In This Moment-Black Widow

ITM

Black Widow is the newest album from In This Moment and is a a big moment for the band. Pardon the pun. While the band has developed a nice following, there is the perception it has mainly to do with Maria Brink being at the forefront of every promo picture. Although she is quite attractive, Maria is undoubtedly a good singer and lyricist. While she may not be afraid to play up her feminine wiles, she is definitely Metal. The struggle is, if they are artists or just a reason to sell posters and t-shirts.

Black Widow starts with the prefect song for this band, “Sex Metal Barbie”. No matter what one may think of the song, “Sex Metal Barbie” is one of the greatest titles ever. It’s one of those phrases that when you hear it you kick yourself for not coming up with it first. Title aside, it is a really good song that seems to mix In This Moment’s favoring of Korn and Manson. Plus like many of their songs, Maria Brink adds some personal lyrics to it. It addresses her experiences of being an attractive and strong woman in the male dominated Metal scene.

The real strength to Black Widow is Maria’s ability to convey her feelings. I sort of feel that this album is something that as an older male, is not necessarily meant for me. One reason why In This Moment has attracted such a ardent fan base is they address the plight of the female metal fans. There is a huge amount of women out there that have not had someone speak to them. “Dirty Pretty” and “Natural Born Sinner” are two more songs dealing with sexuality that coming from any male singer might not have the same resonance. Then there’s “Into The Darkness” not necessarily a song but a spoken word piece of an emotionally abusive relationship that is very powerful.

You can see that In This Moment can be very powerful but sometimes they get a little too big for their britches. They really want to connect emotionally but sometimes Maria’s attempt at singing emotionally comes across as silly. Her soft whisper that is half a whimper gets annoying quick. Most apparently on “Out Of Hell” , a song that is an insight into two people living on the street. She is trying to convey that there is a way out and she will stand with them but her delivery is so manipulative that it’s the audio equivalent of the Sarah McLachlan ASPCA commercial. I’m not saying that I think she is being fake. She just goes over the top and the producer or someone should have stepped in.

When listening to Black Widow I had flashbacks to the No Doubt video where the guys in the band were standing to the side while Gwen was getting photographed. There are no killer riffs or solos, just songs. While that is good in theory, at times it does seem like the songs were Maria Brink and a backup band. There is a lot to like about Black Widow and you have to give In This Moment a lot of credit. This was a big opportunity for the and at least they swung for the fences.

Final rating, I’d be happy paying…

$14.99-Regularly Priced CD

$9.99-Download from iTunes or Amazon

$5.00-buy it as a used CD

$1.00-streaming it on Spotify

$0-Not worth the drive space

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Audrey Horne-Pure Heavy

Audrey-Horne_Pure-Heavya

If you know the name Audrey Horne, you are either a Twin Peaks fan or from Norway. There are 5 guys who are both and have a band known as Audrey Horne that have just released their newest album Pure Heavy. I have never heard them before but I saw that this is a side project of guys in Enslaved and Sahg and was quite intrigued. I love when black metal or death metal musicians have projects outside their genre. Ihshan of Emperor has released some brilliant instrumental music while Shagrath of Dimmu Borgir has Chrome Division a hard rock version of Sons Of Anarchy except their not whiny pussies like the guys on the TV show.
On my first listening of Pure Heavy, the first thing I noticed was the singer Toschie. It wasn’t that he was great or horrible, he’s pretty good, but it was why it sounded so familiar. At times he reminded me of Kelly Keagy from Night Ranger and on certain choruses I could hear some Ozzy. After a couple more tracks it finally hit me, he sounds like Brent Hinds of Mastodon. Musically the band sounds like a nice modern take on 70’s hard rock. Lots of KISS and Thin Lizzy influence along with some more flairs thrown in. Opening track “Wolf in my Heart” has that Lizzy dueling guitar sound down so much I had to look to make sure Scott Gorham didn’t play on it. The twin guitars of Ice Dale and Thomas Tofthagen are on display again on “Out Of The City” and “Volcano Girl”. The former is the perfect driving with the top down song, as seen in their puppet laden video while the later track has a much more modern sound. “Diamond” has a slow acoustic intro until it kicks into a very Dio-like main riff. “Gravity” is the track where I believe the Brent Hinds similarity hit me. Really evident on the choruses with the song sounding like Mastodon if it was more of a hard rock band.
That is meant as a compliment.
I will admit the album did start to drag towards the end. It’s not that it was bad but the influences were becoming too much when they probably could have used a couple more tracks like “Gravity”. Then again only idiots like me listen to albums all the way through anymore. There is a lot to like about Audrey Horne’s Pure Heavy. Some really choice guitar melodies on display incorporated with very catchy familiar yet fresh rock songs. Don’t know what it is about that area but they are better at American rock than America is.

