Killer Bee (named after lead vocalist Brian “Bee” Frank) have been around since the early 90’s, but chances are you’ve never heard of them. However, though the band may be unfamiliar, their sound is definitely not. Their latest album Eye in the Sky is so close to the classic Deep Purple/Rainbow/Michael Schenker Group sound (keyboard players will love this album!) that even though the songs are new, the tunes are instantly accessible and familiar. Everyone’s familiar with the term “comfort food,” well, this is comfort music.
The title track, Eye in the Sky, is more purple than Deep Purple, and a lot of the credit goes to keyboard player Denny Demarchi. Demarchi has his stamp all over the album, and anyone who is a fan of the late Jon Lord will clearly appreciate how Demarchi pays homage to Lord in the keyboard parts on this record.
Shout It Out Loud (not the KISS song) features an extensive keyboard solo that sounds eerily like Lord. One Step Closer is big vocal choruses, big guitar solos and big keyboard backing. Very arena-rock worthy, indeed!
Higher and Higher opens with a keyboard riff that tone-wise, will remind the listener of the opening keyboard riff to Purple’s Perfect Strangers. The Fight is perhaps the showpiece song of the album. It opens with ominous church bells, fingerpicked guitar and Frank’s booming vocals. The song slowly builds in intensity and tempo, adding layers of guitars and culminating with a dramatic ascending bass line that plays off the descending guitar chording (courtesy of bassist Anders “LA” Rönnblom and guitarists André Hägglund and Christoffer Sjöström, with assistance from drummer Shawn Duncan). You want a monster song to do your workout to? This is it. Crank this one up, lift those weights or pedal that bike.
Joystick Warrior is an interesting-and very timely-song about a pilot of an armed drone.
There isn’t a weak song on the record. The mainstay driving force of Killer Bee, Frank and Rönnblom have been writing and playing together for over 30 years, but after three decades, they finally have their killer album.
In early 2017, Killer Bee will have two concert dates in Southern California:
January 29 Ramona Mainstage, Ramona, CA
January 30 The Whisky, Hollywood, CA