Los Angeles-based trio TEST deliver brisk, gritty rock with punk abandon. Two thirds of the members, Blake Stokes (vocals, guitar) and Wayne Meza (bass), have known each other for over a third of their lives after meeting at a dirty dive bar in their hometown of Houston. Week after week, their respective bands performed at the bar and the duo routinely closed the joint down while drinking underage. And in between cheap tequila shots and pitchers of Shiner Bock, they struck an artistic accord.
Years later, Stokes graduated from college in Los Angeles and soon after Meza drove out to join him. Together, they clandestinely moved into a windowless, lockout rehearsal space in Vernon (a corrupt, autonomous city of industry within L.A.). Surrounded by colossal warehouses, garment factories, and meatpacking plants, it was in this smelly, industrial urbanscape that they collectively forged their intense tone along with drummer Morgan Ponder while sustaining on generic instant noodles and only taking showers at truck stops.
Their debut album, BRAIN IN / BRAIN OUT. released November 10, aptly links their grimy genesis to their contemporary life with lyrics coming from the mindset of dirty street dudes battling inner demons, hating their day jobs, and living in a concrete wasteland, while other perspectives allude to a sense of maturity and growth. The result is a solid balance of tracks that can be blatantly optimistic due to catchy choruses (“Entertainment Tonight,” “Ripoff Boss”) or intentionally abrasive due to dance-punk rhythms (“Isolation Ritual,” “Know Your Servant”). There’s even a sedated ballad (“Bleached Hands”). Overall, it’s an amalgam of late ‘70s punk (The Clash, Sex Pistols), mid ‘90s Britpop (Blur, Oasis), and early ‘00s garage rock (The Libertines, The Hives).
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Meza to get a Top 10 of 2017 list. What they provided was a list of the best KISS love songs that are timeless.
KISS loves to write songs about love. Below are my top ten KISS songs with the word “Love” in their title.
If you know the band KISS even exists, then you probably know this one. They even have an album with the same name. If you’ve ever seen the movie Role Models, then you know that “Love Gun” is a song about Paul Stanley’s dick, but then again it seems pretty self-explanatory.
- “I Stole Your Love”
This one is off the same album “Love Gun” is on…Love Gun. The lyrics are pretty basic, boy meets girl, boy steals her love; pretty meat and potatoes KISS song.
- “I Still Love You”
Paul Stanley’s magnum opus. A really long song about failed love and the feelings of longing after its demise… Did I mention it was long..like over six min! For some reason my girlfriend thinks that song reminds me of some long forgotten ex, but honestly it reminds me how much I like the song “Love Gun” and wishing I was hearing that instead.
- “I Love It Loud”
A better KISS anthem than “Rock and Roll All Night” in my opinion. Nowadays when I hear Gene Simmons scream “Rock on, I wanna be president!” I wonder why Gene never ran for President. I mean, he would be a way cooler President than Donald Trump, especially if he did the State Of The Union in full makeup.
- “I Was Made For Loving You”
OK, it doesn’t actually have the word “love” in its title, but it’s too big of a hit to not include it due to a technicality. A big disco hit from the last gasp of the ’70s. Imagine butterfly collars, leisure suits, mood rings and cocaine. It’s a song about here, it’s a song about now and it’s about time we started doin’ it! Probably, KISS’s greatest contribution to western music, other than the song “Love Gun” of course.
- “Calling Dr. Love”
I’m really surprised Gene Simmons hasn’t licensed this for a Viagra or Cialiis commercial…
- “Do You Love Me”
Music geeks know that Kim Fowley wrote most of this song. I can’t help but think they got a tape of him taking shit about how much he thought KISS sucked while he happened to be at the same studio that day and they just decided to steal his lyrics.
- “Save Your Love”
One of my favorite Paul Stanley songs, but there is only one problem, it’s an Ace Frehley song. Paul’s backing vocals overpower the song so much, he might as well have sang the whole thing.
- “Got Love For Sale”
So this song is also on the album Love Gun. You might be asking, how much is love if KISS is selling it? I’m pretty sure it may be quite expensive, unless you can find a bootleg version on Ebay.
- “C’Mon on And Love Me”
Another classic ’70s rocker. “She’s a dancer, a romancer I’m a Capricorn and she’s a Cancer.” I mean who introduces themselves according to their astrological signs anymore? Another thing I find weird about this song is when Paul sings, “She’s lookin’ every inch a lady” I thought that inches would be probably best used to describe large male attributes, but then again maybe Paul’s knows something about this special lady that we don’t (see Aerosmith’s “Dude Looks Like A Lady” for further reference).
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