PS

They got Johan Hegg from Amon Amarth to drive around in a classic Lincoln with suicide doors and that is a pretty damn cool.

Final rating, I’d be happy paying…
$14.99-Regularly Priced CD
$9.99-Download from iTunes or Amazon
$5.00-buy it as a used CD
$1.00-streaming it on Spotify
$0-Not worth the drive space

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Pink Floyd-The Endless River

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Like most of the world, I’ve been a fan of Pink Floyd. Listening to The Wall is still an amazing experience after all these days. And the albums they did without Roger are really good. “Learning To Fly” is the perfectly amalgam of Floyd and pop. Everyone knows of the animosity between Roger Waters and David Gilmour, so the prospect of having any new Pink Floyd music was very very remote. Add in that keyboardist Richard Wright had recently passed away, it seemed even more remote. So everyone was shocked when it was announced that there would be a new Pink Floyd album coming out. David announced that The Endless River would be made of up tracks left over from The Division Bell sessions.
This is a tough task that David and drummer Nick Mason decided to undertake. Material that is left over was left over for a reason. Add in that your using material from a guy that is no longer on this mortal plane. When the album starts you hear signature Pink Floyd sounds. Big keys holding one note for a ling time while David Gilmour noodles. It’s very atmospheric and transcendent.
For about 10 minutes.
And then it continues and continues doing the same thing. It’s nice and relaxing but gets monotonous after a bit. The tracks are grouped together on “sides” and then “parts”. There is only one song with vocals the fittingly titled “Side 4 Pt.4 Louder Than Words”. The Endless River only kicks up the tempo on the three non-”Side” tracks but they are instrumental.
After listening to the album it is obvious that these were leftover tracks. There’s no real theme, no excitement, no emotion, no feel, nothing.
Nada.
Zilch.
This seems like something that a label would do and not David Gilmour. He wants it to be a fitting swansong for Richard Wright but comes across like a cash cow for his accountant. If David would have released an EP or added some of these tracks onto a Best Of or Live album as incentive, I would understand. What you get here is a bunch of tracks you think you’ve heard of before but and not really sure where. The Endless River is 60 minutes of glorified New Age music that is a very unfitting swansong for a legendary rock band.
Sometimes it best to leave things in the vault.

Final rating, I’d be happy paying
$14.99-Regularly Priced CD
$9.99-Download from iTunes or Amazon
$5.00-buy it as a used CD
$1.00-streaming it on Spotify
$0-Not worth the drive space

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Big Trouble-Long Start To A Short Career

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After finding this under the pile of other new releases, several things came to mind. Why does the name Big Trouble sound familiar? How old is this? Is this another reissue of a lost album? If this is new how in the hell how has no one used this name before?
This EP from Big Trouble is new material but they are an old band. Long Start To A Short Career was released on Retrospect a label that specializes in finding demo’s and albums from bands that never quite made it. Big Trouble is one of those bands that got close but never got their “big break”. Despite creating a substantial following in the Southeast the dastardly flannel wearing boys from Seattle shifted the musical winds.
Upon listening to Long Start, this sounds like they are left over songs from 2 decades ago. “What’s Going On?” is very reminiscent of Roth era Van Halen complete with a wise cracking banter. It makes me think of all those Swedish and Norwegian bands that are coming out now sounding like they are 1989 LA bands playing at Gazzari’s. Everyone seems to be a parody of one another. Not a scintilla of originality and worst of it’s boring. I can handle something being unoriginal, everyone rips off everyone, but when it is boring that is unforgivable.
The best track on here is “Now You See Me” a solid rock tune. Basic song with a nice hook and no overtly sexual lyrics from a guy in his mid to late 40’s. Hey, I’m the same age so I know how creepy it is. That’s kind of a problem with bands like this doing 80’s hard rock. David Lee Roth and Taime Downe can get away with overtly sexual stuff because that’s what they’re known for, they built up cache. Bob in Detroit sounds really icky to anyone not knowing who he is.
I almost feel bad hammering these guys because they got back together and made something. That is to be commended. However, I wish they would do more songs like “Now You See Me” and less of “Candyland”.

