Keel – Streets of Rock & Roll (2010, Frontiers Records)
1. “Streets Of Rock & Roll” … 4:49
2. “Hit The Ground Running” … 3:54
3. “Come Hell Or High Water” … 4:03
4. “Push & Pull” … 5:00
5. “Does Anybody Believe” … 4:34
6. “No More Lonely Nights” … 4:22
7. “The Devil May Care (But I Don’t)” … 4:25
8. “Lookin’ For A Good Time” … 3:28
9. “Gimme That” … 3:34
10. “Hold Steady” … 3:58
11. “Live” … 4:48
12. “Brothers In Blood” … 3:52
Ron Keel – Lead vocals, Guitar, Keyboard
Marc Ferrari – Guitar
Brian Jay – Guitar
Geno Arce – Bass
Dwain Miller – Drums
Producer: Pat Regan
Now this is what I’m talking about! After nearly a 19 year absence (besides a brief reunion in ’98), Keel reunited in 2008 and the result is this masterpiece that hearkens back the good ol’ days of ’80s hair metal that doesn’t dwell or revel in the genre to the point of parody. Even the cover is a nod to the old school, using the same design of their 1985 major label debut, The Right to Rock.
I’ve never owned a Keel album previous to this one. Of course I’ve been aware of Keel, but to be honest, they never really stood out for me when whatever I had heard from them (basically the same way I feel about Dokken). I knew this album was coming out though, so I listened to the sample of “Streets of Rock & Roll”. I wasn’t impressed and decided thought that maybe I had totally written Keel off.
Well, when the opportunity presented itself to review this release, I figured, why not? Why not indeed! As luck would have it, Steets of Rock & Roll is a great release and I’m inspired now to seek out their previous albums.
Back on topic, any hair/glam metal fan is going to like this release and I mean really like it. The production is great, Ron Keel’s voice is strong (he reminds me of Kevin DuBrow on “Hit The Ground Running”) and the album is just Keel being Keel. They aren’t chasing the idea of being trendy and getting caught up in sounding modern. If you told someone this album came out in 1988, they’d probably believe you and I mean that in the most positive way possible.
There’s a great mix of melodic hard rockers and faster numbers here. “Streets of Rock & Roll” is a great way to start off the album — it’s melodic and affirms the band’s commitment to their right to rock while assuring fans what this album is going to be about. Then you have heavier and more up tempo numbers like “No More Lonely Nights”, “Brothers In Blood” and “Come Hell Or High Water” which really put you in that hair metal mindset and really give this album some bite.
This is a must have for fans of the genre whether you’re familiar with Keel or not (I think I’m probably getting close to spinning this one ten times all the way through) and already we have a strong contender for one of 2010’s best releases.
Highlights: “Streets of Rock & Roll”, “Hit The Ground Running”, “Come Hell Or High Water”, “No More Lonely Nights”, “Gimme That”, “Brothers In Blood”