This band had a strange twist of fate. Established as a super group of sorts, the band recorded an album, finished it, promoted it to the press via promotional albums, interviews and advertising and yet Elektra Records never released the album! The band played one show in Birmingham and duly disbanded. Years later a couple of recordings were salvaged from the demo cupboard and major label basements and released by shady characters.
Cleopatra Records picked up the recordings in 2006 and issued it under the title, Ace.
DESPERADO - ACE - DEADLINE
One has to admit that a Western-themed album by four heavy metallers is rather peculiar, yet it works out here. Partly due to Dee Snider’s (Twisted Sister) voice and partly due to the album’s lack of country and western music - how ironic - the album now called Ace actually functions well. The album was originally recorded in 1988, but was never released by its original label. Deadline has unearthed the thing, slapped a photo of Dee Snider on the cover, changed the title and released the curiosity to a wider audience.
The album sure begins with a harmonica but it is soon down to business and business is hard rock. Snider’s gritty voice suits the material well, yet he has plenty of superlative help from Clive Burr (Iron Maiden) on drums and Gillan’s Bernie Torme on guitar. The unheralded guitarist is on fire here. This is late '80s recall and metal bands weren’t afraid to rip. The cowboy motif runs through the album, as do a couple of harmonica samples and acoustic country strums, but tracks like Gone Bad and Run Wild, Run Free are nothing short of quality hard and heavy metal. In contrast, See You At Sunrise or Ride Thru The Storm let the listener down with a ho-hum and pedestrian approach. The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter is the obligatory slow song, while Son Of A Gun has a hard edge a la Y&T. The stars of the album though are Calling For You and the album’s closer Emaheeval (say it out loud...). The former tune shines particularly well owing to Torme’s blazing solo. Listen to the extended guitar wails and ask yourself why this man isn’t a bigger name on the scene. The latter evil song closes the album in pounding fashion.
The album might have C&W approach and descend into a Bon Jovi regimen here and there, but is worth the dough and not just for fans of the members or lost metal artefacts. - Ali “The Metallian”