Artist: Bruce Kulick
Reviewed: February, 2010
BK3 marks the third solo project by legendary guitar virtuoso, Bruce Kulick. While the year is young, I will say right here, right now, that this disc will go down as one of, if not THE, best disc of its genre that was released in 2010. Remember that you read it here first, folks.
Regardless of the device the disc is listened on, the listener is greeted with phenomenal musicianship underscored by meticulous production throughout this enjoyable listening experience offered up by Kulick.
Right out of the chute, and taking what Bruce calls a “take no prisoners” approach, is the fast and furious tune, Fate. The song is a reflection of Kulick’s years as KISS’s replacement for Ace Frehley played at hyper-speed. While he bottom-line message of the tune is that Bruce definitely does not stand in anyone’s shadow, the hooks in this song will definitely give the listener a terminal but very pleasant earworm.
What will surely be a much one of the two most talked about cuts of the album is Ain’t Gonna Die, sung by KISS front man and marketing genius, Gene Simmons. Again, with incredible earworm forming hooks with a mind-bending guitar solo, if this song doesn’t get widespread airplay then there just isn’t any justice in this world.
No Friend of Mine follows. Joined by former Motely Crue and RATT guitarist, John Corabi, the song provides an audio-emotional roller coaster ride with what Kulick describes as Corabi’s “angsty vibe”. It’s very hard not to play air guitar while enjoying this cut.
Friend is followed by what I bet will be the second most talked about song on BK3, Hand of the King. Co-written and sung by Gene Simmons’ son, and Family Jewels co-star, Nick Simmons, King is an incredible, aneurhythm-inducing song that both rocks and stomps. Again, the guitar work is phenomenal and Simmons has a voice that is beyond his years, giving the listener the impression that he’s been at this gig for more years than he’s been alive.
I Will Survive is an autobiographical song that reflects on Bruce’s encounter with death during a 2003 shooting that left him wounded in his right leg and, miraculously, a graze on his left temple. This song of reflection, life, and resolve to keep on keeping on is one of the mellower cuts of the album and equally as entertaining as all the rest.
Dirty Girl features the distinctive vocals of The Knack’s Doug Fieger. The title is a bit deceptive, so don’t think that you’ll satisfy your voyeuristic side with this song. However, it is a catchy anthem to the high maintenance women of the world. While Kulick fans will love the foundational guitar work, Knack fans will love hearing Fieger’s pipes once again.
Final Mile is another mellow tune that reveals Kulick’s thoughts about hitting the road yet again. The pain of separation and the weariness of the road are felt in this song that has heavy flavors of Mott The Hoople.
Front man for the German power metal band, Edguy, Tobias Sammet, lends his pipes to I’m The Animal. The hard driving beat provided by KISS drummer Eric Singer and, of course, Kulick’s signature guitar mastery guarantee’s that this song will definitely be a crowd pleaser when it’s performed. I can’t wait to hear it live!
Bruce Kulick’s ode to love lost, And I Know, opens with majestic guitar work and actually has a “happy” throughout the song. Consistent with his introspective approach to the songs on this album, Kulick gives us the impression that he’s dusted himself off, reflected on the missed signs of trouble ahead, and embraced the lessons learned from the pains of a failed relationship.
The one instrumental tune on BK3, Between The Lines, provides us an incredible, if not legendary, guitar duet with Toto’s Steve Lukather sharing licks with Bruce against a steady bass backdrop provided by Yellow Jacket bassist, Jimmy Haslip. You’ll have this song on “repeat” after you first listen to it, trust me!
Kulick melodically takes over to a bench after the emotional roller-coaster ride he treated us to on BK3 and sums up his views on the acoustically dominated number, Life. Tipping his hat to George Harrison by rhetorically asking us, “How long does it take to see the signs that our minds keep on spinning?” If I close my eyes and let my mind wonder just a wee little bit, I could almost swear that I hear George singing and dying to segue into My Sweet Lord.
I would be woefully remiss if I didn’t highlight the tremendous production skills of musical prodigy, Jeremy Rubilino. The fingerprints of his skilled hand, and even guitar work on No Friend of Mine, are evident all over this landmark project of Kulick’s. It’s always a stereophonic treat to see to people who excel in their craft join together and offer up the best that they can possibly craft. This is definitely the case with the double threat of Kulick and Rubilino.
In addition to the Boomerocity interview with Bruce (here), you can watch him shed some more like on the making of BK3 by clicking here and going to the Featured Video tab.
BK3 will be available online (pre-order/order by clicking on the BK3 image to the right) and in stores on February 2nd. You will DEFINITELY want this album in your audio library so don’t delay. It will be a classic!