1983's "Lick it Up" was an album that unleashed a new Kiss. After putting away the Kabuki makeup and sparkling rhinestones, the band adopted a much more aggressive metal sound, one that Kiss experimented with on "Creatures of the Night." Such a musical formula became a double-edged sword; it placed Kiss back in the limelight, but blended too well with the decade's hair movement.
Supported by Vinnie Vincent's squealing guitar and Eric Carr's fierce drumming, Paul Stanley's vocals repeatedly soar by a few octaves. Meanwhile, Gene Simmon's rugged vocals combine bestial growls and screeches. As for the song's themselves, they discuss typical subjects associated with glossy hair bands: groupies, drugs, cars, and social disorder. "Exciter," "Gimme More," and "Fits Like a Glove" display the most sexually shocking material ever written. It's no surprise that this CD would eventually be targeted by Tipper Gore and the PMRC. "Lick it Up" is a catchy pop single that invites hungry fans into a forbidden world of bliss. "All Hell's Breakin' Loose" is an anthem that glows red-hot with rebellion; while pumping their fists into the air, the band members use this tune to tear down society's oppressive institutions. "A Million to One" can best be described as a sequel to "I Still Love You" from "Creatures of the Night"; in a dramatic fashion, Paul curses a woman who left him in order to pursue another gentleman. "Dance All Over Your Face" is also an anti-woman song, only this time Gene is the one who fumes; he takes his anger out on an unnamed ex-lover who cheated on him.
Overall, "Lick It Up" is worth listening all the way through. It's a perfect holiday gift for anyone missing the Headbanger's Ball.