The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

ACE FREHLEY - Anomaly

He came from outer space, y’know…

 

Anomaly is 70’s glam-tinged hard rock from ex Kiss lead guitarist Ace Frehley, wearing his taste firmly on his sleeve with a cover of The Sweet’s Fox On The Run which is an enjoyable and mostly faithful reproduction, but suffers from Ace not replicating the original’s lush backing vocals.

 

The rest of the album is hit and miss, like all his solo albums – but thankfully more hit than miss. There are some cool songs, some not so great, some awesome guitar leads, and Ace’s voice which, whilst not as rich and full as his former Kiss compadre Paul Stanley, has always had a certain everyman charm to it.

 

The single Outer Space continues the “I came from outer space” theme that he has been flogging since his Space Ace days in Kiss, going on to say he is sick of this world and wants to take his paramour away and return to whichever planet he is actually from. Change The World is an exercise in self-affirmation, but it’s message as well as it’s rhythm is a little plodding - yet he almost redeems himself when the solo comes in, soaring and diving behind the repeated title refrain.

 

The theme of having a fractured personality continues with Too Many Faces (“I wish I knew who as me”) around a blistering lead line, but Ace’s confusion carries on with the seemingly contradictory A Little Below the Angels – where he admits to alcohol problems and regrets – and Sister, where he states emphatically that he can’t change his ways. Finally, on It’s a Great Life Ace confesses he’s “paid a great price for all I’ve done wrong”, but admits “It’s a great life” regardless.

 

The cross Ace has to bear, of course, is that anything he releases will always be compared to his stunning work with his former band (it’s quite the coincidence that his first solo album in 20 years is released a few weeks before KISS’s first album in 11 years [remembering, however, that Ace played on Kiss’s last studio album, Psycho Circus]), and this album as with all his solo efforts could do with a Shock Me, Rock Bottom or even a Speeding Back To My Baby.

 

Overall, a little confused (though Ace has never denied that of himself, and that is at least partially where is Spaceman persona rose from), some flashes of great guitarmanship, and some very likeable songs – this is certainly better than I was expecting and well worth a few listens.

 

Shane

 

 

ACE is back and he told you so!

 

After what seems like forever, Mr. Frehley releases his new solo album ANOMALY - his first solo studio album proper since TROUBLE WALKIN` in 1989.

 

FOXY AND FREE opens the album, containing references to JIMI HENDRIX. It even sounds a lot like FOXY LADY. Next up is OUTER SPACE with distorted guitars and a very spacey feel to it. PAIN IN THE NECK is a typical ACE rocker until the surprising orchestra section in the middle before reverting to a classic ACE solo.


Next up is a cover of THE SWEETS` FOX ON THE RUN which suits ACE perfectly. GENGHIS KHAN is a mainly instrumental track. TOO MANY FACES has a different guitar sound to it and CHANGE THE WORLD is a mid tempo track with some good drumming.


Next up is SPACE BEAR - no doubt named after the classic TOM SNYDER SHOW appearance in 1979 [Editor's note - go check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jzve-Tmd70 - it's hilarious] - is a full, all-out guitar instrumental.

 

A LITTLE BELOW THE ANGELS (featuring his daughter MONIQUE) is a very auto biographical track about his alcoholism, and seems heartfelt but becomes cheesy singing to his daughter. SISTER is a track he first played on the 1995 tours - again, with some very good drumming.

 

IT`S A GREAT LIFE is a very catchy up beat track with plenty more acoustic guitar. Finishing with another FRACTURED track, this one is FRACTURED QUANTUM. Plenty of acoustic guitar again, yet finishing with electric guitar fading out.


There's been plenty of hype about this album, but it dissapoints. If you do buy it, stay away from the digi-pack - it folds out into a pyramid and there is no plastic holder for the disc.


Must do better.

 

STEVE67