Jibe. A match made in a Dallas, TX. Guitar Center in the early 90’s. Never heard? Me either until recently. I’m told that after a handful of records they were starting to make some waves on the national scene when in 2004 lead singer Joe Grah just up and left Dallas for the sun and beaches of Los Angeles. Reportedly to get clean. Jibe eventually reunited in 2015 and the response from the local Dallas scene was enough to make them give it another go. Older and wiser I suppose. Which brings us to their latest release Epic Tales of Human Nature. Out now.
My tastes vary but at the core it is hard rock. Guitars, bass and drums. Distinctive vocals delivering strong melodic hooks. While the name Jibe seems more appropriate for a light rock Christian vocal quartet than a killer rock band from Texas, they deliver music that arouses my core. I have no frame of reference to how this record compares to their previous work. I suspect I will soon as I track my way through their earlier work. That said this record kills.
Epic Tales of Human Nature opens with a almost classic up-tempo track “Children of the Sun” in the Janes Addiction/Fat Tuesday ilk. Not my favorite track but it’s solid. The next track “Broken City” seems more natural. A chorus so big your double wide will need an addition just to hear it properly. “The Human Condition” is a skipper if for no other reason than some of the worst white guy rap I’ve heard since Snow. A forgivable (and forgettable) moment as the next track “Release” heads back to the modern rock sound. With a slight tip of the hat to Alice In Chains.
At times it feels Jibe takes themselves a bit too seriously with tracks like “A Shadow in the Garden” and “Change” but in a way it works. It’s performed well and catchy. And yet also doesn’t as I’m not sure I feel some of these tracks come off authentic. The chorus of “Change” is a let down when paired with the rest of the song. I’m left feeling they are trying to be something they are not. Whereas on songs like “We’ve Only Begun” and “Bravery” they seem right at home. More of that would’ve been my preference.
There is enough great music on this record to satisfy your rock n’ roll heart. The music is well written and performed. Good hooks and a great band. Another musical export to make Texas proud.