In the lead up for release of his new album, Space Invader, Ace Frehley was saying he was going to out KISS, KISS. I got a chuckle out of it not because KISS’ latest release Monster was anything special. It was just that Ace does not have the best track record. From the Frehley’s Comets stuff up til Anomaly, there was some great songs but not a great album. Well Ace has broke that trend and really knocked it one out of the park with Space Invader.
Space Invader is 12 tracks of everything that is great about Ace Frehley. Hooky as hell hard rock with lots of his signature playing over it. From the jump there’s the title track, “Gimme A Feelin’”, “I Wanna Hold You”, three songs that Gene and Paul probably wish they did. “Gimme A Feelin’” might be one of Ace’s best songs ever. “Toys”,“Immoral Pleasures” and “Reckless” all seems to be Ace dealing with some of his past dalliances. I believe that he’s finally out of that dark tunnel so they all have a good feel to them.
The first track I heard from this album was a cover of Steve Miller’s “The Joker” and I was not too impressed. It has a more laid back feel to it than the original plus the guitar is distorted as hell. However, as I’ve listened to this album over an over, I have since changed my mind. Now I absolutely love it and that laid back feel I mentioned earlier is more like a drunken singalong at 3am vibe.
The only complaint one might have is that he misses having another voice in the band. “Change” is a real good song but with it’s slower and heavier tone, a Todd Howarth or Ritchie Scarlet who are actual singers could have taken it to another level.
Singing is not what Ace is known for it’s what he does with a guitar. And this is some of his best guitar playing in a long time. I don’t know if all this Hall Of Fame drama stirred something up inside him but he has the sound and attitude that made me love him when I was a kid. But at the same time showing a lot of growth, especially on the the instrumental album closer “Starship”. While it does harken back to the “Fractured Mirror” tracks, it’s a lot smarter and mature than anything else he’s done.
Don’t know what’s gotten in Ace Frehley but hopefully it finds it’s way over to his ex-bandmates. This is a return to form that people were hoping for. Space Invader might be the best KISS related album in over 20 years,
Ace is back and he told you so.
Final rating, I’d be happy paying…
$14.99-Regularly Priced CD
$9.99-Download from iTunes or Amazon
$5.00-but it as a used CD
$1.00-streaming it on Spotify
$0-Not worth the drive space