Final rating, I’d be happy paying…
$14.99-Regularly Priced CD
$9.99-Download from iTunes or Amazon
$5.00-buy it as a used CD

$1.00-streaming it on Spotify
$0-Not worth the drive space

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Top 5 Live Albums That Mean The Most Personally

Once again to get myself out of a writing drought I have stolen an idea for an article from a podcast. A recent episode of the Decibel Geek Podcast had Luc Carl the Ayatollah of Jack & Cola and a Sirius/XM host on their show. During this episode they listed their 5 most personal live albums. These are not the best live albums in their opinions but the ones that meant the most to them personally. It was an interesting episode and as one that liked making lists, sounded like a fun exercise.

Dokken_-_One_Live_Night
5)Dokken-One Night Live-There always has to be an odd choice, doesn’t there? I know people are thinking if you are going to chose a Dokken live album, why not Beast From The East? It is a great album after all. True but it came out when that genre was at it’s apex and I wasn’t that big a Dokken fan back then. Fast forward 8 years later and Seattle has wiped away Dokken and all of their contemporaries. After a couple years of the grunge scene, the morose flannel wearers had gotten boring and people remembered they liked blow jobs. While Japan did embrace grunge they never shunned bands like Dokken. So after a very good reunion album, get the Japanese version, they got the band to do an live acoustic one too. To be honest it is pseudo-acoustic as George in plugged in. One Night Live showed how great the band is and it is a nice snapshot of those guys enjoying the music they created with each other. They did a nice job of reworking their songs to fit acoustically. Plus it’s where we first heard their cover of “In The Beginning” and “Nowhere Man”. The reason this resonated with me so much as it was a life line in some dire music times. While I did enjoy a lot of the Seattle stuff , the Dokken reunion helped re-ignite my love for the cockrock of 80’s & 90’s Hard Rock.

Maiden
4)Iron Maiden-Live After Death-Iron Maiden is a gateway band and I mean that as a compliment. I think most rock fans around my age grew liking KISS and as we got older wanting something new, Iron Maiden filled that bill. The way their album covers attracted fans could not be overstated. They were a huge draw to the teenage metalhead. Then upon hearing them it was all over. The dueling guitars and Bruce Dickinson’s air raid vocals you were hooked. Maiden was a great pathway to the Metallica’s & Slayer’s we later discovered. Live After Death was the first live album that featured Bruce and the band was arguably at their peak. Even to this day it holds up. Plus, think how many American kids know the Churchill speech just from listening to this album.

Wings-over-America-2-cover-
3)-Wings-Wings Over America-If you have cable you’ve probably seen the Wings concert “Rock Show” in the past couple of months. That is the more or less visual equivalent of the Wings Over America album. And if you’ve seen it you know how good the band was. When I was a kid my Dad was a huge Beatles fan and in turn I became one too. I took his copy of the White Album and traced a ball pen over the raised logo. He was not happy. So he had this album and in turn I had this album playing the 3 LP release incessantly. At first I was drawn to “Magneto & Titanium Man” because it was a song about comic book villains and I loved comics. But in true McCartney brilliance it was also a very catchy song. “Jet”,”Live and Let Die”, “Silly Love Songs” and the Beatles tracks still hold up to this day.

thin-lizzy-life-live
2)-Thin Lizzy-Life Live-Much like my Dokken choice, you are wondering why I chose this Thin Lizzy album instead of the much ballyhooed Live & Dangerous. Well, I came to be a Thin Lizzy fan a bit late in the game. Late being, they had just broken up. I read a blurb in my copy of Hit Parader, remember those, about the band calling it quits and recording several of the farewell shows. Several months later I saw the finished product in my local Sound Warehouse. It is an absolute stunner. The playing on it is so goddamned good and Phil is Phil in all his glory. It is a great showing of the bands history but it really showcased the recently released Thunder & Lightning. Add on that you get to hear a young John Sykes showing what he is capable of. Around that time I had just started getting into Gary Moore and knew he was once a member of Thin Lizzy. He’s here too and all of them play together on the finale “Rocker” and Sykes blows everyone off the stage.
This is a big album for me as it started me down the road to Lizzy fandom. Been obsessed with them every since as well as Gary Moore and whatever John Sykes is doing. Hell, I even bought the 21 Guns album that Scott Gorham did. It’s strange reading the Lynott biography and seeing how people hate the sound because I love it.

