Kiss onstage could possibly be mildly entertaining for about ten minutes, but on record, minus the impact of gaudy painted faces and stage theatrics, the band must be judged solely for its music. It's awful. Criminally repetitive, thuddingly monotonous. And like the legions of equally talentless bands across the country, Kiss attempts to get by on volume and tired riffing. Unlike these other bands, however, they came up with the idea of dragging rock further into the pits of theatrical overkill, managing, in the process, to pick up a legion of young fans who hadn't heard these riffs in their previous incarcerations (Grand Funk comes to mind). That Casablanca has decided to promote the band as new bad-boy teen idols is obvious from the packaging — a glossy full-color, multipage insert showing all the Kisses in close-up, and a suitably trippy letter from each ("Dear Earthlings: ... When I play guitar onstage, it's like making love ... Love, Ace").
From The Archives Issue 24: December 21, 1968