Saturday, October 15, 2011

GREG X: "Dream"

Rating: 7/10

Label: Greg X Music 2011

Review by Alan Holloway

Greg X (not to be confused with vocalist Greg X Volz) is a London based guitarist (and teacher) who you probably haven’t heard of. This isn’t a problem, because if he has his way his name will be shouted from rooftops, or wherever two of three long haired lads are gathered to make devil horns and play air guitar. It was nice to get a fully packaged CD with a proper inlay with words and everything on it! Add to that a personally hand written note and Greg X already has me more interested than many more well known artists.

Mind you, I certainly sat up and decided to take notice when I realized that his vocalist was none other than Ken Tamplin, best known for his work with god botherers Shout (although this isn't a Christian album). Add to this a producer by the name of John Payne (Asia) and I get the feeling that Greg must be quite well respected in the music world. It’s all been cobbled together under his own banner and label, and I would urge people not to be put off by the rather yawnsome cover, as Greg X is worth taking notice of.

Unusually for an album made by a guitarist with that guitarist’s name on the cover, “Dream” certainly isn’t a guitar album. There’s a solitary instrumental track, “Victory”, to close the album, and it’s quite the little beauty, with the guitar histrionics reigned in to allow the melody to shine through, resulting in a marvellously uplifting piece of music. Otherwise it’s all standard melodic rock, often very good and occasionally not so good. The stand out track for me is “Dream The Dream”, which is one of the better AOR tracks of 2011 and shows that Greg knows how to put a good tune together. “As The World Spins Round” opens the album well, whilst “Love & Hate” has a great beat and some sterling work from both Greg X and Tamplin.

Obviously a labour of love, “Dream” is a solid melodic rock album that shows plenty of promise. It’s great to hear Ken Tamplin again, and Greg X himself pulls off some very nice work throughout. Aside from a rather weak drum sound, John Payne produces pretty well, and although there’s only 8 tracks the length feels just about right. I want you to go to Greg X’s website and get your free download of “Dream The Dream”, and if you like it go ahead and buy the album, because you won’t be short changed.


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