For those of you who STILL don’t know who Kee Marcello is, he’s a world-class guitar player and a very good singer as well. Known largely for his work in EUROPE, as well as being a TV persona in Sweden, his new solo album Scaling Up is out now via Frontiers Music. To be honest, I hadn’t heard any of his solo stuff till now, but I sure as shit remember his guitar playing from back in the day and being very impressed. Fellow A&GS staffer Frank Zaber says, “I love Kee’s playing…so rich and melodic.” And he’s right 100%, but I also have to add fluid to that description, especially in his solos. Also, he can really sing his ass off, something else I was unaware of until now.
The combination of great vocals and the perfect intro/outro guitar solo come to a head on the album’s finest track “Don’t Miss You Much”, one of those songs you repeat six or seven times before moving on. That lead guitar line comes out of each chorus as well, and it’s just fabulous. The actual guitar solo after the second hook is lights out as well. “On the Radio” is a fine trip down memory lane to the 80’s, a glorious time for Melodic Hard Rock, and “Fix Me” has a bit of a sexy boogie going on. It’s quite the seductive track and another album standout. “Wild Child” is pretty standard fare, but once again the solo kicks a ton of ass.
“Finger On the Trigger” has a very misleading title because you expect it to be a guns-blazing type of song, but it’s actually a slow ballad. And over the course of six minutes Marcello pours his heart out in song. Another instant winner was “Scandinavia” with its instantly memorable hook and playful riffs that wash over you like waves. “Good Men Gone Bad” has a swampy, bluesy feel to it, Marcello content to let his axe run the show while delivering a cool vocal over it. Title track “Scaling Up” has a nice groove, and believe it or not, Marcello sounds quite a bit like Don Henley on this one.
Another favorite right away was “Don’t Know How to Love No More”, the second six-minute plus number that is very much a slow potboiler hellbent on melting the ice around someone’s heart. It’s really something beautiful. Closing the disc is “Blow By Blow” that’s got a certain shimmy to it that just sticks in your ear. Clocking in at just over seven minutes it certainly doesn’t seem like it. Right after the four-minute mark Marcello and his band go for broke, with him ripping a monster solo that harnesses lightning and thunder from the sky. All in all, Scaling Up is really a great record from Kee Marcello, and one that any fan of Melodic Hard Rock would be crazy not to love. It’s out now, so what are you waiting for?
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Don’t Miss You Much”, “Don’t know How to Love No More”, “Scandinavia”, “Fix Me”, “On the Radio”