ACE FREHLEY – Space Invader
Original Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley fires out another studio record, his first since 2009’s "Anomaly" which went over very well with his legion of fans. Containing 11 new songs and a Steve Miller cover "The Joker", the man knows his way around the hard rock community, delivering potent riffs, easy on the ears hooks, catchy choruses, and lead breaks that are bluesy, emotional, and not self-serving or egomaniacal.
Ace would probably be the first to admit he’s never been the best lead vocalist in his category. His phrasing and limited range force him to inject more personality and attitude into this set of songs – from the highway cruising "Gimme a Feeling" to the Aerosmith oriented "Toys", you just can’t help but get this warm feeling emanating through all your pores that Space Ace still loves the hard rock craft. Drumming and bass parts that keep the groove and stay in the pocket, allowing Ace and his Les Paul skills to carry the weight of the songs – be it throwback to Kiss era on "What Every Girl Wants" or a little more commercial in terms of cleaner guitars during the verses for another highlight "Reckless". And keeping up his tradition of covering some of his favorite songs, "The Joker" works because it has a little bit of that off kilter bluesy aspect and laid back nature that differentiates itself from the heavier aspects of other material. Those who want to hear a little bit of his acoustic and electric layering skills will also enjoy the 7 minute instrumental closer "Starship".
Ace is a product of the 1960’s and 1970’s – and "Space Invader" contains a lot of those elements within its 12 songs. Long time Kiss fanatics will assuredly pick this up – and I feel it’s a worthy successor to "Anomaly".