Alive_2_cover
1)-KISS-Alive II-I don’t know if people nowadays understand just how huge KISS was back in the day. Being a teenager during this time, they were my biggest obsession. The first time I heard them was when my uncle gave me his copy of Originals. I still have that on my shelf. The first song I learned the words to was “Making Love” even tough I had no idea what making love meant. So by the time Alive II was released they were my band. When you opened the album’s gatefold the pics inside showing the band in all its glory is beyond spectacular. At that time the only other time you would’ve seen this was either at a show or in CREEM or Hit Parader. It was everything a fan could dream of. After dropping down the needle, what came through the speakers was bliss. 3 sides of the Hottest Band In The Land doing what they do best. Plus there was Side 4 that had new songs. WHAT?!?! New songs too ?!?! Out of the 5 tracks 3 of them are keepers. I think they played “All American Man” live a couple years ago. “Rocket Ride” is arguably one of the best Ace songs, top 5 at least.
Even though I haven’t listened to the live stuff in years, it’s still my favorite live album for how it sucked me into the KISS vortex.
So there is my list in all its’ confusing glory. Unlike some of the other lists I’ve done I am pretty confident these picks.
What are your Top 5 live albums?

PS

Here’s the link to the Decibel Geek Podcast episode

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Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators-World On Fire

Slash_-_World_on_Fire

 

You have to give Slash a lot of credit. Out of all the members of Guns N Roses he has had the most success. From Snakepit to Velvet Revolver to this new band. I really do like them but I really hate the name. The quartet is billed as Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators. So out of the four guys, two get mentioned. The Conspirators must feel like Andrew Ridgley when Wham started getting referred to as Wham featuring George Michael.

World On Fire is their second album they has made. If you’ve never heard Myles Kennedy sing before, The Alter Bridge singer is a nice fit and has a very unique high pitched style similar to Axl but with a bit more modern feel. The Conspirators are the rhythm section of Todd Kearns on bass and drummer Brent Fitz behind the throne. Brent was in Union the tragically overlooked band that also had John Corabi and Bruce Kulick in it.

 

There’s a lot to like on this album. It kicks off amazingly with the title track, a perfect mix of classic and modern hard rock. I think the band is at its’ best when it does that. At times it does feel like it is at odds with itself. You start off with the aforementioned track then it’s followed by “Shadow Life”a decent rocker but very dour. It seems that they wanted to show how modern they were right upfront. Being diverse is great but that song placement is not. Especially since it’s followed by another great rockin’ track in “Automatic Overdrive”. I think that song along with others like “Wicked Stone” are a nice representation of the melding of Slash’s and Myles hard rock backgrounds.

 

One of my favorites is “Bent To Fly” which is best described as an upbeat power ballad. It has a lot of beef to it but enough sensitivity and slowness for the ladies. Just like the ad for Monster Ballads said “Every bad boy has a soft side.”

 

If you look at the liner notes you can see that all the songs I mentioned are at the very beginning. You will also see that there are 17 tracks on World On Fire. 17!! SEVENTEEN!! That is a lot for a single disc, actually it’s too much. I think an album is best with 10-12 songs. So World on Fire has 5 to 7 too many tracks. That excess is obvious as the songs are not necessarily bad but just blah. If the album ended with “Dirty Girl” it would have been great. The back half has two songs over 6 minutes a piece. Ugh. I hate to criticize an artist for giving the fans too much but if they would have whittled the album down a bit it would have been a much better experience.

