Keel - Streets of Rock'n Roll
Ron Keel is back !! 12 years after the bands last output here is now the brandnew album Streets of Rock'n Roll. It was a lot of talking about this comeback. Can Ron and the band keep what was promised?
The line up of Ron Keel himself together with the double guitar wizards Marc Ferrari and Bryan Jay, drummer Dwain Miller and bassist Geno Arce should be enough quality for a great album and if you know that Paul Shortino produced the vocals for Ron this will be underlined.
The title track „Streets of Rock'n Roll“ starts the album. Melodic harmonies and the well known voice of Ron opens this. First we can say the voice didn't lose any of its charisma. This song is a pure rock'n roll song with a hymn like refrain. Very great guitar solo appears, very powerful. The vibes of the old US Hardock from the 80's lies everywhere. Take a deep breathe back when the rock scene was full of hairspray and spandex. Good opener in typical american tradition. „Hit the ground running“ continues with a rockin guitar hookline. The vocals are in midtempo and Ron performs his higher trademark screams for the first time. Double guitars and chorus refrain marking this song. Again the guitar solo is awesome. Short spoken anchorman part with acoustic guitar before the refrain with his huge chorus comes back. This song leads direct to „Come hell or high water“. A faster song. Double guitar riffs and a more aggressive refrain which fights against the solo vocal performance of Ron. A great guitar duel between the axemen prove the first class which those belong to. In summary a speedful song with more breaks and variable in the colours of the voices. Slower guitar intro in „Push & Pull“ leads to another melodic guitar hookline. We are back in midtempo hardrock. Easy listening and happy moods are program. The guitars again are playing their games in solos and in double harmonies. A song that has not the quality of the songs before. Too less is happening. Not bad, but not a song to remember. And now here comes the first ballad. „Does anybody believe“ starts with acoustic guitars and Ron's clear vocals. Soon the refrain appears supported by short guitar sequences. A song that gets direct to your ears. Definetely not cheesy. The vocals of Ron Keel and the good guitar work in acoustics and electrics are saving that song from that. „No more lonely nights“ follows with rock'n roll again. Similar to the title track this gets us back to 80's US Hardrock times. Different guitar elements carry the song. Hooklines, riffing, a little weird solo...well played. The refrain is typical Keel. Good to remember, good to sing with. The guitar intro that moves from left to right opens „The Devil may care“. Ron is shouting again in higher spheres. A bit harder, a bit more aggressive. This song could stand also on the classic first Keel albums. Furious guitar part in the middle leads to a darker semi-acoustic one before the refrain performed by Ron in alliance with the background chorus ends this track. In the next song the title is program. „Looking for a good time“ has a catchy basic theme. American hardrock as it was played from many bands like Winger, Poison or ....Keel. Some acoustic elements and an ear catching refrain round up this party-like song. „Gimme that“ brings some other elements into this album. Stamping drums and guitars. A little Whitesnake touch I could hear in that. The song is marching forward. Your feet won't stand still if you listen to this more heavy track. Some spoken words in the background are leaning that song a darker vibe. One of the best songs of this album so far. A smasher, well arranged. Is there a helicopter in the beginning of „Hold steady“? Anyway...this song starts bluesy and grooving. Before it moves to a hard rocker again. Based on an aggressive ground element this song sounds dirty and from the streets. We can say...this is from the streets of rock'n roll. Great song, with variable vocals and groovy guitars. „Live“ starts with a happy guitar hookline. The dark and dirty elements are gone. This is a song for love your life again. If you are in a bad mood and listen to this song you are guaranteed feeling better. Dwain Miller surprises with some percussion elements. A lot of twin vocals and a guitar hymn in the end. The last song „Brothers in blood“ opens up with a heavy guitar part. A song where the drums are more in front and support the chorus in the refrain. The guitar harmonies stay heavy over the whole track. This song is more in Metal than in Hard Rock and brings at last another special element into this album.
Some songs of this album are more fillers and could have been more heaviness, but there are enough new tracks that are worth to explore. If you like the old Keel classics you will also like this album. Ron Keel's voice is as good as everytime and the guitarists are from the top level. Great work for a comeback album. Welcome back...Keel !!
review by Kerb
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