Thanks eOne for the advance of the 4-seam fastball that is ACE FREHLEY’s Origins Vol.2. And, hot stove news spoiler, it’s a well-paced labor of love and a real stellar rock & roll party! Go figure right? …AAACCKKK! but, same as it ever was, no pretense and no fluff = good times. And like your favorite pair of jeans, faded but not jaded, Frehley rolls on Les Paul a blazin’, narrowly outflanking ‘Origins Vol.1’ on an adjacent orbit, phasers set again for fun, America’s favorite past-time.
>> GOOD TIMES, BAD TIMES – no big shock, Ace’s has had his share, but real nice to have Pagey in the lead-off influences/origins spot, speedin’ back, I don’t mean maybe, but I still don’t seem to care — it was Ace’s Page-like phrasing and detached ‘rock or be rocked’ vibe that got him the KISS gig, hence the spot on delivery of this rock crucible
>> NEVER IN MY LIFE – this may be about torpedo girl herself, or the ultimate Mountain women, certainly a Richie Scarlet infusion with 2-sides of the coin’ to choose from …”feel like a bolt of lightning!” …best tune on the album?
>> SPACE TRUCKIN’ – hard, heavy, foxy ‘n free spaced Deep Purple (slight return), ample G-forces to take your breath away just long enough to ascertain the Space Bear is M.I.A. again, riding’ high in the saddle with Blackmore’s gang
>> I’M DOWN – and out!! and down to the wire!! There’s no escape from this island of guilty FabFour pleasures, special thanks to a bench hit from John 5 and a delightfully spirited lead vocal from Mr. Excitement …does anyone remember laughter? good times!
>> JUMPIN’ JACK FLASH – Lita Ford kisses us deadly on this tag team sortie and it’s a gas, gas, gas runnin’ outta oxygen as the 2,000 man casts more lightning bolts across the pond — don’t run, good things are at hand, little runaway. Ace’s chorus vocal is as chill as the pill
>> THE POLITICIAN – Frehley diplomatic mythos manifested in finely aged Cream, a deep dive into earthly matters, couch calls, fractured mirrors and the non-partisan ozone, not my favorite track but it does belie the ‘origins’ of the “Space Bear” riff off Frehley’s 2009 release, Anomaly.
>> LOLA – Faithfully Kinked out by Ace, as with “All The Day And All The Night” on Vol.1, “Lola” & British Invasion continue to offer Frehley gender-bending hooks to burn and further insight into his keen pop sensibility, one of the best cuts on here
>> 30 DAYS IN THE HOLE – Robin Zander dices this classic up like Zoro; all treat, no tricks, rollin’ numbers, rock & roll, got my Humble Pie records out, surrender, this is grade A rock and an awesome pairing, would love to see these two do more together, what a long strange trip it’s been!
>> MANIC DEPRESSION – fellow KISS gunslinger Bruce Kulick channels Hendrix, summoning his wah-wah and acid rock swells as Ace waits on deck, bringing BK round with a base-clearing lead coda, a guitar Donnybrook
>> KICKS – A fair distance from Route 66, Ace takes this pure pop sedan, removes the top and mods it for turbo, mining seminal rhythm riffs that would help shape his approach to KISS tunes, then get his kicks. go through a park and space their heads out
>> WE GOTTA GET OUT OF THIS PLACE – a surprisingly rockin’ rendering of this soulful 60’s Picasso, obliterating the gravity on earth that used to hold us Animals down, gotta get away, leavin’ tomorrow by some way … reminds me of Ace’s take on Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride” off Origin’s vol.1 in the decidedly creative approach / re-write, really fun versions
>> SHE – Old School, plus 40 years, Ace hits the boosters on the outro, catapulting into the free-form unknown so rarely glimpsed in KISS’s cannon, wailing comets, dressed to kill, and doin’ well for others.
Great album, home run