Metal talk
facebook
Type band name, album name, artists name etc here...
Search all our articles by typing band name, album name, artists name etc here...
news now
Metal talk






  ACE FREHLEY
'Space Invader'
(Steamhammer/SPV Records)
Release Date: August 18th 2014


Tony Conley

tony conley

Pin It
Share |


ace frehley

Ace Frehley - a guy with a point to prove, and boy has he proved it.

'Space Invader' is the fun rock record of the Summer of 2014. Endless riffs, stinging solos that say 'Ace', and maybe the best sound I've heard on a hard rock mix this year. The album could have easily been called 'Kiss This'.

Before I get into this album, I gotta say that this makes my mouth drool for what could have been. If only KISS had been able to play in their original iteration at the RRHoF, the band could have called it a day that night, and been revered for the next hundred years.

Article continues below...

   


Sober for over seven years, Frehley is playing better than ever, and it sounds like he's having a fantastic time while he's at it. Whatever the reasons they sure weren't about musical abilities. We'll always be the less for this tremendous missed opportunity.

'Space Invader' is a straight, no chaser jolt of rock 'n' roll. Frehley's written an album of classic rock gems - if these riffs were on a KISS album, it'd sell a billion, and if rock fans are at all on the ball, this one will do just great. I've always loved New York City hard rock - from the days when I first heard and saw such legends as KISS, the New York Dolls, and The Dictators, I could never get enough of that cocky, brash Marshall and Gibson fueled fun, and this is the best dose I've gotten of it since The Dictators' 2005 masterpiece, 'D.F.F.D'.

I'd be remiss is I didn't talk about how this record sounds. It jumps out of my ancient studio monitors, speakers that I've selected by judging how closely they emulated the sound of Marshall 4X12s when a rock guitar is coming through them, and this record makes them very happy. Recorded by Frehley and drummer Matt Starr (they're joined by The Cult's bassist, Chris Wyse, on several tracks), and mixed by ace producer Warren Huart, this is probably the most satisfying example of classic rock that I've heard this year.

The songs....

'Space Invader' is the opener, and it's straight into the meat and potatoes of this album. Ace is singing better than he ever has - he's no Sinatra, but he's become damned good at delivering his message, and his voice is very damned charming in that NYC sense. The direct descendent of Lou Reed, David Johanson, and Adny Shernoff. The drums are huge, and Starr's playing is sublime - it's exactly what you want to hear, and the tone is set. When you hear the guitar solo, you're going to smile from ear to ear - this I can promise. Instant classic.

You may have already heard 'Gimme A Feeling' - it's the album's first pre-release video and download, and it's probably the best classic KISS riff that I've heard in several decades. The solo is right off of KISS Alive - a pentatonic party of the best kind. A million kids bought Les Pauls because of this guy, and here is the reason why. The best straight ahead rock 'n' roll rhythm guitars money can buy. This is rock 'n' roll, and Rock Ain't Near Dead, not by a long shot. We're just getting started here... If this don't make you move, you might just be dead.

The drums that lead into 'I Wanna Hold You' will put you back into a great time, and place - Matt Starr nailed this one. Rock like this is timeless. Relentless drums and guitars, Ace sings his ass off, and it sounds a lot like some guy named Stanley on the chorus backgrounds. Frehley's solos are clearly the signature of the guy we fell in love with in the seventies, but he's still pilling out new licks and tricks. He's forgotten about the influence of EVH, and the LA shred scene and he's back in a New York groove.

'Change' is a mid-tempo masterpiece - Simmons hasn't had anything this massive to sing over in ages, and while I hate to rub KISS's nose in it, I'm going to anyway. Frehley obviously worked his ass off on the writing of this album, and he's jumped to the head of the class - this is one of the best classic rock albums since the eighties. When contemporaries are relying on past glories, and pale copies of their glory days, Ace Frehley has made what I'll now call his best solo album ever by far. He's obviously followed this tune's advice. He picked himself up and changed.

Following the theme of fun rock, 'Toys' celebrates having the wherewithal to have all the toys one wants to make one del like a king - this one reminds me that Ace spent many days on the road with the band that was once Aerosmith with its swagger, and its stance.

'Immortal Pleasures' continues Ace's travelogue of hedonism, and the rock life. This one is off the beaten track a bit, featuring some jangling acoustic guitars, and an almost John Mellencamp vibe. Come solo time it's big rock again, then back into the radio ready side of the tune.

