Gibson Bros. - Columbus Soul 85 (1996)

Unfairly, music historians tend to overlook bands like the Gibson Bros., perhaps only bothering to utter the group's name as a footnote to Jon Spencer's career (Spencer did a short stint with the outfit near the end of its run, though it was always clearly Monsieur Jeffrey Evans' show). This omission is unfortunate, because without the Gibson Bros.' raucous brand of ragged blues-punk-rockabilly, there would likely be no flavors of the moment like the White Stripes or even genre mainstays like the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Recorded primarily at the Stache's legendary live music dive in Columbus, OH, Columbus Soul 85 is probably the rawest, noisiest record of the Gibson Bros. catalog, which is truly saying something. Overflowing with attitude and swagger, Columbus should prove to be a good time for those with the ability to decipher the rock from the noise. With its mix of riotous Gibson originals like "Where's Elvis?" and "Big Pine Boogie," traditionals like "Jesse James," and carefully chosen covers by the likes of Charlie Feathers, Columbus Soul 85 could easily serve as a primer in garage-rockabilly-blues revivalism 101. With sheer rock & roll bravado playing at least as important a role in the Gibson Bros. as the actual music, the resultant songs tend to have a clear basis in blues-rock classics, but that solid foundation sometimes gets overshadowed by a ragged production quality and playing that perilously teeters between being laid-back and just plain sloppy. While all of this may at first sound like a condemnation of the Bros., it will be, ahem, music to the ears of those whose record collections are peppered with selections from similarly minded outfits like the Oblivians, the Compulsive Gamblers, the Reigning Sound, the Cheater Slicks, the Gories, Them Wranch, anything released by Sympathy for the Record Industry, and Gibson Bros. spinoffs 68 Comeback and the Bassholes. Later, better-produced releases like Memphis Sol Today! will prove slightly more accessible to novices, though the Gibson Bros. generally remain a hard sell to those who prefer not to spend their time in loud, dark, smoky bars well past the witching hour.


decrepittapes said...

dirtdog said...

Just a long overdue "thank you" from me. Your blog is a music treasure. I am guessing you are from somewhere in Ohio??? If so, let me know if there is anything Ohiowise that you are looking for. I may be able to help.

A Fan in Cuyahoga Falls.