"Larger Than Live" (DeRock; 1989)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Keel's over-the-top conflagration of every cliché in the hard rock formula books made for some interesting listening way back when. The band's keep-it-simple-but-keep-it-full-of-testosterone approach worked pretty well when the band was going balls-out, but when they slowed down to ballad speed, they seemed to lose the impact that power and loudness gave them otherwise.

"Larger Than Live" is a collection of six studio tracks and six live tracks recorded at the famous Roxy theater in Hollywood in March of 1989. Of the six studio tracks, four are heavy hitters, while two are "pretty" ballad duds. Again, Keel managed to transcend their obvious dependency on formula with their sheer macho power; when they steered away from that, they were pretty dull. The final studio track, a cover of Humble Pie's "Fool For A Pretty Face," is worth noting for its guest vocals by Kevin DuBrow and Jaime St. James.

The live songs on the CD are, with one exception, the kind of songs you want to hear on a live album. They're the big arena-pleasers, especially "Rock And Roll Animal," "Rock'n'Roll Outlaw" and "The Right To Rock." Smartly, the band only includes one of those draggy ballads in the live portion - "Private Lies," a song that was new at the time.

Overall, Keel's music stands the test of time okay. It's certainly dated, but not to the degree that some other bands are today. Personally, I'd like to see a "Greatest Hits" collection that contains the original studio versions of the band's best songs

Keel: Ron Keel, Scott Warren, Dwain Miller, Kenny Chaisson, Tony "The Kid" Palmucci.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2003  by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 03 Apr 2022 15:56:16 -0400 .