Wednesday, August 27, 2014

RECORD REVIEW: Ace Frehley "Space Invader"

Ace Frehley
Space Invader
(Entertainment One Music)

Hey, smell that? That's the 
distinctive aroma of burning 
wig fibers and grease paint. 
Yep, must be the "Simmons 
brothers" fuming over being
spanked by their much-
maligned former bandmate.

Simply put, Ace Frehley has created some of the greatest rock music ever. He's also produced some world-class crap over the years too. However, his latest collection, Space Invader, showcases some of his finest work to date.

Produced by Frehley, the former KISS guitarist's sixth solo record arrived in stores and online on August 19th via Entertainment One Music. More of a true solo effort than his previous releases, the Space Invader band is comprised merely of Frehley on vocals, guitars and bass and Matt Starr on drums — along with a smattering of keyboard, bass and backing vocal contributions.

With its blistering "I'm in Need of Love"-style solo, the title track makes for a hard-hitting opener — Ace is back, and he told you so, indeed!

"Gimme a Feelin'" and "I Wanna Hold You" both exemplify signature Frehley at the top of his game, while the riff-laden "Toys" hearkens back to his classic Alive! era. And "Immortal Pleasures" oozes a catchy "Dolls"-like cadence from his 1987 Frehley's Comet record.

"What Every Girl Wants" is Space Invader's crown jewel. This guitar-driven, cock rock treasure is without question one of Frehley's hookiest, no-holds-barred tracks in a very long time.

Co-written by Frehley and Chris Cassone, "Past the Milky Way" is another mighty highlight. Deeply personal lyrics accompany some of Frehley's all-time most blistering guitar work. At this point in the record, the "Simmons brothers" should be experiencing a bit of buyer's remorse regarding their current obedient sidemen.

Frehley's remake of Steve Miller's "The Joker" is simply superb and he succeeds in making the 1974 classic his very own. In short, it's so fresh and so fun, it could truly become a "New York Groove"-caliber hit.

Space Invader closes with "Starship" — the latest in Frehley's long line of epic instrumental compositions. Clocking in at just over seven minutes, this is his most unique and compelling opus since 1978's "Fractured Mirror." And yes, I have seen George Jetson!

(Melbourne, FL - 1993)
All four original KISS members now have weighed in and taken more than ample nasty shots at each other with their respective salacious tell-alls. But at the end of the day, everybody's just gotta shut up and let the music do the talking. The half-scab version of KISS has Monster — Ace Frehley has Space Invader. And although Gene and Paul won the recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame battle, Ace clearly has won the street cred war  hands-down!

-Christopher Long
(August 2014)



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