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Kee Marcello Scaling Up- Album Review

Kee Marcello

Scaling Up- Album Review

With Kee’s new solo album, ‘Scaling Up’ I have made a point of putting it out of my head that he was once a part of one of Sweden’s biggest musical exports, selling millions of albums and playing to just as many fans all over the world. In the late 80’s ‘Europe’ were one of the biggest melodic rock acts out there, with number one hits all over the world! I didn’t want to approach this album with any preconceptions and want to treat it as any other album for review.

Mr Marcello’s prowess on the guitar has always impressed me and from the opening licks of ‘Black Hole Star’ I knew this album was not going to disappoint in that department. The very ‘AC/DC’ style riffing puts a rather large smile on my face. There is an atmosphere to the track that reminds me of not only ‘AC/DC’ but Southern rock band like ‘Blackfoot’ and very much the guitar sound of ‘Rickey Medlocke’. I am equally impressed by the quality of the vocals also. At this point I am smiling!

The very Southern sounding ‘On the Radio’ is next up. This is very much ‘Skynard’ territory and even if a little contrived, I am loving it and very pleasantly pleased and surprised by what I am hearing. ‘Don’t Miss You Much’ brings us back to the type of thing I was at first expecting of this album, radio ready, melodic rock or for those of you who remeber what it means, ‘AOR’. However, I am not dismissing the track, there is a very well written and performed song here, I just preferred the first two.

‘Fix me’ fixed my smile again and brought back more of that Southern feel and even managed a nod here and there back to his hey days with ‘that other band’. Talking of ‘that other band’ Kee took back ‘Wild Child’, which was originally a demo for Europe’s ‘Prisoner in Paradise’ album and re-recorded it for ‘Scaling Up’. A little bit of a sleazier track with an excellent riff, head boppin groove and an attitude that puts me in mind of Motley Crüe.

‘Soldier Down’ is a track of pure energy, think Rainbow and cross them with Iron Maiden, then let the beast loose. Some excellent guitar work and clever riffs turn this into my absolute favourite track of the album! It takes me back to a golden age of rock music, when musicians were not afraid to experiment and create emotion. ‘Scandinavia’ although,sound wise, in a more modern era, still has that sense of experimentation that, I feel, really helps give us that feeling of honesty in the music.

‘Good Men Gone Bad’, ‘Scaling Up’ and ‘Blow by Blow’ all great, solid rock tracks with groove and attitude that rock and get the head moving, lead us to the end of the album. I have missed out a couple of tracks from the list, not because they are not good tracks in their own right, but because the smoother AOR type tracks just seem to jar with others and left me a little cold, that is just a personal opinion though! The rest of the album rocks, there are nods and winks to a wide range of bands both current and from the past. There are certain tracks that give you a feeling of familiarity, like you’ve heard them before but can’t quite put you’re finger on it. Be that a good or bad thing, I will leave up to you, but, I feel this is one album well worth spending your pocket money on.

Reviewer- Simon Larkin

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