Credit where it's due: Ace Frehley knows how to make headlines. The Spaceman hasn't been able to make a peep about his latest album 10,000 Volts without also taking a swipe at his former Kiss bandmates. He's mocked their plans for a virtual afterlife, boasted that he can sing better than Paul Stanley and claimed that his new album will make his ex-cohorts "look like imbeciles."

The bad news for Frehley is that 10,000 Volts isn't going to make Kiss look like imbeciles. The good news is it doesn't make him look like one either.

The album finds Frehley largely sticking to what he knows best: catchy, three-chord hard rock with a chewy pop center. The album-opening title track nails the formula with effectively simple riffs, supersized choruses and a tasty, economical guitar solo. Standout track "Walkin' on the Moon" continues the momentum with its swaggering, cowbell-assisted groove, gigantic power chords and a confident vocal performance from Frehley.

These crunchy riff-rockers account for most of 10,000 Volts' high points, but the album also makes successful detours into sunny power-pop on "Cherry Medicine" and "Back Into My Arms Again." The album's two outright duds, unfortunately, land back-to-back: "Blinded" is an overwrought rocker about the perils of artificial intelligence, which is the last thing you want to hear from a guy who parroted satanic conspiracy theories about the Astroworld crowd crush a few years ago. And as sweet as it is that Frehley's fiancee Lara Cove provided the title for "Constantly Cute," Frehley should've let the lyrics cook a little longer before recording such a cheesy drivel.

READ MORE: Top 10 Ace Frehley Kiss Songs

Despite its missteps, 10,000 Volts is a victory for Frehley, if not an absolute knockout. It's an album best cranked at full blast thanks to Frehley's co-producer and Trixter guitarist Steve Brown, who also co-wrote nearly every song here. The drums could register on the Richter scale, and the guitars sound bigger than the sum of Kiss' egos. Frehley's limited vocals are also front and center, which could prove troublesome when he supports the album on the road if recent performances are any indication. The Spaceman's done a good thing here — now hopefully he can pull it off onstage every night, lest he look like an imbecile.

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Gallery Credit: Matthew Wilkening

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