Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ace Frehley - Space Invader SATM Review

Ace Frehley's last album Anomaly was a pretty big turd so I gotta be honest I don't have high expectations for this latest release Space Invader.  I love Ace but his post KISS live shows haven't lived up to what he was doing before he went back to KISS in 1996 and I'm of the opinion that without a real producer or label (not sure if latter exists anymore) he's unlikely to release a solid product.  But my mind and ears are open and for now anyway, my skepticism is buried.  

For this review I have decided to do it as I listened to it for the first time.  Sort of a stream of consciousness type of deal.  To do so meant not checking out any streaming samples that were available in advance of it's release.  I must say I did hear the first minute or so of Gimme A Feelin! but that is all I have heard so far.  It was hard to not slap this sucker in the CD player on the drive home from Best Buy but I managed to make it.  Before I start listening lets get into the packaging. 

Ace has a history of cheesy/cheap album covers.  Much like his wardrobe.  Sadly it was the highlight of his last record but for Space Invader it was a nice touch to bring in Ken Kelley to paint it.  A nod to his KISS past.  I like the cover but it's missing that level of detail Kelley gave the KISS albums Destroyer and Love Gun.  But it's a long way from Second Sighting so we'll call this a win.  Cover - B

Can't wait to hang this poster in my locker!
There's a sticker on this that says it's the deluxe 14 track + poster edition.  The two bonus tracks are radio edits of two songs on the CD already.  So taking songs on a record and putting an additional edited or watered down version of it counts as a bonus nowadays.  Hate to say this Ace fans but this is proof he thinks you (me) are a sucker. And did he really need radio edits for the ZERO radio stations that will be playing anything off this record?  The poster's even a bigger joke.  You've probably seen a poster like this before.  It's sometimes called a CD cover.  Deluxe Edition - F

Lets spin this Turkey and see if she flies.

1) Space Invader - Starts out rocking enough.  It's about an alien who's flying across the galaxy to get to earth to help save our planet.  Kind of the opposite plot of the Fantastic Four Rise of The Silver Surfer.  Ace's voice sounds good.  Solo is a sloppy. It starts off almost as a nod to Ozone from his 78' record.  B-

2) Gimme A Feelin - Uggh.  Heard this one in advance of the album coming out.  Vocals are flat out bad.  Take two please.  And all of the guitars, rhythm and lead sound sloppy.  D

3) I Wanna Hold You - Well Ace seems happy.  I'm not familiar with the co writers of this song but my beer is tasting good.  It's not bad.  It's just not good. C

4) Change - I'm really trying to like this record but this song isn't helping.  Ace sounds good singing again but the song lacks life.  I'd mock the simple/stupid chorus lyric but Ace has never been a great lyricist and frankly isn't why his great songs are great.  The guitar solo for this song sounds the best so far.  Maybe it's the beer. C+

5) Toys - I've been dying to hear this since I saw this title.  Is this another Dolls?  Or Al Little Below The Angels?  Lets see...  Dear lord.  Another brilliant chorus.  It's about going to Vegas and gambling with hookers I think.  Also, I think part of my issue with his leads are the tone.  This song isn't one he should include in any live set. C-

6) Immortal Pleasures - This song is just silly and a pretty fucked up way to tell everyone he gets lots of pussy.  And its my favorite so far.  B

7) Inside The Vortex - I'm struggling.  Maye it's me.  Maybe this is how Ace has always been?  But I don't think so.  Another snoozer.  Oh wait!  Great breakdown and solo!  There he is.  And he rally's!  C+

8) What Every Girl Wants - It's the first song that grabbed me from the beginning.  Nice verse.... and of course the chorus is embarrassing.  Ok it's not that bad.  Its pretty catchy but the "walk in the park" line is garbage.  Solo and break back in is killer though.  B-

9) Past The Milky Way - Unless he wants to write a song about all the bitches he got pregnant on Jendell it might be time to retire the space references.  Ok that's damn near what this song is about.  Loving it.  I think he just copped to the occasional "performance" issue with the ladies.  Awesome.  If there's one song I'll go back to after this is done it's this one.  B+

10) Reckless - Let me guess.  He lived a reckless life.  Bingo.  I don't really get what he's talking about which is weird because Ace is typically a paint by numbers story teller with his lyrics.  But this is a good song.  B

11) The Joker - Ok I'm pausing this.  I want to go on record as saying when I heard about him doing this song I thought it was a bad idea.  So now if I shred it you can tell yourself I wanted to hate it.  Might as well get a fresh beer for this one.  Ok.  Pushing play.  How many takes do you think it took for Ace to say "Pompatous" correctly?  Ok I have to admit this is kinda of a fun version.  Nice solo Ace!  For a cover?  B+

12) Starship - An instrumental?  At least it's not another attempt at milking the Fractured Mirror teet.  Kind of starts out like it though.  I don't have much to say about this.  I've always felt that Fractured Mirror was the one example where ending a rock record with an instrumental worked.  Ace has decided to make it his calling card.  Oh!  There's a direct homage to Fractured Mirror.

