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Ace Frehley – Space Invader

August 18th, 2014

Kiss’ original spaceman, Ace Frehley is back with a new solo album that he promises will make ex-bandmates Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons “look foolish” for saying he was not in playing shape (“not fit to wear the Kiss uniform,” is the quote). So the question stands, does Frehley deliver? The answer is, actually, yes. If the standard is “fit to wear the Kiss uniform,” Space Invader is heads and shoulders above Kiss’ last album Sonic Boom.

acefrehley_spaceinvader1500pxWhat Frehley has always done well, playing inside the groove, allowing the song to shine and not overpowering the song with his guitar playing, he does very well here. From the title track and first single, Space Invader, to an addictive an groovy version of Steve Miller’s The Joker, to Starship, the seven-minute instrumental that closes the album, there’s no weak spot in terms of songwriting on Space Invader. True to his word, Frehley’s performance is good throughout: listen to the hot little solo on The Joker and ask yourself if it sounds like a guy who no longer has the goods?

As a vocalist, Frehley has always been a good, not great singer. But he manages to stay within his range and gives a good vocal performance throughout Space Invader. In fact, in can be argued Frehley is in better voice than his former bandmates these days, and may be in better voice than Gene Simmons ever was.

That said, this is a good, not great collection of songs. There is no Nothin’ to Lose, Duece or Firehouse (to pull three songs at random off of my running setlist) on Space Invader. All 12 songs are enjoyable, but there’s no standout song to make you run to the record store. Ace Frehley has put together a solid rock ‘n’ roll record, no small feat it seems in 2014. But it’s not Kiss circa 1975

Space Invader will be released on August 19th in CD, vinyl and digital download.


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