Rise Up

Written by: PP on 28/12/2013 00:06:13

Despite a high-flying opener "Rise Up" suggesting otherwise, Copenhagen based hard rock quartet Keema are all about mainstream chart rock bands from the US circa 2000-2003 era on their debut album carrying the same title. "The Burden", for instance, sends your thoughts directly towards Staind from "Break The Cycle" and "14 Shades Of Grey" era, a not too shabby parallel considering the success Staind used to have across the US back when they were still writing relevant music. "Embrace" carries a similar vibe, although here with the added flavor of Deftones nuances in the riffs department.

Generally though, you can name just about any mainstream hard rock band from the US toying with pseudo-heavy riffs, melancholic singing that turns into strained vocals moments later, except for maybe Nickelback and the horde of Southern styled rock bands following in their footsteps. Think Breaking Benjamin, Shinedown (which the band readily mention as influences), but also bands like Cold, 10 Years, Crossfade, Smile Empty Soul, 12 Stones, Trapt, Nonpoint, Earshot, TRUSTCompany, and so forth. You catchy my drift? Heavy hard rock with decipherable clean vocals designed for the mainstream rock/metal radio stations across the pond, yet a style that never really picked up in Denmark properly.

There are occasions, such as on "God's Malady", where Keema turn to a heavier style than on most songs on the album. Here, the tuning is shifted extra low to give the groovy distortion extra punch, which gives their sound an additional dimension that is much-needed after what is pretty much standard fare mainstream hard rock all the way through. That description need not be a bad thing, however, and I'm a sucker for the early 2000s mainstream rock scene having spent my youth growing up listening to the likes of Staind write their seminal albums. Crucially, Keema also have the songwriting capacity to write catchy songs in the style, and if you ask me, "Rise Up" competes evenly against the genre mainstays from across the pond. However, knowing what the Danish music fans are into, it's difficult to see Keema finding much success at home, so they should immediately gear their ambition towards the US market where this type of material is in high demand. They should, however, reconsider their artwork. Ugh.

Download: The Burden, Embrace, God's Malady, Rise Up
For the fans of: Staind, Breaking Benjamin, Cold, Crossfade
Listen: Facebook

Release date 10.06.2013

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