FOUNDRY (Kelly Keeling) – Foundry (2015)
FOUNDRY is talented Kelly Keeling’s new band, teaming him up with fellow musicians Marc Brattin (drums) and James Fucci (guitar). Their self-titled debut album is mixed by 7x Grammy-winner Steve Thompson (Guns ‘N Roses, Metallica) and also features as special guests LA Guns / Sin City Sinners bassist Scotty Griffin, and some guest solo guitar from Stoney Curtis (Count’s 77).
Over the las 30 years, one of the true unsung heroes in the world of rock and roll has been Kelly Keeling. This is a man who has literally been everywhere and done everything, yet seldom gets the recognition that he deserves.
His career includes stints with bands like Baton Rouge, Blue Murder, King Kobra, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the Michael Schenker Group, and countless others. Recently, he participated in the Red Zone Rider side project, along with drummer Scot Coogan / guitarist Vinnie Moore, and released his very good solo album few weeks ago.
One of the things I admire most about Keeling is his ability to suit his vocals to virtually any musical project; this guy can sing anything and make it his own. How many other guys do you know of that can be a part of the Michael Schenker Group and so dissimilar bands like the Trans-Siberian Orchestra?
From throwbacks to modern straight-up hard rock, this is the proverbial vocalist that could sing the phone book and make it sound good.
Keeling and company have described Foundry’s debut as more of a straightforward, modern rock album, but with elements of a number of other sounds as well. With the album finally out, how does it measure up?
Is this a fresh, original project, or another in a long line of classic, aging rockers making a pathetic attempt to mimic modern sounds in effort to stay relevant?
Well, let me tell you Keeling, Brattin and Fucci do not fail to please on this album.
It is true that this is a more modern-sounding effort than what Keeling’s previous bands have served up over the years, but that is not necessarily a bad thing either. The band manages to deliver a hard-hitting modernized hard rock sound that is both reminiscent of the classic era (read ’80s / ’90s) yet unique and updated at the same time.
I think the best word for the Foundry sound is ‘freshness’.
While the influences are diverse and numerous, it does not feel at any point like the musicians here are blatantly copying any other band. This is modern rock, but it is modern rock done right inspired by classic rock pillars that does not outstay its welcome or fall victim to the all too common pratfalls.
One wondering how diverse or interesting these musicians can be need only listen to a track like ‘Calling Allah’, where the group takes their hard rock sound and combines it with Middle East musical elements.
From straight-up rock sounds to elements that are more melodic, the group has all the bases covered on this record.
At 34 minutes, the album is a little on the short side, but less seems to be better for Foundry: most the songs are around the 3 minute mark, effective and to the point.
If you are afraid this is another modern rock album by numbers, forget it. Keeling and the guys adopted a modern sound (production & mix are first rate) but these riffs – and more importantly, the excellent vocals – are classic hard rock inspired.
Foundry first CD it’s a solid addition to Kelly Keeling’s already accomplished and diverse body of work. And work really well for all audiences eager for strong and effective rocking songs.
01 – Blinded
02 – Mind Radio
03 – Get Over It
04 – Rolling Stoned
05 – Calling Allah
06 – Hell Raiser
07 – Shake
08 – False Alarm
09 – Television
10 – Vegas Baby!
Kelly Keeling – vocals
Marc Brattin – drums
James Fucci – guitar
Scotty Griffin – bass
Stoney Curtis – guest guitar solos
Jason Ebs – bass (not in the record)
BUY IT !