Ace Frehley – 10,000 Volts (Album Review)


One the most easily recognized guitarist around, Ace Frehley is a Rock-n-Roll legend. Famously known as the original lead guitarist of KISS, Frehley’s tenure with the band played a key part in their success thanks to his blistering guitar solos, songwriting contributions, and sensational showmanship. Affectionately known as The Spaceman, or Space Ace, while he has not been a part of KISS for over two decades now, his creativity has yet to cease. In fact, Frehley has kept rather busy in the years since leaving KISS… and now in 2024 he casts off once again with the new album 10,000 Volts.

Frehley’s eighth solo studio album, and set for release on February 23rd through MNRK Heavy, it is important to recognize where it all began for him back in 1978. Looking at this year particularly, it was then his self-titled debut solo record came out as one of four released by each separate KISS member as an individual; but yet still under the Kiss label. This in mind, Frehley’s album included hits such as “New York Groove,” and became the most successful of any the KISS solo collections.

Laying the groundwork for something special, he would go onto assemble a killer band he called Frehley’s Comet, releasing back-to-back albums in ’87 and ’88 with them, before releasing Trouble Walkin’ under his own name in ’89. A busy time, it was second stint with KISS between 1996 and 2002 that occupied much of his time before he got to work on his own material once more. Picking back up where he left off, the last decade alone (2014-2024) has been highlighted with an abundance of releases and Frehley touring. Last releasing the covers album Origins Vol. 2 in 2020, 2024’s 10,000 Volts finds Frehley inspired with songs that could be some of his best to date. 

In all, 10,000 Volts feels a bit different than his last album of originals, 2018’s Spaceman, which was good, but not nearly as aggressive or heavy. This time around Frehley teamed with Trixter’s Guitarist Steve Brown to put together eleven tracks that hit exceptionally hard. All quite potent Hard Rock, Frehley’s guitar riffs are dressed with a thick groove, the tone is distinctive, and on top of it all, his lead vocals are quite lively.

Very much an album of feel-good vibes where Frehley seems energized by love, standouts centering around this theme include the title-track, “Walkin’ on the Moon,” “Cherry Medicine,” and “Back Into My Arms Again.” Here Frehley confesses an undying affection for someone who has completed him, made him a better man, and inspired him to keep fighting. And speaking of that resilient spirit, Frehley also shows that he is not unconscious to the unsettling direction of present-day society; as heard on tracks like “Blinded” or “Up in the Sky.” Each offering intelligent insight as to where we heading, Frehley reminds us that what we once thought might be science fiction, really is not.  In this same realm as these more aggressive tunes, there is also the absolutely killer “Fightin’ for Life” which immediately awakens you from a slumber; reminding you that life is tough, and if you want to get where you want to go, you need not make any excuses.

Overall, 10,000 Volts is Ace Frehley at his best. It is an album full of energy, fiery guitar playing, and large production. In a time where it feels like apathy has blanketed much of the musical landscape Frehley arrives with this blistering set of songs that deserve undivided attention. Very impressive, Cryptic Rock 10,000 Volts 4.5 out of 5 stars.    

Ace Frehley 10,000 Volts
Ace Frehley – 10,000 Volts / MNRK Heavy (2024)

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