"Heels Up" finds McKean both continuing and expanding upon his punk fueled work with The GC5, who "unlike the typical... punk clone, (wrote) good songs that don't sound alike" (The Big Takeover). The title track, and 'Around the World' still have the "economy size guitar hooks" (Aversion.com) and "sneak in outlaw-country style lyrics" (Razorcake), but there's a relaxed groove more reminiscent of old Stones or Faces records than 70's punk.
â€˜Down in Flames' sounds like updated Motown, complete with a driving horn riff, and 'Life in Blue' shows that McKean hasn't lost his touch at chronicling alienation and seeking uplift through his songs. Produced by McKean himself, "Heels Up" sounds less like a first solo effort and more like the crown jewel in a veteranâ€™s catalogue.
Recorded with Mike McDonald at the Bombshack in fall of '05, the credits are full of the names of top-shelf Northeast Ohio musicians, including the Whiskeyhounds, Chris Allen, Robb Williams (ACO), Walkin' Cane, Norm Tischler, Joe Rohan, and Chris Hanna. "I'm really lucky to know these guys" says McKean. "They really brought a lot to these songs, and I think their presence is a testament to the quality and diversity of this record. I'm really proud of it, and I can't wait for people to hear it."
Set for a Spring 2006 release, it will be followed by dates throughout the Mid-West with his backing band the Stuntmen.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Heels Up
2. Down in Flames
3. I'm Counting on You
4. Tune Me Out
5. Around the World
6. Cross-Eyed Soul
7. Lake Erie Lullaby
8. Time Will Tell
9. Life in Blue
10. Dancin' All the Way Down