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

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Sharon Osbourne is miserable cunt that should go away

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Last week with the unveiling of the new iPhones, Apple also announced that they had given all customers free copies of a new and unannounced U2 album. Soon afterwards the internet shit their pants. Not because this was a free album by an iconic band. Nor was it because this is another volley in the changing of the music business landscape. No, the internet freaked out because this was another way to kick dirt on U2. Now I am not a U2 fan. I think I’ve owned one album from the group. But the backlash they received was mind boggling because U2 is not the first act to pull this. Jay Z did it with Samsung and his old lady Beyonce followed suit. Now they did get a little flack but not near the level Bono and boys have. One of those critics is the reason I am writing this. Music mogul, manager, and camera whore, Sharon Osbourne offered up her opinion.

“U2 you are business moguls not musicians anymore. No wonder you have to give your mediocre music away for free cause no one wants to buy it.”

Now anyone that knows who she is should find this statement laughable on many levels. She took her husband Ozzy Osbourne, and transformed him from a bat biting, Alamo pissing on, Devil worshiping Heavy Metal singer to a clumsy lovable Dad via reality TV makeover. With that makeover came a truck load of bobble heads, T-shrts, lunchboxes, and other kitschy crap that kept Hot Topic and Spencer Gifts in the black. None of this was done for the sake of music it was to expand his profile and business. It created new revenue streams because, let’s be honest, he hasn’t released a good album in about two decades. Sharon in her incredible foresight saw the changing record industry and broke him away from the metal genre turning him into a pop culture icon. She created Ozzfest as a touring festival so he could get the rub from the upcoming metal acts while at the same time positioning him as a musical deity when years before he could not fill most arenas. Then all the TV shows, don’t forget the variety show she had so her talent less kids could get more undeserved airtime. Again, she had turned him into a brand. Music was just a branch of a growing music business tree.
And kudos to her.
She learned just like The Beatles and Elvis and KISS did, make that money while you can. However, she went from being a shrewd business manager to an egomaniac cunt. From the show she made herself a star and it all went downhill. She has picked fights with almost 90% of the music business and never looked good doing it. From not giving Bob Daisley or Lee Kerslake proper credit. To stealing all writing credits from Jake E Lee for Bark At The Moon. To suing Tony Iommi for 50% of the rights to Black Sabbath. She did this to insure that all 4 original members would share equally from the name.

That is the definition of fuzzy math.

It then came as a surprise that leading up to the Sabbath reunion drummer Bill Ward said he was not participating because he was not getting a fair offer. Her lawsuit to get everyone 25% each quickly turned into Bill getting a reported 4%. As disgusting as that was, and it was, she made a business decision because she knew musically Ozzy doesn’t have it anymore.
So her remarks about the U2-Apple deal were puzzling. Yes, U2 are business moguls just as she is. They cut a great deal with Apple for this album plus I’m sure there is another deal to use U2 music in future ads for a certain amount of time. When they release the physical copies of the album in a couple months they’ll get more talk from this Apple deal. Again, get that money. Even more puzzling about her remarks is many bands of the Metal genre have done something similar. The Melvins, among others, have released free EP’s through a relationship with auto manufacturer Scion. Converse sneakers have offered similar arrangements.
I’m starting to think that the reason she is mad is because she wasn’t able to pull this off. For all of her work in making Ozzy bigger than the genre but to corporate America he is still the vile guy that killed a dove. So since she couldn’t make it happen she’s criticizing those that did. I still bet that in a couple years will see a deal with Ozzy and Burger King and she’ll sing a different tune.

Just like Ozzy’s it will probably suck.

