modern incarnation of Kiss.

But after the opening rockers "I Wanna Be Your Man" and "Baby Baby Baby," which promise something very special from this release, the band slips into some ballads that just kill the buzz. "Next Best Thing" sounds more like April Wine than Crüe, "All Night" has a kind of REO Speedwagon feel to it. Which would be okay, if the band hadn't already set up some very different expectations with the opening tracks (not to mention the packaging).

There is some good music here, some that approaches great, but without some kind of cohesive vision it just doesn't hold together over the course of the album.