KEE MARCELLO – 4-Track EP (2023) HQ *Exclusive*
Europe was on their multi-platinum rise when their guitar player John Norum and songwriter jumped ship. The rise to fame halted, but with the addition of guitarist extraordinaire Kee Marcello of Easy Action, Europe found a more than ‘just suitable’ replacement, capable of writing memorable hooks and guitar-melodies. The result was the mega melodic hard rock gem `Out of this World’ and subsequent `Prisoners in Paradise’. With the Europe disbanding and later reuniting in their founding form, Kee Marcello embarked on a journey on his own.
KEE MARCELLO had an interesting solo career, essentially, because he did the music he loved, no trends, no bullshit. Now he’s releasing new material, an EP simply titled “4-Track EP“.
Yeah, there’s only 4 tracks, but dude, darn quality songs. Melting guitars, awesome keys, a tight band / rhythm section, and Kee is singing better than ever. Just wait to listen to these rockers, ’70s / ’80s inspired, and plenty of awesome arrangements.
Opener ‘Still On Fire’ is face melting bluesy based hard rocker driven by a devastating riff. This is how a true traditional hard rock song should sound, groovy and powerful – even has cowbell. The chorus is great, and the soloing all over the track is to die for. Killerrrrr!
‘I’m Your Catcher’ is a tune build around a strong guitar and piano interplay. The melodies and guitar licks are piercing and mega-melodic, trademark Marcello, and the raining piano and keys build a wonderful atmosphere. The song is well produced and oozes a blend of 80s melodic rock and traditional classic rock, in both songwriting and overall tone. There’s a little Kansas / Queen reminiscent too. Kee’s vocals are strong and comfortable
Back to fully uptempo hard rock, “Rehab (All My Friends Will Be There)” takes the best ’77 Queen with multi-layered vocal harmonies yet much more guitar, multi-tracked and venomous. Love the production on this one, a huge track.
‘Shit Creek’ takes you back to Europe ‘Prisoners of Paradise’ era mixed with an American feel from the late ’80s (including synths) – think David Lee Roth first two solo albums with Vai – yeah, the guitar work is outstanding. Another killer tune!
With only four songs, on “4-Track EP” Kee Marcello has a release here much better and consistent than many full-length albums appeared this year.
Less is better? Not sure, but in the case “4-Track EP” applies.
01 – Still On Fire
02 – I’m Your Catcher
03 – Rehab (All My Friends Will Be There)
04 – Shit Creek
Kee: vocals, guitars, keys
Darby Todd: drums
Ken Sandin: bass