Ace is back into space with 'Into The Vortex' - this one has an adventurous push/pull going on the evokes the memory of a swaying Frehley up on stage. If Hagar ever wants to come close to early Montrose, Ace is his guy. The riff on the refrain of this one sucks you in, and you don't ant to get out. Again, Starr is a star, and he's on the money as Frehley follows his muse into a musical interlude that is pure ear candy.

I sometime think that rock guitarists forget about the concept of glorious noise, but it's sure not lost on Ace. This is all the beauty of rock guitar that we all always loved from day one. This is the work of a great, great guitar player. Kudos on the production, arrangement, and mix - they are all exemplary.

Another classic KISS moment rings in the intro to 'What Every Girl Wants' - these riffs take me back to being fifteen years old in the best possible way, when I emulated KISS licks with a Les Paul, an Electro-Harmonix LBP-1 pedal, and an old Fender amp. Straight East Coast tones, and Ace's playing is fiery and sharp throughout. His vocals are again better than ever, and he's become a fine purveyor of rock melody and lyrics. Bringing up KISS is only a point of reference, but these riffs are the best from any KISS related player since the seventies.

'Past The Milky Way' finds Frehley in a romantic frame of mind, and this is a great little tune. Kind of what I always wished Bon Jovi sounded like - maybe like a sincere Bon Jovi? Frehley fills this one with layer after layer of tasty lead fills that may not be technically difficult, but they sound like Ace Frehley, dig? You'd recognize this guy anywhere. He never found a song he couldn't make sound better with his pointed playing. His right hand is wicked on this one, and his bends are past the milky way, indeed.

'Reckless' is a bit off the mark, but it's still better than most of what I hear on most hard rock records these days. This one may suffer a bit from the absence of collaboration and a strong producer, but if this is the worst the LP has to offer, we're still doing well, and damned lucky. Great soloing, and strong playing keep this one from being skipped over completely.

Steve Miller's 'The Joker' sounds like a pretty blatant attempt at radio play, and to Frehley's credit, he gives it the Ace treatment instead of copping too much of Miller's hit. He lets Starr unleash upon the kit, his solo smokes rock, and it's an entertaining update.

An instrumental puts the album to bed, and 'Starship' is an adventurous soundtrack with which to wrap things up - it avoids cliches, for sure, and brings to mind the best of indie pop-rock channeled through a concept album ala Townshend. Frehley has his composer shoes on here, and he makes the case that he'd fit well into a more ambitious rock project. Pastoral and cinematic, this is a good ride into the sunset. Well played, Ace.

'Space Invader' is the sleeper album of 2014. I never would have guessed it, but Ace Frehley has proven his point, and given us one of the best albums of 2014. Great rock records are always welcome, and this is a great rock record.


beer beer beerbeerbeer


30.7.14





Pin It
Share |






 
iron maiden IRON MAIDEN RELEASE VIDEO GAME BASED ON 'SPEED OF LIGHT'
This is your chance to control Eddie Donkey Kong style...

lemmy MOTORHEAD PULL SALT LAKE CITY CONCERT AFTER FOUR SONGS
A statement on the official Motorhead Facebook page said: "The people are great, but the air is just too thin..."

heavy metal kids HEAVY METAL KIDS ANNOUNCE GARY HOLTON TRIBUTE GIG
The show marks the 30th anniversary of Gary's death. He passed away at the age of 33 due to his excessive rock 'n roll lifestyle...

the sword THE SWORD TO COMMENCE UK TOUR IN SEPTEMBER
The tour is in support of their fifth album 'High Country'...

wolf GENTLEMANS PISTOLS ANNOUNCE LONDON SHOW AT THE UNDERWORLD
"We hope you can dust off the Monday blues and join us for a debauched evening of wine, whiskey and song..."

wolf WOLF ANNOUNCE TOUR WITH ENFORCER
"This package is so much Metal that everyone coming to the shows will have a hard time passing airport security and metal detectors for a foreseeable future..."

jared james nichols JARED JAMES NICHOLS TO RELEASE 'HIGHWAYMAN' EP
The EP features the new single 'We're An American Band'...

michael monroe MICHAEL MONROE REVEALS 'BLACKOUT STATES' ARTWORK + CO-HEADLINE TOUR WITH HARDCORE SUPERSTAR
"It has all the ingredients of a perfect rock n' roll record - strong melodic songs with great meaningful lyrics that defy all clichés..."

