As many well-versed metalheads know, Bruce Kulick was Kiss' guitarist during their wildly uneven "non-makeup era" of the mid-‘80s through mid-‘90s. After the original Kiss lineup reunited in 1996, Kulick was out on his own (although lending his songwriting talents to subsequent Kiss-related studio efforts), and launched a sporadic solo career. His third solo effort overall, titled BK3, was released in 2010. Borrowing a page out of Santana's rule book, Kulick enlists quite a few special guests to drop by and lend a hand throughout, including a few surprise ones (the Knack's Doug Fieger, Toto's Steve Lukather) and a few not too surprising ones (Kiss' Gene Simmons and Eric Singer, Kulick's Union bandmate John Corabi).
As a result, the majority of BK3 is hard rock-based, but with others dropping in and out of the tracks, there are a few stylistic detours to boot. Interestingly, Gene Simmons' track, Ain't Gonna Die catches everyone's favorite fire-breathing demon in a melodic mood, while his son, Nick Simmons, tackles a track that would have been expected from his papa, the heavier Hand of the King. Elsewhere, dig the tough power pop of Dirty Girl (featuring Fieger) and the instrumental guitar shredfest Between the Lines (which sees Lukather and Kulick slugging it out on their six-strings), as well as quite a few songs on which Kulick handles the vocals himself. In the wake of recent inspired Kiss-related releases (Ace Frehley's Anomaly and Kiss' own Sonic Boom), Bruce Kulick keeps the winning streak intact with BK3. (Greg Prato)