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Kee Marcello – ‘Scaling Up’

posted 2 Oct 2016, 14:58 by Paul Woodward

(Frontiers Records)

Review by Woody

This new solo album from former Europe guitarist Kee Marcello was not what I was expecting, based on Kee’s recent output I was expecting something a touch heavier and grungier but Scaling Up is a stunning smooth melodic rock album with touches of the Blues which left me awed after my first full listen! I Instantly took to the album which has elements of the past in the mix, lots of smooth upbeat choruses and swaggering guitar riffs but it has a much more modern feel to it. This is not a retro album, Kee has just incorporated many of the elements of traditional melodic rock into his song writing.

Of course the album is very guitar heavy with lots of prominent guitar riffs, but nothing aggressive or too heavy. The guitar riffs have a lot of swagger and blues in them reminiscent of a lot of popular hard rock bands in the late eighties and early nineties. The choruses aren’t neglected in order to give the guitars the limelight as you may suspect and there are some awesome smooth choruses which really capture you.

Scaling Up doesn’t feel like Europe to me even though the album features two songs originally written for them and I think anyone expecting this may be disappointed. If you approach this album without any preconceptions and you’re a melodic rock fan you should love it! The one two punch of ‘Don’t Miss You Much’ and ‘Fix Me’ is a melodic rockers wet dream and should have genre fans raving about it.

There is a strong Blues vibe to the vocals too which adds a touch of extra emotion, but the choruses are as smooth as you’d expect from a melodic rock release. For me the blues and commercial music don’t usually mix very well, but Kee uses the blues touches to his guitars and his voice to actually give these songs a more immediate impact.

Swaggering rockers like ‘On The Radio’ and ‘Wild Child’ may be real attention grabbers but it’s the ballad ‘Finger on the Trigger’ that really showcases Kee’s guitar skills. The guitar licks have a real melancholic feel and it makes this emotive ballad even more powerful and atmospheric.

Scaling Up is a solid slice of melodic rock goodness, which embraces the past whilst giving us something current and should have melodic rockers young and old cranking up their stereos.

Track Listing: Black Hole Star / On The Radio / Don’t Miss You Much / Fix Me / Wild Child / Finger On The Trigger / Soldier Down / Scandinavia / Good Men Gone Bad / Scaling Up / Don’t Know How To Love You No More / Blow by Blow

Album Rating: 8/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Don’t Miss You Much