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Former KISS and current Grand Funk Railroad and (when active) Eric Singer Project/Union guitarist Bruce Kulick spent a considerable amount of time on finally following up 2003's Transformer with more guests than his first two albums combined, but to less effect. Bruce does his best Iggy Pop impression on Fate, and while his own vocals were perfect for I Walk Alone, the closing track on the criminally underrated KISS album Carnival of Souls, in truth his voice is not particularly good; more often than not it's simply flat. It's passable on introspective ballads And I Know, Life and I'll Survive, but only just. In almost all cases he sounds like Joe Perry with even less range. Ain't Gonna Die sees KISS sumpremo Gene Simmons contribute a fairly standard vocal, while his son Nick tries his best to sound like Dad on Hand of The King and The Knack's Doug Fieger sings the utterly horrible pop sugar of Dirty Girl, which sounds like something a teenage skater band would release (to infuriating success, no doubt) and is frankly below Kulick. Three tracks stand-out. Early on Friend of Mine which could easily be a Union song, featuring John Corabi, who's own solo album is long overdue, on vocals and delivering much of the trademark Union sound and melody; fans will be very happy with this one. And in the second half of the album, a muscular I'm An Animal, with drumming from Eric Singer and vocals from Edguy's Tobias Sammet, and blistering instrumental Between The Lines with excellent drumming from Kenny Aronoff and Steve Lukather contributing lead guitar, are amongst Kulick's solo best. Bruce can still write excellent rock songs, and his guitar playing is as good, perhaps better than ever (the solos on every track are excellent and fit the songs perfectly). The fact that the best tracks are those with the best singers (Corabi and Sammet) and the instrumental will come as no surprise.
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