Fireworks

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Ace Frehley - 'Space Invader' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/1b/65/eb/ace-frehley-space-invader-78-1415135766.jpg Hot

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As good (if not better) as anything Kiss have released of recent times.

Ace Frehley’s last album, ‘Anomaly’, never really quite hit the mark with a lot of fans, and continued cancellations of European tour dates and sloppy live shows really tested the man’s fan base. Therefore there is quite a bit is riding on this release – if only to establish his Rock credentials once again.

Having been a Kiss fan since 1980, I have come to expect little when it comes to solo outings from the Kiss crew, with Paul Stanley and Frehley’s 1978 solo albums, and the first Frehley’s Comet release being the exceptions.

With Tommy Thayer donning the spaceman’s make up in Kiss these days, it’s time to remind people who the original spaceman is musically. Title track ‘Space Invader’ gives us classic Frehley, with chunky chords and a spaced out vocal. It’s a strong start to the album - the chorus vocals are full and melodic, and the guitar work is the best I have heard from him for some time.

Sleazy Rock ‘n’ Roll is the name of the game with ‘Gimme A Feeling’, bringing to mind early Kiss and Hanoi Rocks. If you like the Joan Jett style of “back to basics” Rock then ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ will be right up your street. ‘Toys’ has plenty of Frehley’s quirky humour, and is somewhat autobiographical lyrically, sounding reminiscent of an eighties recording.
The sordid riffing contained in ‘Change’ is a reminder of what Frehley is capable of when he puts his heart into it, and it is at times like these that you really miss his contribution in Kiss. ‘Immortal Pleasures’ pulls in many directions, and comes out sounding quite Country Rock!

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The closest we get to the Kiss years is demonstrated in ‘What Every Girl Wants’, and sounds like a left over from the Kiss album ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Over’. ‘Past The Milky Way’ trades in on the Frehley myth of being from another planet lyrically, and delivers a poetic grace in the cool Southern style of Rock.

Why Frehley decided to cover Steve Millers ‘The Joker’ is beyond me? It’s a lazy version that offers nothing over the original in my opinion. It may have served him better to re-record something from ‘Kiss Unmasked’ – maybe ‘Torpedo Girl’ with a modern twist perhaps?

‘Starship’ is a strange mix of radio broadcasts and musical ideas all wrapped up in an instrumental that has a hint of Led Zeppelin, but in reality it really only works as a curiosity piece.

The album as a whole is some of Ace Frehley’s best work since his Frehley’s Comet debut and is as good (if not better) than anything Kiss have released of recent times.

Ray Paul

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