Ace Frehley is finally ready to add a new exclamation point to his celebrated career.
For the first time in nearly 20 years, the legendary guitarist has concocted an explosive new solo effort. Flaunting fiery riffs, pristine production and jaw-dropping craftsmanship, Anomaly (2009), on Frehley’s own Bronx Born Records, ties together the original KISS axeman’s trailblazing past, present and future.
Frehley’s fifth solo album—following 1978’s self-titled classic, 1987’s Frehley’s Comet, 1988’s Second Sighting and 1989’s Trouble Walkin’ is distributed by Sony/Red with Rocket Science providing a full label service platform. In honor of the album’s release, Gibson created their second Ace Frehley signature Les Paul guitar - the first one (in 1997) was one of the best-selling signature models of all time.
From his captivating persona as KISS’ “Spaceman” to his infamous Halloween ‘79 interview with Tom Snyder (uproariously commemorated in an iTunes exclusive “The Return of Space Bear”), Frehley is one of the most beloved personalities in rock ‘n’ roll. He’s the man who designed KISS’ iconic logo; he delivered an all-time stadium classic in “New York Groove”; and he continues to stay relevant and beloved by the likes of sludge-metal kingpins the Melvins and popping up onstage at Madison Square Garden to rock with the likes of Pearl Jam.
As for the lengthy delay between solo albums, “I don’t know why it’s taken so long,” he confesses. “I had to put the record on the back burner when I reunited with KISS. But I knew it would be important, so I kept listening to my old records to try to capture what the fans like.”
Sure enough, Frehley graciously offers listeners clever nods to his solo work throughout Anomaly. On closing epic “Fractured Quantum”, the fourth song in his “Fractured” series, the guitarist recaptures a particularly cool effect from 1978’s original “Fractured Mirror” with a dexterous display of pickup acrobatics. The debut single “Outer Space” features a thunderous guitar riff, and on his personal favorite, “Genghis Khan”, Frehley meticulously tweaked the reverb no less than six times with mixing guru Anthony Focx, employed the vocal talents of Meat Loaf’s daughter Pearl Aday, then goes out with the bang of a searing wah-wah solo.
The months of hard work were facilitated by the steady studio hands of Focx & Marti Frederiksen. Both contributed to mixing and mastering, while Frederiksen briefly took the reins from Frehley, who produced Anomaly, to turn the knobs for “Fox on the Run”.
“Analog recording is kind of blown by the wayside; I learned so much from Anthony and Marti about working in digital,” Frehley says, concluding with a grin, “This album has some heavy, heavy songs.”
Without question, Anomaly ties together the axeman’s trailblazing past, present and future.