Steamhammer/SPV [Release date 08.09.17]
Former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley has always fared better than the band’s other members when it comes to solo efforts and 2009’s “Anomaly” was a big hit with fans- and it’s not hard to see why as it was a real return to form and some of his best post KISS output (well, the second exit anyway).
However, the album has been out of print since 2010 and has now been granted a deluxe edition re-release. Remastered and boasting three bonus tracks – two unreleased and the other only previously available on the original vinyl release.
If you already own the album then you would probably need to be a completest to add the reissue to you collection as the bonus tracks are not earthmoving- “Pain In The Neck” is a slowed down version of the earlier album track, it has a heavier feel but as such also feels slightly sluggish. “Return of the Space Bear” would have been a great instrumental but has some very strange laughing and vocal outburst that may be a little too reminiscent of Frehley’s past life on the sauce!! The final “new” track is “Hard For Me” and whilst this is classic Ace it is also a bit too close to a couple of songs on the original release.
Talking of which, if you haven’t had the pleasure, please let me briefly introduce you to “Anomaly”. From bombastic opener “Foxy & Free” in the album has a solid feel with tracks like “Outer Space” (it’s where he’s from you know!!), instrumental “Fractured Quantum” (the previous three parts to which reside on earlier solo albums) and “Sister”, which is an old Ace song that has now been dusted down and brought up to date, giving the album a familiar Ace glow to it.
“Genghis Khan” has echoes of Led Zep to it whilst Frehley really does make his rendition of Sweet’s “Fox On The Run” his very own. “Space Bear” is another instrumental but this one feeling a little repetitive at times. “Change The World” is slower and has a slight spiritual feel to it whilst “A Little Below The Angels” is acoustic and almost biographical.
The recommended starting point, in my opinion, has to be “Pain In The Neck” and “Too Many Faces” which are my personal highlights amongst the album’s original twelve tracks.
Ace Frehley is a legend amongst KISS fans and guitar players worldwide and his recent output has been very good, however, as great as “Anomaly” is this deluxe reissue is really only going to complete the collection. ****
Review by Nikk Gunns
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