With a resume that includes Whitesnake to Winger and Alice Cooper to Dokken, you might imagine Reb Beach has more than enough on his plate to consider making a solo album. However, you would be wrong.
Reb Beach – A View From The Inside (Frontiers Music s.r.l.)
Release Date: 6 November 2020
Words: Kahmel Farahani
After almost three decades of writing, recording and refining these songs, Reb Beach has produced one of the finest and most engaging instrumental albums of recent years.
Reb Beach told MetalTalk why it took so long to do this solo record: “I’ve been waiting for this for ever!
“I’m so happy I finally had the time to finish it up and get it out there. It’s been a long time coming.
“1993 was when I made the demos for it and shopped it around and nobody wanted it then.
“They were re-recorded because they sounded like crap (laughs). It was all done on a drum machine and ‘Black Magic’ was the only one that actually got released on a record. I always wanted to redo it with a real drummer and a real bass player and not using an 8-track cassette to record.
“So when Covid hit I was talking to Kip Winger and he asked me “what about that fusion thing you were always working on? Release that!”
“I thought it was such a great idea”.
It might have been a long time coming, but after listening to ‘A View From The Inside’, I think almost every music lover will agree it was worth the wait.
The album opens with the interstellar shredding of ‘Black Magic’.
Being technically masterful while still being catchy enough to hum along to is a fairly rare gift, even amongst the best guitar players, but it is a balance Reb clearly has down to a tee.
It is followed by the fabulously funky bass and fusion rhythms of ‘Little Robots’.
Reb Told MetalTalk about writing the song: “‘Little Robots’ was the first real fusion songs I ever wrote, back in 1986. So in ’93 when Winger broke up I thought “Well this 80’s thing is over, what the heck am I going to do now?”.
“I figured I could be like a Joe Satriani guy and that will always be cool. No record company wanted it so I just put the demos up on my website and they sold like hotcakes!”
From the more straight up Hard Rock tracks like ‘Infinito’ to the intricate, bass heavy, Zappa like freakout ‘Attack of The Massive’, there really is something for everybody on this album.
The groovy, Satriani meets Deep Purple vibes of ‘Hawkdance’ leads us into another highlight of the new record.
‘Cutting Loose’ sees Reb doing just that, unleashing fuzzy and clean solos over a fiendishly funky and catchy hook.
Reb Told MetalTalk about the origins of the song: “‘Cutting Loose’ is the most commented song I ever wrote and it was on my instructional video called ‘Cutting Loose’, but the song didn’t have a title.
“Fans started emailing me and asking “what is that song on your video? we love that song”. So I redid that one too.”
The albums finishes with the gorgeous, languid guitar solos of ‘Sea Of Tranquility’.
A perfect ending and a reminder that it really is the notes you play, and not the speed you play them, that makes an unforgettable instrumental piece.
In a world where every other bedroom guitarist is shredding up a storm behind their webcam, Reb Beach sits totally apart in songcraft and skill.
With ‘A View From The Inside’, he should only be considered in the rarefied company of the music world’s Satrianis, Vais and Petruccis.
A superb album from a truly amazing guitar player.