SPV/Steamhammer [Release date 18.09.20]
Original Kiss guitarist Ace releases his ninth studio album and after the success of 2016’s Origins Vol 1 (which hit #23 in the Billboard 200), we get a Volume 2, and again it’s pretty damn good as cover albums go.
Before Vol1, Frehley had already put his stamp on the likes of ‘New York Groove’ and ‘Do Ya’, and since leaving Kiss he’s had that much more freedom to play with arrangements. And like Vol1, the tracks here are largely material Ace played in his pre-Kiss club daze, or were played by bands he shared the stage with.
The album kicks off with Led Zeppelin’s ‘Good Times Bad Times’ (their first US single) and according to the biog is aimed at those who have done Ace wrong. It’s a fine performance, solid, suitably moody with some bright vocal harmonies that almost nod at the Beach Boys, The structure’s good but Ace’s guitar is brighter and less bluesy so it’s a worthy cover.
Mountain’s Never In My Life is up next and sees the Space Man playing at his heaviest, and there’s some neat soloing in there too.
Another nice and worthy inclusion is Deep Purple’s ‘Space Truckin’. A little heavier, it’s more guitar oriented. Those used to the original may miss Gillan’s phrasing or the deft touches from Lord or Paice, but it’s close enough to the original while adding Frehley’s own stamp. And when the keyboards do come in, you have to admire the arrangement as well as the playing. Tracks by The Beatles (I’m Down) and The Rolling Stones (Jumpin’ Jack Flash – featuring Lita Ford) follow, all beefed up somewhat.
I love the take on the Kinks’ ‘Lola’, and Bruce Kulick makes an appearance on a fine take on Hendrix’s ‘Manic Depression’. The album closes with the Kiss classic’ She’, a track the band performed at their first show.
Aside the aforementioned Ford and Kulick, the album also features Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander amongst others.
What’s to love about this is that many of the songs are not obvious choices, there’s enough in the bass line arrangements to keep them close to the original, but enough difference in the guitar and keyboard to make them worth while. And on occasion Ace proves that he’s not only the master of the riff but can solo with the best too.
Ace has left Kiss the band long behind, but not forgotten the legacy, and this is as fine an album to rock out as any. Enjoy. ****
Review by Joe Geesin
The latest Josh Taerk live session was streamed on Sunday 26 September. This marked the start of a new monthly series. Josh’s next session is Sunday 31 October.
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 26 September 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 28 September 2021.
How to Listen Live?
Click the programming image at the top of the page (top right of page if using desktop)
Get Ready to ROCK! Radio is also in iTunes under Internet Radio/Classic Rock
Listen in via the Tunein app and search for “Get Ready to ROCK!” and save as favourite.
More information and links at our radio website where you can listen again to shows via the presenter pages: getreadytorockradio.com
Featured Albums w/c 18 October 2021 (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 TAO Prophecy (Tarot Label Media)
12:00-13:00 LEVERAGE Above The Beyond (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JOE TILSTON Tightrope (Our Records)
Power Plays w/c 18 October 2021 (Mon-Fri)
ABOVE SNAKES Nothing To Lose (indie)
FRANKIE AND THE WITCH FINGERS Cookin’ (Greenway Records)
LEADFINGER The Fall Of Rome (Golden Robot)
FEMEGADES Stealing Numbers (Regent Street Records)
TIGERSIDE Any Contact (indie)
INDYA Love Like Champagne (indie)
EDGE OF DESTINY Forsaken (indie)
Tweets by Get Ready to ROCK!