turbowolf TURBOWOLF ANNOUNCE UK, EUROPE & US TOUR DATES
"Seeing all your wonderful faces, staring into those expectant eyes, and giving you all exactly what you're looking for, and maybe a little bit more..."

mike shinoda MIKE SHINODA'S FORT MINOR TO PLAY FIRST LONDON SHOW IN 10 YEARS
Shinoda will fit in these special one man shows around Linkin Park's European tour...

babymetal BABYMETAL TO HEADLINE WEMBLEY ARENA NEXT APRIL
Can't wait till April? Two new live DVD releases have also been confirmed for October release...

cats in space CATS IN SPACE ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE OF DEBUT ALBUM 'TOO MANY GODS' FOR OCTOBER 2015
Welcome to a new brand of Power Pop Rock from a band with a stellar CV...

nightwish NIGHTWISH TO RELEASE 'ENDLESS FORMS MOST BEAUTIFUL' TOUR EDITION
The special edition is released on October 30th and comes with a DVD stuffed to the brim with bonus features...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN ANNOUNCE MASSIVE 2016 WORLD TOUR
The new Ed Force One will take the band, crew and over 12 tons of equipment more than 55,000 miles (88,500km) around the planet...

glenn hughes BREAKING NEWS: GENE SIMMONS' HOME SEARCHED UNDER WARRANT IN CONNECTION WITH CHILD PORNOGRAPHY INVESTIGATION
Police have confirmed that neither the Kiss bass player or any members of his family are considered to be suspects in the investigation...

glenn hughes GLENN HUGHES UNVEILS OFFICIAL PHOTO OF NEW BAND
Glenn hits the UK for live shows in October. "There is no greater high than performing and to reach out to my fans..."

gentlemans pistols GENTLEMANS PISTOLS PREMIERE NEW TRACK 'THE SEARCHER' ONLINE
"The song is about becoming apathetic towards things you once enjoyed and searching for where you are going in life..."

vreid NEW ALBUM FROM NORWEGIAN METALLERS VREID IS RELEASED IN OCTOBER
"This is the definition of our lives and heritage...the fire burns stronger than ever..."

napalm death NAPALM DEATH JOIN UK LEG OF "DEATHCRUSHER" TOUR
The Deathcrusher tour contains the very best in Grindcore...

blitzkrieg EXCLUSIVE: BLITZKRIEG RELEASE 30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF 'A TIME OF CHANGES'
The classic album has been completely re-recorded and contains two bonus tracks...

w.a.s.p. W.A.S.P. PREMIERE NEW SONG - 'LAST RUNAWAY'
"The song is an intensely personal account of what happened to me, not only then but over the years and the success that followed after..."

nervosa NERVOSA UNLEASH NEW VIDEO FOR 'INTO MOSHPIT'
The band are currently on tour in the UK...

metal allegiance METAL ALLEGIANCE POST STUDIO TRAILER FOR 'DESTINATION: NOWHERE'
The track features Matt Heafy on vocals and guitar. A special launch show has been arranged to celebrate the album release...

uriah heep URIAH HEEP STAGE CLASSIC REUNION WITH CORE MEMBERS OF THE CLASSIC 1970S LINE-UP
Ken Hensley and Lee Kerslake are welcomed to the Moscow Crocus in October for the exclusive event...

rage against the machine RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE 'LIVE AT FINSBURY PARK' TO BE RELEASED
The free concert held after the success of the Christmas Number One campaign is now available in a quality package...

helloween HELLOWEEN ANNOUNCE LONDON FORUM SHOW FOR FEBRUARY 2016
"We feel pleased and honoured to yet again come to London UK..."

monkees THE MONKEES PLAY LONDON HAMMERSMITH EVENTIM APOLLO ON SEPTEMBER 4th
The set will include selections from the pyschedelic cult classic 'Head'...

rammstein RAMMSTEIN UNLEASH NEW 'RAMMSTEIN IN AMERIKA' DOCUMENTARY AND 'LIVE FROM MADISON SQUARE GARDEN' DVD
The incredible package is immaculately filmed and bursting with content...

amulet AMULET LAUNCH VIDEO FOR 'BLOODY NIGHT' & ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES
Be prepared for a Heavy Metal attack...

guitar of your dreams MAKE'N MUSIC ANNOUNCES $3,250 GUITAR GIVEAWAY
Calling all guitarists - there isn't a cooler giveaway throughout the entire industry...

