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KEEL
The Right To Rock


Gold Mountain (1985)
Rating: 7/10


With friends like Gene Simmons how can anyone possibly go wrong? Maybe someone should ask Trigger that question, wherever they are now. Seriously, Ron Keel is about to break big time with huge dollar signs whirring in front of his eyes, which is what he wanted ever since he took Steeler to Los Angeles. The problem is that Ron’s trying to be the new Kiss, or, is it Gene Simmons who is trying to make Keel sound like what the new Kiss should sound like?’

The Right To Rock is an amalgam of Keel originals and Simmons penned contributions. Simmons has never been the greatest of songwriters without Paul Stanley, being a little too in love with his groin, and Keel’s in danger of falling into the same trap, viz. ‘So Many Girls, So Little Time’, ‘Get Down’ and ‘Electric Love’.

Musically, Keel the band do deliver, and Marc Ferrari and Bryan Jay are fast becoming the hottest guitar duo in LA metal. They crank it up here, whether it be on teen anthems like the title track, gonzoid metal of ‘Speed Demon’ or basic Keel heavy metal like ‘Back To The City’ – arguably the album’s most lethal cut with a fuckin’ brilliant guitar break at the start. But not all is rip roaring good stuff.

‘Easier Said Than Done’ and ‘So Many Girls, So Little Time’ sees Ron trying very very hard to be Gene Simmons – the voice that is. A bad sign. Meanwhile ‘Get Down’, a Simmons song, sounds as if it’s been rejected from the Wendy O. Williams album. While the only reason for covering The Rolling Stones’ ‘Let’s Spend The Night Together’ again is probably to get it a bigger radio audience than it did on the Lay Down The Law album. Ronnie’s clever, huh?

Some of this album sounds genuine, the rest sounds contrived. I can’t say it any fairer than that.

Dave Reynolds

Review taken from Metal Forces, Issue 10 (1985)

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