Forever known as the original lead guitarist (and occasional bassist and lead vocalist) for glam rock legends Kiss, Paul ‘Ace’ Frehley has produced some fine rock music, his solo work often critically surpassing anything Kiss have done without him.
This album, Anomaly, was originally released in 2009 and although it sold well at the time it has been out of print since 2010.
Ace was an integral part of Kiss for their first 10 years, playing on many classics and hits, before leaving in the early 80s. He (and original drummer Peter Criss) did take part in some reunion tours, but this album more than shows he is more than credible in his own right. And with last year’s Origins Vol 1 still fresh, there’s some (Space) Ace music about at the moment.
Foxy & Free (co-written with Skid Row’s Sebastian Bach) opens to showcase Ace’s distinctive vocals and guitar, and there’s a hint of glam to the metal too. Outer Space is a real classic rocker, heavy, chunky. Some of the guitar effects add a new dimension to his earlier solo work, and at times some blistering solos that make you realise just what a wonderful guitarist Ace is.
It’s good to see Ace working with long time drummer Anton Fig (on all but a couple of tracks); it is worth noting that Anton Fig played on two Kiss albums and was Peter Criss’ original replacement.
The album is heavy and catchy in equal measure, and enjoyable throughout.
Def worth looking out is the cover of The Sweet’s Fox On The Run, a wonderful version that surpasses even Girlschool’s excellent cover.
Too Many Faces is reminiscent of much of Frehley’s earlier solo work and the guitar is definitely a notch up from his Kiss work. Fractured has been a recurrent theme across a few solo albums, and on that note Fractured Quantum rounds off the original album nicely.
This classic album back in print and with bonus tracks to boot – what’s not to like? 8.5/10
Ace Frehley – lead vocals, lead guitar, bass
Anthony Esposito – bass
Anton Fig – drums, percussion
Derrek Hawkins – rhythm guitar
Scot Coogan – drums, percussion
Marti Frederiksen – keyboards, additional bass and rhythm guitar
Brian Tichy – drums
1. Foxy & Free
2. Outer Space
3. Pain In The Neck
4. Fox On The Run
5. Genghis Khan
6. Too Many Faces
7. Change The World
8. Space Bear
9. A Little Below The Angels
11. It’s A Great Life
12. Fractured Quantum
13. Hard For Me (previously unreleased) bonus track
14. Pain In The Neck (slower version, previously unreleased) bonus track
15. The Return Of Space Bear (first time on CD) bonus track