KICKHUNTER, Hearts & Bones
It’s possible that this cover was constructed in Photoshop, but I’ll be damned if this doesn’t look like a photo of a real tattoo, and what a doozy it is. I desperately hope that the guitarist got this tattoo explicitly for his album cover. That would be some real dedication. It’s not quite as good as three guys getting the Exhorder logo tattooed on their arms, but it’s still pretty serious. I especially hope that he did this to surprise his bandmates. He shows up one day at rehearsal, a couple weeks before the band is scheduled to hit the studio, and he dramatically pulls off his leather jacket to reveal his new ink. “Behold! The cover of our debut album!” “But, dude, the album is gonna be called Hearts & Bones. Like, more than one heart,” the singer immediately notes. “God damn it, you’re such a fucking dick. I did this for you fucking guys! Can’t you for once be happy?” “No, man, it’s not like that! It’s cool! But like, don’t you think it would be cooler if you added like another couple hearts or something? There’s still room…” “GOD DAMN IT JIMMY! I’M NOT ADDING MORE HEARTS!” “Jeez, dude, calm down, I’m just saying. I mean, no one asked you to get a fucking tattoo for the band! Like, maybe I was already planning on getting my denim jacket airbrushed with the cover art? Did you ever think of that?” And so on. But, happy ending: they worked it out and made like three or four totally shitty albums together.
Is there anything worse than new hair metal? At least in the 80s, when such crap was popular, you could imagine some percentage of the assholes engaged in this sort of behavior were doing it cynically to get laid, or were just going with the flow, having no sense of good or bad. But in the 00s? You’d have to fucking love hair metal to make an album sounding like this, which is tantamount to getting a tattoo on your forehead that proclaims, “I have shitty taste in music!” I mean, the skull tattoo already implies as much, but I’m talking about making it explicit. Anyway, I’m not going to be able to make much in the way of concrete comparisons to describe this awful band, because I hate this shit with the energy of a thousand suns, but in broad strokes, Kickhunter falls on the bluesier, less glammy side of the hair metal spectrum. More like Tora Tora than Sleez Beez. Or maybe like Kingdom Come with a much crappier singer. Fuck, I hate myself for even knowing these bands exist, but Kickhunter, they’re trying to SOUND like them. I’m ashamed for them, and sad for the world.
— Friar Johnsen