Kiss, ‘Sonic Boom’ (Kiss Records)
In the 11 years since releasing the patchy Psycho Circus, Kiss have marketed kaskets, opened a koffeeshop, and released krappy solo albums, apparently on a mission to make everyone but diehards forget that, for a few LPs running, they were the greatest rock band of the ’70s. It’s a breath of fiery air, then, that their latest is as close to a return to classic form as anyone could reasonably expect. “Never Enough” and “Stand,” in particular, equal the anthemic might of “Rock and Roll All Nite,” while “Danger Us” actually transcends its silly titular pun. The clichés (sorry, lyrics) otherwise define hoary, as backbones slip, things go out of the frying pan and into the fire, and hearts beat like drums. Nice to hear some things never change.