Even though the music -- filled with meaty '90s guitar riffs and singalong choruses that would make Matthew Sweet bitterly jealous -- may sound familiar, The Gibbons aren't a band you can immediately place. For starters, they look like four dudes who cut their teeth playing in metal and ska bands. And they are.
But after success as valued sidemen in esteemed Dallas-area projects like Designated Johnny, Holding Caulfield, and Sheffield Drive, the foursome pooled its talents in a band that pays respect to the heart of the song: the chorus. The Gibbons was borne of a collective desire to put the hook front and center. The results may surprise those who followed the members' former projects, as there is no metal or ska to be found here -- just songs that bring to mind the recently bygone era of Presidents of the United States of America, Supergrass, and Better Than Ezra.
"No members of this band were ever frontmen in any of the acts," says singer/guitarist James Hansen, who has opened for The Toasters, Big D & the Kids Table, and hometown favorites Bowling for Soup, among others. "It's kind of a band of role players coming together and defining a sound together. And the neatest aspect of it is the diversity it allows us in writing music."
Sure enough, the sound is varied. From general pop-rock ("Ride," "One and Twenty") to heavier tracks like "Breathe," which recalls Nirvana's "Breed," to the quirky, Pixies-esque "Intussuception," the tracks on the band's forthcoming EP promise to showcase different sounds, all with the collective goal of giving the listener an ear candy refrain. Some songs even pay respect to the band's hometown of Dallas with a slight southern twang.
Even better, the group's sound may signal the beginning of a trend. After the 1970s and '80s enjoyed a resurgence in recent years, the 1990s are poised for a comeback and The Gibbons fit the bill. Ignore the high-top sneakers and flannel that such a wave would bring, but enjoy these tunes that will have you thumbing through your CD collection for that old copy of Green Day's "Dookie." We bet you didn't realize how much you missed it.