I love Ace.  I want this record to be great but it's just not.  It sounds like it wasn't recorded in a professional studio and that's because it wasn't.  This isn't a bad record and it's better than his last one.  But like Peter, Paul and Gene, Ace's best contribution to music will always be his work with KISS.  But where Ace is different is I believe he has a great album in him.  But to get there he needs to do two things.

1) Stop working with people who are in awe of him or people who can use his name on their resume'.  I like John Ostrosky but he's about as big of an Ace shill as you get.  He needs people who understand the end product not people who want Ace to attend their child's briss.

2)  Work with a real producer and studio.  Eddie Kramer is one of the few people Ace has taken time away from talking about Ace to admire and respect.  And from KISS to his Ace's solo work Eddie's been the producer on all of Ace's best work.  Get Ace some great songs and have Eddie produce I think we get a great Ace album.

Sadly I feel only one of those things is possible and neither is likely.  Ace loves him some Ace.  He's not about to cut off the people who remind him how awesome he is.  But he's also in his 60's so I think it's time I took my own advice and not worry about what could be and enjoy what Ace gave us.  It does sound like he's having fun and at this stage of the game that's probably pretty important.  You go Ace.  I just hope he actually tours this record.  I need a beer and some Trouble Walkin'.        



  1. I'll use the same signature as your "reviewer" ... Anonymous. No wonder you didn't put your name to it because it sucks. Probably some douchebag in a basement contributing to a blog. Idiotic.

  2. I don't think anonymous means what you think it does. If you stopped your eye roll a little short you'll see "Posted by Bakko" Thanks for stopping by. Your feedback is important.

  3. I didn't care for your song reviews at all. I probably read 50+ reviews before 'pace Invader' was released & 95% of them rated it either 8 or 9/10 and a lot of those reviewers were not KISS fans or familiar with Ace's previous work with 'KISS' or his solo material. But like you, everyone has an opinion & that's all I read here ...and nothing special at all, I find that how you perceive something let it be a movie or in this case a new cd release ..it has a lot to do with how you feel at the time you see it or in this case , hear it. I just found your review to be negative and it's apparent you have lack knowledge , especially when talking about this day & age when it comes to cd's and production vs sales . That being said , you have to know that cd's don't sell anymore , with a handful of exceptions, therefore not to many artists, especially artists who have been around for 20-40yrs are going to hire a producer as they have nothing to prove.They cost a bloody fortune too ..+ schedules, etc, and like myself I would prefer to have it be genuine , pure Ace , from his soul , then have some collaboration , then it wouldn't be a solid Ace record, rite ? Music is a personal thing , it's art , it's a personal extension of the artist & there craft...it's 100% Ace , except the drumming and 1 remake & Rachael writing the lyrics to 2 songs ..1 being 'Change' which is one of my favorate tracks btw. When someone hires a producer , they set or change the direction & it\s Ace not Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber ...he's not out to appeal to the masses , it was aimed at Ace fans , KISS fans & new fans , rock fans , follower's of this area of music , and again at this point in Ace's career , what does he have to prove ? his 78' solo album was almost 100% all him (except the drums ) not too many artists are capable of playing all the guitars , bass & singing ...Ace does it all . He's 63 yrs old I mite add and I cannot remember the last new release by an aging artist I've heard where I can listen to the entire thing & enjoy every song ...btw I\ve been listening to this cd almost non-stop for over 2 months , unlike 'KISS' 'Monster' ..2 songs , that's it ...Paul Stanley's 'Live To Win' : could barely get through the 1st & only listen ...that cd probably has an inch of dust on it + he had all co-writes & countless musicions helping & playing . Ace did the majority himself & I , like 1000's of others love it & like the mixing ..unlike my new KISS 40 , (bad remixing ) Space Invader sounds awesome in my truck , 6 Infinity speakers + 2 Bose & 1 Sub powered by 2 300w Alpine Amps. I found that with repeated listens, that songs I didn't like as much, they grew on me where I like them even more ...oh and when we all heard 'Gimme a Feeling' on youtube as it was put out early ..that was fu*king killer ...straight ahead rock & roll upbeat signature Ace all the way ...I've probably heard that song 200+X's and it never gets old ...this cd Space Invader , I find it better than Judas Priest's new one or Tesla's or Night Ranger's or KISS's last one or others I wont begin to list ...Im not even going to compare them , I can appreciate different artists & different styles . I heard that new AC/DC song a few weeks ago thru Eddie Trunks site and to me it's just 'ok' . Anyways I just came across your review & I'm not sure , but if you are one of these Vinnie Vincent fans I can understand how you mite not get it or appreciate Ace's new release ...I grew up with KISS so I like them and Ace is one of my faverate guitarists too and his solo lp was my favorate of the 4 and I still listen to it today as it stood the test of time. That's my review & my opinion on a few things.

  4. I can't believe he didn't name it Ace Invaders