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By Brian Barney
When Greg Koch was in the third grade, he cut out a cardboard guitar, and while using a sewing machine foot controller as a makeshift wah, proceeded to emulate Jimi Hendrix. Yeah, sure, we all did that, but Koch kept the delirium alive and went on to become one of the best and most original guitarists to ever pick up an axe. His latest release is a collection of songs, not quite songs, and spoken word that mixes music, mayhem and Kocks’ wet/dry sense of humor into a gelatinous substance called Radio Free Gristle.
From its’ opening track, “The Mansqwatch Chronicles”, where a Steve Vai-like tone rides over the top of a friendly yet frightening arrangement of chord meets discord, to the last, “Your Blues” (do the math); the disc reads like a hard-boiled crime caper that you can’t put down. Standout cuts like “Chopin’s Redneck Hideaway” and “The Joy of Ax”, show Koch’s amazing approach and a style that simply can’t be categorized; where scales derail, and madness becomes melodic. Interspersed throughout the record are snippets of spoken word that range from the hilarious to the unexplainable (mostly hilarious). Koch is a Frank Zappa type for today with his musical prowess and humorous musings, and, while Radio Free Gristle will probably never reach the mainstream, fans are in for a treat with Greg Koch’s most complete work to date.