If You Buy One Album Out This Week, Make It…

Origins Vol. 1 - Ace Frehley

Perhaps spurred on by the success of 2014’s Space Invader, Paul Daniel Frehley moved more speedily than usual onto his next solo project (typically they’ve been spaced apart by a good few years). Maybe it’s because he’s getting a bit old and nostalgic for his roots, maybe it’s because he just wants to have fun with some classics; either way, Frehley album no.7 is a covers record, and it’s a good ‘un.

It’s very much about honouring those who influenced him. And then upping the amplification budget by about a million. There’s the mightiest, screamiest version of Hendrix’s Spanish Castle known to man; irresistible axework in Led Zeppelin’s Bring It On Home; a spirited, beefcake take on the Rolling Stones’ Street Fighting Man; a gusto-packed Wild Thing featuring Lita Ford, and a full technicolour, all-singing all-distortion Till The End Of The Day by the Kinks.

For all its covers and guests (Slash and Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready make appearances), however, it’s not a completely Kiss-free zone. Paul Stanley sings on a robust rendition of Free’s Fire And Water, and the record closes with Kiss’s very own Rock N’ Roll Hell. And that’s no bad thing.

Doubtless some will scoff at Ace’s rollicking, full-horsepower interpretations of these organic, ‘60s/’70s pearls. But these are no ham-fisted efforts by any means, and when they’re delivered with such easy enthusiasm, it’s hard not to fall for the whole thing. Good, familiar fun, sure to go down a treat live.