Review by Woody
Greg who? Well this is the debut album from this Polish born but now London based guitarist and those of you into your melodic rock will suddenly be very interested once you learn who else is involved with this band. Greg has managed to get cult American singer Ken Tamplin (Shout/Magdallan/Joshua/Solo) to contribute and sing on the album as well as Jay Schellen (Asia) on Drums who helped mix and master the album – whilst Tamplin produced the album! Yes I thought that would grab your attention.
According to the PR I’ve read the ethos behind this album was to create an album of positive uplifting feel good songs which are unashamedly melodic rock. I think that Greg has definitely achieved what he set out to achieve and this album seems to have been a long time in the making. I also like Greg’s No apologies attitude for creating melodic rock songs in era when AOR is a dirty word and unfashionable. In my opinion if you don’t like it you don’t have to listen to it so let those that do enjoy it without derision!
Tamplin’s performances throughout this album are outstanding, I’ve always liked his vocal style but I’ve only ever been a casual fan so I was really struck at his emotive and powerful performances, even some of the most subtle vocal melodies really grip you. Its obvious Ken had faith in Greg and the music he has created as he seems to have thrown his all into giving voice to these songs.
Although Greg principally states himself as a guitar player he does play lots of other instruments, with a few guest musicians thrown in the mix to get the best out of each individual song. I normally avoid guitar player albums as personally I find them to be self indulgent widdling bore fest’s, which can only be appreciated by other guitar widdlers! Fortunately Greg has created songs including swaggering riffs and some delightful intricate guitar playing, he has concentrated on the hook and the drive of every song rather than the look what I can do element!
“As The World Turns” has a crunching guitar sound with a whitesnake vibe to it. It’s a rocker with some swagger to it and soaring vocals from Tamplin. “Dream the Dream” has a memorable guitar riff and an infectious keyboard lick which a great hook and the big harmony filled chorus really sticks with you. I love Tamplin’s gritty vocals on this track. The epic “How To Love” is a beautiful and atmospheric ballad and I really enjoyed some of the hook filled intricate guitar playing on the verses. Tamplin really shines on this lush big ballad.
“Wake Me Up (Before You Go)” is a moody mid-tempo but instantly memorable song and it demands repeat listens. This song contains some of Greg’s best guitar work and the subtle but oh so important keyboards gives this song more power with unspoken emotion. The style of this song really suits Tamplin’s voice. “Stand Up” continues with a mid tempo swagger with subtle pumping key’s. It’s a cool song with a good backbeat, but its Greg’s killer melodic guitar solo though that actually makes this song stand out. Rocker “Love & Hate” has crunching guitars and this slow burning song that contains subtle hooks that after a couple of listens really make an impact!
“Waiting On You” is an urgent and impressive rocker, which grabbed me on first listen – Tamplin’s performance again shines through! “Victory” is a majestic, overblown, epic instrumental! I’m really hard to please when it comes to instrumentals and whilst I have to admit I’m not over struck you can hear what Greg was trying to achieve with this one. It is his symphony, his celebration of sweeping melodic rock grandeur and given the mood it impresses victory seems an apt title.
This isn’t a perfect album and it could perhaps do with a few more killer choruses, but it is a promising and enjoyable debut from an obvious talent. It’s a set of songs which set out to deliver as much melody, lush harmonies and striking guitar riffs as it possibly can! “Dream” is definitely an album that fans of traditional sounding melodic rock should check out and I think most established Tamplin fans will have a joygasm when they hear this!
Track Listing: As The World Spins Round / Dream The Dream / How To Love / Wake Me (Before You Go) / Stand Up / Love And Hate / Waiting On You / Victory (Instrumental)
Album Rating: 7/10
Woody’s Essential Track: Wake Me (Before You Go)
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