Ace always attracts good and bad comments when you look at the internet forums, I for one don’t really give a damn, Ace was part of one of the most important hard rock bands ever and various solo releases have shown that he is certainly more of a rocker than some material that has surfaced from his former employers, but with this debate, it could rage on for years though couldn’t it.
What you have here is a follow up to 2009’s ‘Anomaly’ release, which was a touch safe in my opinion. With ‘Space Invader’, Ace has let his alter ego and persona run riot and has managed to produce some of the most entertaining material of his illustrious career, a bit more fitting to his first solo album released under the Kiss moniker.
The single ‘Gimme A Feelin’ has a trademark blues feel to it and it is very easy on the ears with Ace’s vocals have a warming tone. These are still as enlightening as they were on his first solo release back in 1978 and the track also highlight’s Ace’s ability to appeal to more general rock fans by having a kind of pop feeling to it. The opener and title track is a little rockier, just like ‘What Every Girl Wants’ is. This will likely please the Kiss contingent, but then I am sure they will embrace everything this guy has done anyway. ‘Toys’ is very hard hitting, you can hear Ace also stretching his vocal range during this track whilst abusing the fret-board with some blistering guitar work and I love the solo too on this one.
A cover of Steve Miller Band’s ‘The Joker’ is ill-advised for me, I really hate that song, The Sweet’s cover on ‘Anomaly’ was much more appealing as was ‘Hide Your Heart’ on the 1989 release ‘Trouble Walking’. But we digress… ‘Reckless’ sounds multi-layered, but has a cool solo. But the most mind bending track is the closing instrumental ‘Starship’. This has some dreamy guitar work, some nice touches, it’s a track you can lay back, close your eyes and drift into the stratosphere with, quite an engaging moment to end the release with.
Essentially, no matter what you may think, this is Ace Frehley, this is hard rock and whilst it may not push all the buttons at once, as an album, it compliments Ace’s style that has come to be part of hard rock legend (including Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame induction) for the past 40 odd years.
(7.5/10 Paul Maddison)