Ron Keel – “Fight Like A Band”

Label: EMP Outlaw

Rating: 9/10

Review: Dawn Osborne

Boy do I love it when an artist that has been around the block releases something that is genuinely the best thing they’ve ever done. Ron Keel has managed this with this album, no doubt about it. Not just modern production, his voice is sounding better than ever and the songs are sooo good, right up my street. Up till this album my favourite Keel track was ‘I Said the Wrong Thing To the Right Girl’ and so if you liked that, I would say this album will be a winner for you too. With a monster 11 new tracks out of the 14 (one being a cover medley and two being updates of the Keel Classics ‘Tears of Fire’ and ‘The Right to Rock’) he was obviously not short of inspiration when writing.

Fight Like a Band’ was born out of a time which was difficult for Ron as his wife was ill and the radio station he worked for which was financing the band went down. But if difficult times make you write songs like these then they are certainly the sand in the oyster that makes the pearl. And now, with his wife fully recovered, he can celebrate overcoming his problems and inspire others to do just that with this really great album. ‘Rock n Roll Guitar’ like much of the album has country overtones with a hard rock heart, ideal material from the Metal Cowboy. The songs on the album such as ‘Long Way Down’ show off the character in the vocals. Personally I think the country music that Ron has been creating as well intertwined with his metal roots has influenced him to express more emotion in his vocals and consequently improved them immensely. I found the version of ‘Because the Night’ the Springsteen song made famous by Patti Smith really sexy with a male voice and its the first time I have really felt the intensity of lyrics like ‘Desire’s hunger is the fire I breath, Love is the banquet on which we feed.’ However the song that is my favourite and, to me is an absolute classic, is ‘Girls Like Me’. I just loved its joie de vivre, sense of humour, the strength of the vocal delivery, its Skynyrd style guitar and its celebration of strong women. 

I really love this album and I’d have given it 9/10 just for ‘Girls Like Me’ which is a stunner. Beg, borrow, steal or better yet buy a copy. It’s a must have!

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