Austin Gibbs is bringing back the classic rock sound to music in a big way with his latest album Charlie. Although there have been many acts in recent years that have done this, the most renowned being Jet, Gibbs brings this flair in a new, or possibly, rediscovered way.
Although Gibbs has previously released 2 EPs, this is the first full length to come out from the Arizona musician, and it features 8 tracks, with one that was previously released on the EP 1986 titled “I Like the Ones,” which has been revamped on this album.
The album might only have 8 tracks, but they are absolutely phenomenal tracks. Gibbs has done more with 8 tracks than most artists manage to do with 12.
It seems as though there might have even been a selection process for this release, with the intent to only showcase what is great to the artist’s music- the concept of ‘less is more.’ In the case of Charlie, less certainly is more. Every track on this release is fantastic.
The album starts with the quiet and contemplative track, “Charlie,” which is very stripped down; until the end, that is, when listeners are introduced to the loud and catchy style of Austin Gibbs.
“Charlie” is followed by the track “La La La” which is easily the best song on the album, as well as the most likely to become a major hit. This song has that classic rock feel to it, with the very unique factor that is Gibbs’ voice. The most interesting factor to this song, however, lies in the facts that this song rocks like good old southern rock such as Lynard Skynard, but with a modern rock tone to it that could make Gibbs a favorite for many different types of rock music listeners.
Gibbs’ voice is incredibly unique throughout, but it is especially so on “La La La.” It is very raw and rough, but it has an incredible and alluring sound to it, which those who love rock music in general are bound to fall in love with.
“Wolf Mountain” is another song that showcases Gibbs’ excellence in full. It begins with a distorted bass that has a feel to it that is similar to The Strokes. This track is also extremely catchy, and stays consistent with Gibbs’ Loud and Rowdy style of rock.
“Sierra the Serial Killer” is a track that features those heavy southern rock-sounding guitars mixed with an acoustic sound that makes this track one of the most dynamic on the album. Gibbs’ screeching voice brings new meaning to the word on this track. Where the word screech might have once been associated with pain, (or perhaps a really annoying kid doing his version of ‘being metal’- for examples, see Design the Skyline) Gibbs brings life to the term with a deep and harmonious screech that sounds like nothing else in music today, and could easily become a trademark to his style.
Not only does this release bring back the classic rock sound, Gibbs is also a very masterful and thoughtful lyricist. Each song brings a lyrical complexity to ‘songs about girls’ (aside from “Charlie” which isn’t about girls, but equally masterfully created) that has never been seen before, and is extremely refreshing.
While many rookie artists come out with first albums that have a few good songs on them, Gibbs comes out the door swinging for the fences, with a solid 8 tracks of very catchy and complex rock and roll. Don’t be fooled by his ‘My Name is Earl’ attire- the guy can truly bring the rock, and is an artist to watch in 2011.