Album Review: Jibe, Epic Tales of Human Nature

By Andy Thunders

“Epic Tales of Human Nature”, the latest by 90s grunge dudes Jibe, is an absolute banger of an album.

Lots of Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, STP, and Mother Love Bone influences, with a fresh new vibe, it’s grunge of this era, and it’s wonderful. As a lover of Grunge myself, I have been dying to hear some new grunge stuff, that was actually good (ie not like Nickleback or Creed) and despite one bad dud of a tune on this record, out of 13, only one bad song. This day in age, that’s really fucking rare.

The single off the record, “Release,” has a great hook, it’s a slow mellow burner, kind of like late era Alice In Chains mixed with STP, great melodies, great lyrics. Speaking of moving on from the past,  they conquered some dark shit, which is reflected when they sing from the heart. Glad to hear ‘em back with a great single like this. A fantastic guitar solo, the band is tight, and the singer has a great voice, adding some great vocals. He doesn’t copy anyone, dude has his own voice.

“Children of The Sun” has an STP meets Soundgarden vibe musically, very vibey. Slightly psychedelic as well, beautiful melodies. Floaty. These guys are the real deal, they’ve been around since 1994, some could possibly label them post grunge, but I wouldn’t. They have the original heart and spirit of the grunge movement. The song breaks down into a soft trance like section, and builds back up a minute and a half later. Such a nice constellation trip there, very euphoric.

“Broken City,” has an upbeat Nirvana meets Foo Fighters like vibe, with a melodic sense of Pearl Jam in a way. Very punky, very good, slightly anthemic for the outsiders. A fist pumper, a kick in the arse. A great solo, and a great hook, and great melodies. God, these guys have all the bases covered.

 

“The Human Condition,” has a little bit more of a metal like edge, but has awesome lyrics, and a great vibe. Slight Tool vibe here. The chorus is powerful, and says a lot of truth. A great modern view of society. Add an amazing guitar solo, so beautiful, and powerful. The melodies man. The production on this record is the perfect combo of clear, crisp, fresh sounds, without making it sound like a polished turd. It has a rawness to it, and you can hear all the instruments.

“Girl On A Hill” is one of my favourites, straight up STP vibe. Lyrics about a girl we all know, at some point in our young lives. Toxic shit, and it sounds from a real place. You can hear the passion and emotion behind it. Has a great riff, and a great solo. These guys have this groove I mention a lot. Love it.

“Shadow In The Garden” is a short soft 1:16 second tune, with some beautiful piano work. Some trippy guitar effects, leading into a soft, sounding song called “Change,” which builds up with 90s alternative vibes all around, a truly beautiful song for us who remember how beautiful songs were played in the 90s. It’s a song you jam out to, on the way to pick up your date for dinner, and look at the stars, simpler times for us growing up. There is some real authenticity in everything this band does, these Texans are definitely a great group of musicians who stuck to their guns, and still play the music they started playing. A beautiful, ripping solo.

“We’ve Only Just Begun” is the only dud on the album in my opinion. Very formulaic and doesn’t fit with the rest of the album.

“Don’t Give It All Away” starts off with a great bassline, with a great vocal line and guitar line, kind of a desert trip like vibe. Deep, powerful lyrics. Another bass breakdown before a guitar break, fucking amazing and intense. A kind of Zeppelin-like solo break, very nice touch.

“Waiting” starts with acoustic, and very beautiful vocals and lyrics. STP meets Bush vibe here. It’s amazing how an acoustic track can be the most intense in raw emotion. Such a beautiful song, honestly. Not to sound sappy, but it’s a truly heartfelt song. Been a while since we heard actual emotion in a song.

“Best I Ever Had,” is another good upbeat grunge tune. Fantastic, soaring, floating like vibe. The groove is strong in this one. Powerful, and catchy. If you’re not wearing a flannel by now at this point in the album, then ya don’t get it, man.

“Sanctuary,” is another 2 minutes of beautiful piano work, that just kind of fits into the spots they land on. Pink Floyd and Beatles vibes here, with the sound of rain at 1:38, as the piano fades, you hear some wind and thunder, which leads to the final track “Bravery,” which speaks of redemption in such 90s grunge/alternative heaven. They’ve been to hell and back, and are back on track, and this song speaks for itself. I feel it’s refreshing to have a new legitimate grunge rock album out, by a great, obscure band. Even with one bad song, I would recommend this to anyone into the Seattle scene of the early 90s. Absolutely wonderful!!

01. Children Of The Sun
02. Broken City
03. The Human Condition
04. Release
05. Girl On A Hill
06. A Shadow In The Garden
07. Change
08. We’ve Only Just Begun
09. Don’t Give It All Away
10. Waiting
11. Best I Ever Had
12. Sanctuary
13. Bravery

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