Monday, November 9, 2020

REB BEACH: "A View From The Inside"

Rating: RR
Label: Frontiers 2020
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

'A View From The Inside' may not display the well kept secret or any hidden agenda. The former Berklee School of Music student and session player working in the past with all-time greats such as Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Roger Daltrey, Chaka Kahn, Howard Jones, Twisted Sister, have a tendency of keeping it off the record and right on track. Or vice versa? Anyhow. The Winger and Whitesnake guitarist' can certainly play the axe, that's hardly no surprise to anyone, although I find this a bit overwashed with reverb and Dixie Dregs moments.

Lo and behold. This is actually Reb Beach's very first all instrumental album and according to the info-sheet, 'this is not a mere exercise of self-indulgence but the culmination of over 30 years of study and work on the guitar'. I really shouldn't put him down or upset the six-string man, especially since I do enjoy Reb as a guitarist. It's just that the particular 11 songs on offer here are a bit too "fusion" and not quite the melodies you'll find yourself digging while digging graves (Yes. You're a Grave Digger. You dig?).

Beach's musical angle is indeed influenced by the monster rock of the 70s, jazz, prog, fusion, and the latter polorised by his time spent jamming with Dixie Dregs and it's surely no coincidence that "A View From The Inside" is at times very similar to the work of Steve Morse (nowadays at Deep Purple). "Black Magic" showcases the galloping speed and lead technique we prefer from Reb over the more jazz/fusion vibe that most tracks on this album (sadly) display. The lack of vocals gets to you in the end and it's a rather tiresome experience of endless fusion solos, runs, bridges, and fills. Helping Reb on the album there is his Whitesnake bandmate Michele Luppi on piano and I would personally have enjoyed a singer on the inside. RebBeach at Facebook

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