Monday 15 March 2021

Chez Kane - Chez Kane (2021)

Country: UK
Style: Melodic Rock
Rating: 7/10
Release Date: 12 Mar 2021
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Here's another artist who I first heard on Chris Franklin's ever-reliable Raised on Rock radio show. He played her single Too Late for Love, which is an absolutely brilliant melodic rock song, even if it feels like it came out before she was even born. Then again, I think she must be older than she looks, as she has apparently fronted the band Kane'd with her two sisters for the past decade. I'm not aware of what they sound like, but this could have fallen out of a time warp from the year 1987, right down to the na na na on Ball n' Chain. And that choice of punctuation.

Sadly, Too Late for Love is easily the best song here so my hopes for a dozen killers like that were soon dashed. However, this is still a pretty good album. There are ten songs on offer here and they're in the four minute range so there's a good three quarters of an hour of material. The worst of them are still decent while the best of them are lot better than that, even if they can't match that first single. Some do come close and they all grow a little on a second listen too.

What's notable to me is that somehow Kane has managed to distil all the different angles of eighties melodic rock into a sound that isn't derivative. Sure, Rocket on the Radio has a solid Poison vibe and Ball n' Chain is more than a little reminiscent of Living on a Prayer, but the rest of them don't really sound like anyone in particular, more an entire era, making this quite the nostalgia album. One of my friends who's still pissed that Nirvana changed the musical landscape would absolutely love this, as it would take him right back to his favourite era.

Kane's sound is radio friendly melodic rock with her voice always leading the way. It's a fantastic voice for this sort of material because it's strong and confident and knows how to soar but it has a softness to it too when it needs to be more tender. The keyboards are prominent but the guitars aren't too far back in the mix, so this is soft and melodic but also up tempo and driving. Danny Rexon, the Swedish vocalist for Crazy Lixx, plays every instrument here except for the saxophone of Jesse Molloy, which is a neat decoration on a couple of tracks.

I should emphasise that it's all up tempo, because there are no overt ballads to slow everything down. If the final song, Dead End Street, hints at it ballad territory for a while, it picks up and rocks out like the rest of the album. In fact, the one exception that proves the rule is in the other direction, because Midnight Rendezvous ratchets things up with the guitars front and centre and the vocals scorching. If most of the songs here are in the more lively Lisa Dominique ballpark, albeit with better production and a little less seventies glam rock, this one is a lot more like Lee Aaron the eighties Metal Queen.

I may like the single better than the album, but then it's an absolutely killer single and a pretty damn good album. Chez Kane may be endearingly down to earth but she has quite a career ahead of her and I for one look forward to watching it continue to grow.

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