Album review: ‘The Greg Golden Band’ a quintessential rocker

Greg Golden BandAt one point in our collective musical history, L.A.’s Sunset Strip reigned supreme as the heart of rock. In the early ’80s, the heavy-hitting guitars and stage theatrics of arena rock icons like Kiss, Alice Cooper and Van Halen were influencing a new brand of rock and roll in L.A.’s nightclubs, built upon big catchy guitar riffs, shredding solos and the hedonistic pursuit of all of rock and roll’s pleasures. Bands like Motley Crue, Guns N’ Roses and Quiet Riot rose up through the ranks of the Whiskey A Go Go and introduced glam metal to the masses. At the intersection between arena rock and glam metal is where Greg Golden Band’s eponymous debut album lies.

Greg Golden
Greg Golden at the entrance of the “Vault” at Bizarre Guitar in Reno.
Tim Parsons/ Tahoe Onstage

Greg Golden learned to play the guitar by ear and has been playing and touring in bands since the ’60’s and ’70’s. In 1974, touring took a back seat to opening Bizarre Guitars and Guns in Reno, where Golden has been an avid collector and seller of guitars ever since. But he never lost the love for playing guitar and teamed up with drummer Boris Tavcar, bassist Tony Phoenix and vocalist Randy Scoles to release his

Greg Golden and Frank Hannon play the hell out of their guitars. Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage
Greg Golden and Frank Hannon play the hell out of their guitars.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Frank Hannon-helmed debut album.

“Far Away” blazes through that intersection between arena rock and glam metal at top speed, without bothering to look for oncoming traffic. It is everything that the Greg Golden Band signifies; big guitars, soaring vocals and power drumming. Scoles has authoritative pipes like Sebastian Bach or Vince Neil, while Golden lays down a super heavy riff. The song is the catchiest on the album and a surefire headbanger. “Old School” is another heavy rocker that will elicit plenty of sing-a-longs. Frank Hannon guests on vocals and Golden’s guitar scorches across the frets in this ode to fist-pumping rock.

The album is certainly big on guitars and Golden shines when in the spotlight. The solo on “Deep South” is a sweet ascension from Earth and “Back to Reno” is a straight bar-rocker built on Golden’s riffage.

The album is heavy and direct without many frills. Golden can definitely flex his guitar muscle and packs the songs with plenty of beefy guitar playing. This album is perfect for those who want to put on their old L.A. Guns sleeveless T-shirt and peel into the desert in a black Trans-Am, equipped with a 12-pack and an afternoon to kill.

  • The Greg Golden BandThe Greg Golden Band
    “The Greg Golden Band”
    Release: April 1, 2015
    Purchase the CD

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  1. Wow, you have a way with words for certain. ” Intersection of Arena rock and Glam metal.”
    While I am an avid lover of the more “glam” side of things and worked with Australian designer, Fleur, who designed stage clothes for so many of the popular rock gods, it just boils down to one thing…loving and enjoying rock music and appreciating the musicians and fans who live in that world. Greg Golden Band definitely brings that message out to the world loud and clear. And I thought I would grow out of it…HA!

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