Forty years on from his landmark 1978 solo debut, original KISS lead guitarist Ace Frehley is back with his eighth studio release, “Spaceman”. With twelve years of sobriety under his belt and a once questionable work ethic now kicked into high gear, Frehley is set to deliver his third new studio album in 4 years. His previous releases of the new millennium “Anomaly” (2009), “Space Invader” (2014) and “Origins: Vol1” (2016) have all done well with fans and scored some of the highest chart positions of Frehley’s long career.
Much like his eponymous 1978 release, “Spaceman” sees Frehley performing all guitars, vocals, and bass on all but two tracks. Ace is also joined by drummers Anton Fig, Matt Star and Scot Coogan, both Fig & Coogan have a long history of working with the six-string legend.
KISS fans will rejoice in the surprise appearance of KISS’ tongue wagging, fire-breathing Demon Gene Simmons, who thanks to a recent thaw in their often frosty relationship plays bass on the albums opening cut “Without You, I’m Nothing” as well as “Your Wish Is My Command”, both co-written with Simmons.
Spaceman is a trademark Ace Frehley release, containing seven new hard rocking guitar-heavy tunes, the obligatory instrumental closer and well-chosen cover in Eddie Money’s 1986 hit “I Wanna Go Back” all delivered in Ace’s unmistakable semi nasal deadpan delivery with prerequisite hooky guitar solos.
Stand out cuts are the aforementioned “Without You I’m Nothing”, “Your Wish Is My Command”, “I Wanna Go Back” the autobiographical “Bronx Boy” and the hard-driving “Mission To Mars”.
Reviewer: Dave Burke