Aug 17, 2020

Ace Frehley - "Origins Vol. 2"

Category: CD/Video Reviews



“Origins Vol. 2”

“Origins Vol. 2” hits record stores on September 18, 2020 and this record is chock full of songs that influenced Ace through the years.   In the bio for this record it states that, “Every song also has a place in his (Ace’s) life's jukebox” which explains this record 100%.

Ace Frehley is a guitar player that sings, not the other way around.  I make that statement because there have been negative comments on the first single, “Space Truckin” regarding Ace’s vocals.  Ace has a vocal style that’s all his own; when you hear his voice you know it’s him immediately and whether you love his vocals or not, they are distinctive and they are his calling card.

 Describing the process in selecting the songs on this album, Ace commented, "I just thought about the songs that I used to play in clubs when I was doing other people's material. I went through my album collection and thought about the songs that influenced me the most. It was fun picking out the songs. It's a pretty well-rounded record and I think the fans will enjoy it."

 “Good Times Bad Times” opens the record and this Led Zeppelin classic sounds amazing!  Ace’s solo’s are crisp, his vocals make this track unique, and the essence of the song is 100% in tact so it’s not like Ace tried to reinvent the song, Ace simply pays homage to the mighty Zeppelin and this track is a great opener.

 “Never In My Life” by Mountain is an obscure song and if I’m being honest with you I’d never heard the song before and it could have been passed off as an Ace Frehley original because it’s got chunky power chords and sounds like an Ace original.

 “Space Truckin” is the lead single off this record and it’s true to the original version.  It’s one of the few times ever where a keyboard overshadows Ace’s guitar work.  Ace adds the phrase "Space Ace Truckin" in the chorus and hearing him call out, "Hey Curley" and referencing Jendell will make old school KISS fans smile.

 “I’m Down” by The Beatles comes off more punk rock than the original and feels very “New York-ish” and Ace tosses an F-bomb towards the end of the track.

 Lita Ford sings lead vocals on “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and the irony is that this is the one song Ace should have definitely sang lead vocals on since he proved to every KISS fan years ago that he can sing Mick Jagger styled vocals.  Ace covered the Stone’s “2,000 Man” on the KISS record “Dynasty” and it has remained a staple in KISS’s live shows on and off throughout the years.  Towards the end of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” Ace screams, “Kick out the Jams Motherf*cker!” which is a clear ode to the MC5.

 “Politician” by Cream is another obscure song and it’s got an interesting riff that sounds fresh with lyrics that are topical in today’s world.  John 5 joins Ace on this track.

 “Lola” by The Kinks is a fun listen.  

 “30 Days In The Hole” by Humble Pie features a blistering vocal performance by Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander and this is one of the stand out tracks on “Origins Vol. 2”.

 “Manic Depression” by Jimi Hendrix is the best song on this compilation because Ace plays his ass off and former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick joins Ace in a guitar dual.  Ace’s vocals compliment the song, and the band jams hard!  Ace also adds emphasis on the word “KISS” towards the end of the song.

 “Kicks” by Paul Revere & The Raiders is a quirky, poppy song.  Ace adds a dose of glam rock energy to this song and makes it his own.

 “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” by The Animals was an odd choice for this record; it’s not a song that fans would expect Ace to cover but Ace makes it his own.

 The Bonus track on this record is a cover of the KISS classic “She” and there’s no need to explain this one, it’s a classic Ace riff from KISS’s heyday and it closes the record perfectly.

Author: Bob Suehs