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Jeff LaBar-One For The Road

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I guess it’s fitting that Cinderella’s guitarist Jeff Labar has released a solo album since his band mate Tom Keiffer put one out last year. Now it’s common knowledge that Tom was the main man and songwriter and his album highlighted that. So expectations could reasonably be low for Jeff’s solo debut One For The Road. After a couple listens a couple things pop out. One, Jeff is a big Led Zeppelin fan and has no qualms with paying homage. Two, there is no way I would let him date my sister.
The Zeppelin thing first. There is no mistake that Jimmy Page played a major influence in Jeff’s musical awakening. The instrumental “Ode To Page” is a clear nod in both music and title. The piece evokes the acoustic openings of several Zep classics. “Muse” also has that same fell but more of the meat of the song. “Hello or Goodbye” is a terrific power ballad that reminds me of John Corabi. The rest of the album is made up of solid but uneventful hard rock songs. They’re the kinds of songs that you don’t seek out but don’t fast forward when the pop up on iTunes. Jeff does not have the strongest of voices but he does a good job in knowing what he can do.
Now onto why I said I wouldn’t let Jeff date my sister. Using real life experiences as lyrical material is nothing new. Jeff used his marriage and subsequent divorce as the inspiration for “No Strings”. Fine. Where my worry comes from is “Asking For A Beating”. The song is clearly about a crappy relationship with a woman. It’s a really good catchy song but when you have a chorus of “you’re asking for a beating” your ears kind of perk up. Maybe it’s because we had the Ray Rice incident in the news recently but this did not seem like the wisest song title or lyric choice. I do realize that he’s not referencing beating a woman but just the trials and tribulations of dating. Like I said it’s a really good song but someone should have said “how about we try a different phrase?”
One For The Road is only 7 songs long so it’s more a mini-LP than EP. As a whole it shows a lot of promise from Jeff. It has done real well on its’ first week so hopefully this will spur Jeff to do more music. Since it has been nearly two decades from the last release of new material from Cinderella he should have lots of ideas stored up.

Final rating, I’d be happy paying…
$14.99-Regularly Priced CD
$9.99-Download from iTunes or Amazon
$5.00-buy it as a used CD
$1.00-streaming it on Spotify
$0-Not worth the drive space

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Tracii Guns League Of Gentlemen-The Second Record

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Last years debut album from former L.A. Guns guitar player Tracii Guns new project League Of Gentlemen, The First Record, was a huge surprise and ended up being one of my favorite releases of 2013. His new band of unknowns and their reverence for 70’s rock were a treat. They have returned with the appropriately named The Second Record. I pre-ordered this from Amazon and was giddy like a kid at Christmas when the UPS guy dropped it off.
When I looked at the CD I noticed a lot of familiar song titles. Now The League are no stranger to covers as there were 2 of them on the debut. It was then I realized this was a covers album and my giddiness soon faded. I do like a good cover but after suffering through that Enuff Z’Nuff one recently I was a tad reluctant. I did like the fact that they did not do a bunch of obvious covers and only a handle full are “hits”.
Into the player the disc went and my hesitance slowly ebbed. The Second Record opens with “Anywhere We Want To Go” and I thought it was one of their songs. It fits perfectly for them. Singer Scott Foster Harris has this frantic style at times and that was upfront here. Plus John Bird’s keys establish that it is not just filler but an integral part of the band. The theme to this album was an homage to 70’s inspired psychedelic rock and that was the prefect opener. “Sunshine” a song by the recently passed Dick Wagner is a great selection. The song has a poppy psychedelic quality that is highlighted here. It has that 60’s loose jangly feel to it while still sounding modern. That’s followed by “Days” by The Kinks, another overlooked of song that gets a great treatment. Another song I hadn’t heard before was “You Get What You Deserve” by Big Star and features a pseudo surf guitar sound from Tracii. The band went deep into the vault and found “Strychnine” a track from The Sonics. Like the first song, the band made it seem like it was one of their own.
Some of the more well known songs are Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl” and Buffalo Springfield’s“For What It’s Worth”. Both are fine, they did put their touch on them but since they are so well known you can only do so much. You could say the same about “Hey Bulldog” by The Beatles but since it’s one of those tracks that you hardly hear it works. To me one of the highlights is the cover of “White Rabbit”. The band does a great job of tweaking it with a spooky bass line and Scott’s swirling echo vocals. This might be seen as sacrilegious to some but the cover of The Rolling Stones “Citadel” is a lot better than the original. This version is a lot more coherent and tight but has more of that psych-pop feel than the Stones’.
My copy has two bonus tracks of 50’s songs “Devil Or Angel” and “Eeny Meeny Miney Moe”. Each have a similar feel to Guns N Roses’ “Since I Don’t Have You”. The pair were a fun way to finish off the album. I usually like covers songs but a full album of them can be daunting. Especially one that has 14 tracks. However, Tracii Guns League Of Gentlemen did a stupendous job on The Second Record in song selection and execution.

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
No video but here are samples

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Ace Frehley-Space Invader

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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

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