Audio Mixer: Warren Huart.
Recording information: Ace in the Hole Studios West; Ace In The Hole Studios West, San Diego, CA; Mike's Home Studio, Seattle, WA; Signature Sound, San Diego, CA; Spitfire Studio; Spitfire Studio, Los Angeles, CA; The Creation Lab, Turlock, CA; The Nook, Studio City, CA.
Photographer: Dove Shore.
Coming 15 years after he played his last show with Kiss, Origins, Vol. 1 is Ace Frehley's first "all covers" album, but that's not entirely accurate, as some of these songs are rightfully his. Take the Kiss song "Cold Gin," which was delivered by the noted abstainer Gene Simmons although written by the then partyman but now sober Ace. His version here is the proper combination of weathered and liquor store aware, while his spotlight Kiss number "Parasite" is absolutely thunderous in this modern recording, winning the loudness war with ease. So does the closing "Rock and Rock Hell," which was supposed to be a Kiss song but lacked that required Kiss idealism ("Get me out of this rock and roll hell" goes the chorus). Paul Stanley's spirited appearance on Free's "Fire and Water" proves there are no sour grapes between the Spaceman and the Starman as Ace responds with one of his greasiest guitar solos, and with Slash, Mike McCready, Lita Ford, and John 5 all dropping by, the guest list smells of high-quality leather, well-worn denim, and a killer jam happening down at the roadhouse. Check how Cream's "White Room" gets a bit of reverence before the walls come down and it sounds like a Sabbath track, or jump to the herky-jerky "Magic Carpet Ride," which reimagines Steppenwolf's classic as a late number on side two of Destroyer. Great, fun, and effortless stuff plus one of the best Kiss-related releases in years, even if it doesn't come from the mothership. ~ David Jeffries