Saturday, September 12, 2015

Greg Koch - 2003 Radio Free Gristle

Guitarist Greg Koch makes a musical and sociopolitical statement here regarding the sad state of radio in the U.S.A. Hence, he frames this outing around his fictitious spoken word radio snippets that interleave among these 27 tracks. At times, Koch's humorous diatribes wear a bit thin throughout the duration of this affair, marked by his slick picking, progressive metal guitar licks, and rather bland vocals. However, there are some shining moments, evidenced by his affable sitar-guitar work on the piece "Torn Asunder" and elsewhere. The guitarist works through a series of pounding blues-rockers and pieces that more or less highlight his guitar wizardry. In fact, guitar hero Steve Vai -- who must be commended for giving quite a few lesser-known artists a chance to flaunt their stuff -- owns this record label. With this release, Koch receives sturdy support from a bass/drums rhythm section and drum loop artist Jazzmaster Ricci P. There are some striking moments, but the predictability factor, coupled with the often goofy dialogue, detracts from the entire listening experience upon repeated spins.

Guitarist Greg Koch makes a musical and sociopolitical statement here regarding the sad state of radio in the U.S.A. Hence, he frames this outing around his fictitious spoken word radio snippets that interleave among these 27 tracks. At times, Koch's humorous diatribes wear a bit thin throughout the duration of this affair, marked by his slick picking, progressive metal guitar licks, and rather bland vocals. However, there are some shining moments, evidenced by his affable sitar-guitar work on the piece "Torn Asunder" and elsewhere. The guitarist works through a series of pounding blues-rockers and pieces that more or less highlight his guitar wizardry. In fact, guitar hero Steve Vai -- who must be commended for giving quite a few lesser-known artists a chance to flaunt their stuff -- owns this record label. With this release, Koch receives sturdy support from a bass/drums rhythm section and drum loop artist Jazzmaster Ricci P. There are some striking moments, but the predictability factor, coupled with the often goofy dialogue, detracts from the entire listening experience upon repeated spins. ~ Glenn Astarita

Track listing:

1 Where Phat Means Flavor
2 The Mansquatch Chronicles
3 Cauldron of Gristle
4 Chopin's Redneck Hideaway
5 Bassman Eulogy
6 Death of a Bassman
7 Stack of Dimes
8 Ila Rose
9 Torn
10 Journey to the East
11 Mulligatawny Delta
12 Torn Asunder
13 Acid-Dhartha
14 Parochial Schools
15 Sassy Strumpet
16 Percy-itus Lemonsqueezosis
17 Push
18 The Joy of Ax
19 The Buchananites
20 Dry Ice
21 The Slipper Monologue
22 The Slipper
23 Rosebud's Beckoning
24 Rosebud
25 The Blues Jam Guy
26 Your Blues (Give Me the Blues)
27 Protect Your Home and Family

Personnel: 


Greg Koch (vocals, guitar, baritone guitar, sitar, dobro); 
Tom Good, Rey Reindeau (bass); 
John Calarco (drums); 
Jammaster Richie P. (loops).
Joe Morris , John Calarco (drums).

Recorded at The Mothership, Hollywood, California; Remote Planet, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Recording information: Remote Planet, Milwaukee, WI (10/2001-08/2002); The Mothership, Hollywood, CA (10/2001-08/2002).

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