ACE FREHLEY – Spaceman
October 31, 2018, 5 months ago
The original out of this world guitarist Ace Frehley is back with another trip around the solar system with the simply titled Spaceman (thanks to former KISS bandmate Gene Simmons) as the axman harkens back to a simpler time with an album that most closely resembles his ’78 masterpiece. Let’s be real; he’ll never beat that classic, but structurally Spaceman is the closest of his solo releases that mirrors the ’78 success.
Frehley isn’t heading towards new planets with Spaceman, he’s just treading the same terrain with some more rocking tunes to jam out too and that’s want Ace fans want. He’s not going to wow anyone with his singing ability or his lyrics (there are some juvenile moments on here, “Rockin’ With The Boys” being the biggest offender); it’s all about the solos – in fact the solos seem more thought out and are more interesting than the ones found on his previous album Space Invader, the riffs, and the rhythms. And there’s plenty to chew on, like the up-tempo and almost punk like “Mission To Mars” (the sole musical surprise from Space Ace) or the autobiographical and in your face “Bronx Boy” (which would have made a better album title) and the laid back and bluesy “Off My Back”. The Demon didn’t only apply the album title to Ace, but he has two album co-writes – the opener “Without You I’m Nothing” and “Your Wish Is My Command”. While the latter has a nice chorus, it is a bit repetitive and I could have done without the harmonic introduction, but the former is a heavy mid-tempo track with one of the better choruses Ace (or Gene) has come up with and a total winner of a song.
Very cool to hear Anton Fig (the drummer on his ’78 album) on “Pursuit Of Rock ‘N’ Roll”, which features references to Elvis Presley and The Beatles while chastising disco, and also on the aforementioned “Off My Back”. Being no stranger to covers, another one is included – Eddie Money’s “I Wanna Go Back”. A brilliantly done cover, Ace vocally nails it and has a soft layer of the acoustic guitar and gee, I wonder where Ace wants to go back to? The album closes with one his best instrumentals put together “Quantum Flux”. It features a very spacey and Middle-Eastern vibe in the guitars and is quite the trip into a cosmic void.
With a fresh and fuller sound and a much more cohesive album than Space Invader, Spaceman is on a whole other planet in terms of quality. Since his comeback in 2009, he still hasn’t beat the incredible Anomaly, but this stands right behind it. Simply put – this is an impressive voyage with the Spaceman!