dan patlansky JOE SATRIANI EXTENDS EUROPEAN TOUR WITH DAN PATLANSKY AS SPECIAL GUEST
This part of the tour now encompasses 10 countries, 25 shows and 33 days...

tad morose TAD MOROSE TO TOUR EUROPE IN SEPTEMBER WITH SILENT CALL
The Swedish double bill celebrates the release of Tad Morose's new album 'St Demonius'...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN PREMIERE VIDEO FOR 'SPEED OF LIGHT'
The brand new track is taken from 'The Book Of Souls' double album due out on September 4th...

pentagram PENTAGRAM ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPE SHOWS
"We all are itching to perform some of our songs off of our new album 'Curious Volume' for you..."

born again BORN AGAIN - HEAVY METAL SOUNDHOUSE DAYS REVISTED AT THE BLACK HEART CAMDEN
Relive the glory days on the 22nd August with the best music around...

wildfire FIRST BANDS ANNOUNCED FOR WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2016
Scotland's stellar Rock and Metal festival starts the buzz for 2016 with six quality names...

hotei HOTEI TO RELEASE DEBUT INTERNATIONAL ALBUM 'STRANGERS' ON OCTOBER 16TH
With an impressive range of guests, the world renowned Japanese guitarist and songwriter unleashes an epic album...

rich robinson RICH ROBINSON ANNOUNCES ACOUSTIC TOUR FOR SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2015
The Black Crowes' guitarist presents a stripped down, storytelling evening...

sonic syndicate SONIC SYNDICATE ANNOUNCE NEW BASS PLAYER AFTER THE DEPARTURE OF KARIN AXELSSON
The band premiere the new line up with the profound video for 'Diabolical Work Of Art'...

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD ADD EXTRA LONDON SHOW TO 2016 EUROPEAN TOUR WITH SAXON AND GIRLSCHOOL
We suggest ear-plugs and fortitude, because Lemmy, Phil and Mikkey are more intent than ever on showing at great volume that they are Motörhead and they play rock n' roll...

venrez VENREZ PREMIERE NEW LYRIC VIDEO AHEAD OF MICHAEL SCHENKER EUROPEAN TOUR
'Children Of The Drones' is the title track of the new album...

majesty GHOST PREMIERE 'MAJESTY' FROM FORTHCOMING ALBUM 'MELIORA'
Papa Emeritus III and his nameless ghouls will return to North America and Europe with a tour this autumn...

imperial state electric IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC SUPPORT GRAVEYARD & RELEASE NEW ALBUM
The release of Imperial State Electric's 'Honk Machine' brings their live show to the UK for the first time...

chantel mcgregor CHANTEL McGREGOR ANNOUNCES HER NEW ALBUM 'LOSE CONTROL' AND UK TOUR DATES
After four years of touring and festival appearances, Chantel returns with a vengeance with ten new songs...

lynne jackaman SOUL-ROCK SONGSTRESS JACKAMAN PERFORMS NEW EP 'NO HALO' LIVE IN LONDON
The show at Camden's Barfly on September 24th is set to be memorable for all the right reasons...

steve hackett STEVE HACKETT RELEASES THIRD REHEARSAL VIDEO CLIP FOR 40TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR IN OCTOBER
Preparations appear to be going very well indeed...

steve n seagulls STEVE'N'SEAGULLS ANNOUNCE THE SEAGULL HAS LANDED UK TOUR & NEW VIDEO
Anyone for hillbillified Iron Maiden...?

gentlemans pistols GENTLEMANS PISTOLS ANNOUNCE TRACK LISTING AND UNVEIL THE ARTWORK FOR 'HUSTLER'S ROW'
"A turbulent voyage of the sweetest sufferings and the most inexpensive of thrills..."

queensryche QUEENSRŸCHE REVEAL ALBUM COVER ART AND TRACK-LISTING FOR 'CONDITION HÜMAN'
The hard rock giants continue to thrill with their latest offering...

udo U.D.O. SAYS FINAL FAREWELL TO ACCEPT'S CATALOGUE
In a surprise announcement Udo Dirkschneider has confirmed that he will no longer play songs from the Accept library after one final tour...

operation mindcrime OPERATION: MINDCRIME REVEAL 'RE-INVENTING THE FUTURE', THE FIRST SINGLE FROM NEW ALBUM
The release from Geoff Tate's current project marks the first of a trilogy of albums...


Metal talk
© All written site content is copyright MetalTalk.net 2008-2015, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.
Ads raid data recovery