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| 16 February 2019 | Reply

Label: eOne / Entertainment One Music

Release Date: October 19, 2018

Rating: 9.5/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Every artist proclaims their latest release is their best, and in most cases it just demonstrates the artists growth, maturity, adaptation, etc.  With Ace Frehley’s latest disc, Spaceman, it rivals most of his catalog for best material and doesn’t show much growth or maturity over previous releases, but when you are Space Ace, you don’t need to grow or adapt – you just need to play like your legions of fans expect.  Disc opener “Without You I’m Nothing” comes out of the gate with a chugging riff and heavy handed bass lines (compliments of co-writer and former bandmate Gene Simmons) and pounding drums from Scot Coogan.  The lyrics are great, the riffs are quintessential Ace – especially in the bridge, and the groove of the track is amazing.  “Rockin’ With The Boys” is a contagious track that seems to be the rock counterpart to the KISS song “Beth.”  While Ace and the boys might or might not be playing all night, he will check in when is is done rockin’ with drummer Matt Starr on this track, which was the second single released from the disc.  The tempo is a bit slow but punctuates the songs vibe.  Lead single “Bronx Boy” has cool groove that is enhanced by drums from Coogan and cool lyrics that seem to be a little autobiographical (for those of you who know Ace’s backstory).  Ronnie Mancuso lends some guitar to this track as well.  “I Wanna Go Back” is an odd track to toss on this collection.  While Ace is no stranger to covers, Eddie Money is a stretch in my opinion.  The song stays relatively close to the original and the guitar work doesn’t allow Frehley to stretch his wings and show off.  The rhythm tandem of Saltzman and Starr anchor the track.  “Off My Back” is another song that let’s Ace be Ace on the verse and chorus with simple riffs and playing and a bridge that let’s him run wild and deliver a cool solo.  This track has Fig keeping Ace grounded and in time from behind the drums.

“Your Wish Is My Command” starts off with a weird chant and silence that is quickly pierced by a great riff from Frehley.  The chorus rolls off the tongue and gets your foot tapping, thanks to the punch of Scot Coogan on drums and bassist Alex Salzman.  This is another track co-penned by Simmons.  “Pursuit Of Rock And Roll” reunites Ace with his former drummer Anton Fig and the groove of the track has an old Frehley’s Comet feel and sound.  The song pays homage to a lot of Ace’s influences and some of the ideology that drove his to play guitar in the first place.  The driving rhythm is perfectly matched to the guitar solos that do the songs musical landscape.  “Mission To Mars” is one of the songs that let’s Ace cut loose with some guitar prowess before the verse kicks in.  The guitar work on the intro is cool and different and offsets the riffs that carry the verse.  The cadence of the track gets the foot tapping and shows flashes of Ace at his best swirled with typical Frehley fare.  Mancuso drops some guitar on this while Coogan provides the back beat.  “Quantum Flux” is another addition to the “Fractured Mirror” legacy, with a twisted track that features guitars that seem out of tune and warped, but come together with bass lines from Warren Huart and drums from Matt Starr.  The song grows throughout the nearly 6-1/2 minute track, but that is the joy of these songs Ace has dropped on most of his solo releases.  The song adds punch to the disc, even on its way out.

Tracklisting: Without You I’m Nothing – Rockin’ With The Boys – Your Wish Is My Command – Bronx Boy – Pursuit Of Rock And Roll – I Wanna Go Back – Mission To Mars – Off My Back – Quantum Flux






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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