Published on December 3rd, 2016 | by Justin G.
Kee Marcello: Scaling Up
Former Europe guitarist Kee Marcello is back with a new solo album, his fifth to date, titled Scaling Up. Marcello was the guitarist on Europe’s most polished, most commercially accessible albums, but on his own he has a decidedly bluesy hard rock approach. Marcello, who handles vocals as well as guitars here, is joined by bassist Ken Sandin (Alien) and drummer Darby Todd.
It’s almost funny how well Scaling Up pairs with Europe’s latest offering War of Kings. I guess Marcello and his former bandmates are both in a bluesy state of mind. Marcello leans more towards the Prisoners in Paradise sound though, especially on “Wild Child” and “Don’t Know How to Love No More,” which were both reworked from Prisoners demos. The melodic “Don’t Miss You Much” sounds like it could have come from that era as well. Songs like “Fix Me” and “Black Hole Star” have more of a bluesy swagger.
Marcello’s guitar work shines here as expected (and these solos definitely take you back to those classic Europe songs), but he does a surprisingly good job on vocals as well. His voice is a bit weathered and rough around the edges, but that’s exactly the kind of voice you want on songs like these.
Scaling Up is a really satisfying album overall. Fans of Marcello’s work in Europe will find songs to love, and fans of harder, bluesier melodic rock (think Black Star Riders and new Europe) will find songs to love. Either way, it’s good to see this veteran rocker still serving up quality material.
Summary: A little Europe, a little bluesy...not a bad combo.