Ace Frehley: Anomaly

RIYL: Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix

Former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley delivers his first solo album in 20 years, and it’s a big winner. Frehley’s work with Kiss in the 1970s inspired a legion of youngsters to pick up the guitar, including many of those who would gain fame in the alt-grunge explosion of the early ’90s, making Frehley one of the most important influences in rock history. The source of this influence is all over Anomaly.

“Foxy and Free” starts up with a hard rocker where Ace’s voice sounds like it could still be 1978, the year his first solo LP came out. “Outer Space” rocks just as hard in a tale about how Ace came from outer space and “is sick and tried of the human race.” A cover of Sweet’s “Fox on the Run” fits like the proverbial glove. Ace’s vocals are spot-on and the track has a fun vibe. Things really open up on the epic “Genghis Kahn,” a mostly instrumental tune that features a dynamic acoustic intro before giving way to a big jam featuring pulsing bass, Bonham-like drums, and heavy chord changes. The face-melting guitar solo is straight-up sick. It gets even better on “Space Bear,” another monster instrumental featuring a hybrid of classic riffage recalling Zeppelin, Hendrix and early Kiss on one of the best jams Ace has ever laid down.

“Change the World” finds Ace moving in a socially conscious direction that Gene & Paul would never abide on a Kiss album. It’s a catchy number that feels totally natural and features another stellar solo. “A Little Below the Angels” has a similar spiritual vibe, as Ace sings another melodic tune about leaving his wild ways behind so he can move forward. “It’s a Great Life” continues in that vein with a dynamic rocker that starts with a funky groove somewhat recalling David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance,” before some rocking changes come in as Ace continues to dispel his hard-earned wisdom. “Fractured Quantum” closes the album with a soaring instrumental rocker, the fourth song in the “Fractured” series that started on his 1978 LP. The playing and production work are both superb as Ace demonstrates his musical depth.

It’s that musical depth and the lyrical maturity demonstrated in tunes like “Change the World” that puts Ace light years beyond the current version of Kiss, which currently dresses up former Black and Blue guitarist Tommy Thayer as the Space Ace. It may help sell tickets, but it’s a fraudulent maneuver that Gene Simmons should be ashamed of, if he knew the meaning of the word. (Bronx Born Records 2009)

Ace Frehley MySpace page


Kiss brings Alive/35 Tour to the U.S.


Kiss is bringing their “Alive 35” world tour to the United States to wrap up the lengthy expedition. The tour began in March of last year, spanning Australia, New Zealand, Europe, South America, and parts of Canada. Now, Kiss will be returning to home, kicking off the American leg at the Cobo Arena, where they recorded their successful Alive! album some 35 years ago.

This incredible show will feature a new stage set, pyro effects that only the “hottest band in the world” could deliver, and all-new costumes. Fans will be treated to a two-and-a-half-hour set of some of rock’s greatest hits, including “Rock and Roll All Nite”, “I Was Made for Lovin’ You”, “Detroit Rock City”, “God Gave Rock & Roll to You” and “Shout It Out Loud”, as well as songs from the band’s new album “Sonic Boom”. BUCKCHERRY will be main support on all of the KISS Alive 35 North American dates.

Said Gene Simmons, “For 35 years, KISS raised the bar for what a rock concert should really be. This year is no different — all new, all killer… all KISS! The master’s class in rock is in session! KISS rules. Oh yeah!”

“Bigger IS better!” said Paul Stanley. “‘Sonic Boom’ is our future and KISS ‘Alive!’ is our proud past. On this tour you get KISS ‘Alive!’ plus a slew of other classics and soon to be classics. New stage, new battle gear and a pyro arsenal that will again show everyone that there is only one KISS!”

So far, the tour has played to over 2 million fans, making it the largest attended Kiss tour since the Reunion tour in 1996.

Check out the tour dates and some concert footage after the jump.

Read the rest after the jump...

A Chat with Sammy Hagar

It used to be that “55” was the number most associated with Sammy Hagar, but wrap your head around this figure: the Red Rocker is now 61 years old. Not that it’s stopped him from rocking and / or rolling, you understand. Hagar has just released a new album, Cosmic Universal Fashion, and he’s making the press rounds to promote it, which is how Bullz-Eye came to speak with him.

Bullz-Eye asked Hagar about life as an elder statesman of rock, his thoughts about Van Halen, and playing in a new band with Chad Smith and Joe Satriani, and he offered up stories of being denied the right to change the lyrics to a Beastie Boys song, of how he screams to prepare for shows, and how he once tried and failed to win over an audience when opening for KISS.

“The worst experience I ever had was opening for Kiss. For some reason, it just didn’t work. I got booed off the damn stage. I had to bust my guitar up and say ‘fuck you’ to people and I left…and it was Madison Square Garden! But it was their first hometown gig after they made it ,and they came back and played Madison Square Garden for four nights for the first time. And I was on the bill and I played first, and I said to the guys, ‘Bye-bye! You guys can do this on your own; you don’t need me as a whipping boy.’”

Check out the chat here, or by clicking on the below image: