Atomic Fire Records (Release date 14.01.22)
Kee Marcello’s recording debut with Europe was 1988’s ‘Out of This World’ and I well remember how, celebrating 30 years of the album on a solo tour, the guitarist expressed his pride in the record- so much so that he has borrowed the album title for his new outfit.
Alongside long-time bassist Ken Sandin and drummer Darby Todd, the last piece of the puzzle was Fair Warning singer Tommy Heart, resuming their partnership that saw the ‘Kee of Hearts’ album released in 2017. Though as an interesting curio, three songs in demo form with Kee singing are included as bonus tracks.
Opener ‘Twilight’ is smothered in parping keys throughout (possibly from Don Airey who makes a guest appearance) and boasts Tommy’s rough-edged slightly accented vocals and one of Kee’s fluid solos in which he bends those notes in trademark elongated manner. However at seven and a half minutes it is rather longer than it needs to be, and the verses have a rather incomplete to them. .
On ‘Hangin On’ a relatively weak verse is compensated for by a big chorus with a bank of soaring vocals that call to mind TNT and a great solo from Kee, albeit rather out of context with the song. But ‘In a Million Years’ is a real grower- reading that this was an unused Europe song from the early nineties makes sense, with a familiar lyrical theme of travelling into the future and Tommy’s superb vocals even sounding uncannily close to Joey Tempest.
The impression of the opening songs is that they have moments of quality but do not flow naturally- ‘Lighting up My Dark’, boasting good guitar solos, and ‘Staring at the Sun’, with a Journey feel in places, both have fine melodic choruses but feel a little disjointed in places, such as a vintage seventies synyth intro on the latter totally out of kilter with the rest of the song..
‘The Warrior’ is the most differently structured song on show, a fast-paced, loose limbed number reminiscent of Van Halen and Mr Big with suitable widdling from Kee.
After that though we move firmly into the Scandi melodic rock mainstream with a closing quartet of songs that are quite simply glorious. ‘Up To You’ is the most melodic to date with the massed vocals soaring in almost symphonic fashion on the chorus, while ‘Ain’t Gonna Let You Go’ is a big anthem with a good hook on the chorus, keys and drums playing off each other and a Journey meets Europe vibe.
Then to end a mainly up tempo album with two ballads risks ending on a downbeat note but the quality of both justifies the track ordering. ‘Only You Can Teach Me How to Love’ has a lush feel with another big chorus with soaring vocals, reminding me of Tommy’s fellow countrymen Zeno; and ‘Not Tonight’ is a big scarf waver, slower but expressive with a particularly sweet solo from Kee.
Though the songwriting could be tighter in places, when they hit their stride this is an impressive collection of melodic rock anthems. As their moniker might suggest Out Of This World will appeal to those traditionalists who prefer the old-school Europe to the current incarnation of the band. ****
Review by Andy Nathan
Josh Taerk’s latest Sunday Session was streamed on Sunday 20 March 2022 at 21:00 GMT (16:00 EST). Josh’s next session is Sunday 22 May.
Check out previous videos here: https://www.facebook.com/getreadytorockradio
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 GMT, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 8 May 2022.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 GMT as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 3 May 2022.
How to Listen Live?
Click the programming image at the top of the page (top right of page if using desktop)
Get Ready to ROCK! Radio is also in iTunes under Internet Radio/Classic Rock
Listen in via the Tunein app and search for “Get Ready to ROCK!” and save as favourite.
More information and links at our radio website where you can listen again to shows via the presenter pages: getreadytorockradio.com
Power Plays w/c 16 May 2022 (Mon-Fri)
FLOYA The Hymn (Arising Empire)
VEXES The Dream Disease (indie)
NEAR DUSK The Way It Goes (Iron Head Records)
IN SEARCH OF SUN Make Me Crazy (indie)
WALLNER VAIN Deceive Her (indie)
FIGHT THE FADE Where You Go I Go (FiXT)
MARATON Non-Euclidean Heart (Indie Recordings)
Featured Albums w/c 16 May (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 TERRA NOVA Ring That Bell (Lion Music)
12:00-13:00 FOZZY Boombox (Mascot)
14:00-16:00 MICHAEL McDERMOTT St.Paul’s Boulevard (Pauper Sky Records)
Tweets by Get Ready to ROCK!