By Cherri Bird 
Epic is not an exaggeration, it's a fact. The legendary Dallas band that teetered on fame back in the late 90's is back with avengence. Whether or not they care about fame anymore is of little consequence because they've reached unprecedented heights without the backing of a major label in the wake of this release. Jibe released two singles "The Human Condition" and "We've Only Just Begun" spawned a self-funded music video production and music video favorite, premiering originally on Tattoo.com. This time, Jibe has brought to the table a 13 track LP that borders on the brink of perfection; sonically, technically, lyrically, and musically.  
Epic Tales of Human Nature creates a stir within the listener and fan, old or new will reach back to Uprising and find that the lyrics of the title track have indeed come to fruition, fourteen years later. Now that the band has our attention once again, they can finish what they started in paving the path to greater consciousness with music that speaks to all sides of human nature.  
On July 8th, there will be a CD Release Party to be held in Dallas, Texas at Gas Monkey Live where the first 1000 people to register for tickets get in free. Not to mention the bill for this party holds some epic players as well. Unsigned record breaking, Bon Jovi concert openers Blacktop Mojo will play along with Murder The Name featuring Jason Moreno of Drowning Pool, Royal Sons and Croma. And if that wasn't enough, guest appearances by members of Blue October, and Slow Roosevelt are scheduled to appear. There are a few tickets left so visit here for all the information and grab your tickets today before they are out!

Breaking it down track by track, here's what I took away from the record: 
CHILDREN OF THE SUN - power chords riffle this track and the drums move along the groove in time with the bass like little footprints of followers running forward, it's not an anthem sounding track but more like an empowering song that does make you want to take a stand. Love the midpoint slowing it down to let you catch your breath before it jump starts your soul again and floods it with the full message Joe’s singing to you. Instantly you’ve just become a part of a movement,that is only if you let it move you.

BROKEN CITY - bounce baby, bounce!! Full of energy and guitarist, Toby Bittenbender shoots notes around like paint coming out out of a can of paint like he’s tagging you with the secret symbol that makes you a part of the club or affirms your membership. I love the way this song is written and ya, the beat/tempo/drums makes this song strong.

THE HUMAN CONDITION - y’all, not only is this song cool, but it has totally created a new super hero and it's theme song... This is a uniquely structured song but the essence translates to someone unknowingly is about to save mankind by the powers that oddly enough, reside in everyone. Jibe is able to bring them out. Jibe becomes the superhero...with spoken lyrics and broad swells of guitar riffs, accompanying drums that mimic a heart racing and then subsiding while the bass just blends in all cool like and confident.

RELEASE - DANG GINA!! This heavily bass laden song brings a lower side to Jibe that kills...The raw hums of Joe and Corey lend a pseudo-melancholy feel; it’s ethereal. The tone is inherently familiar. This style of music is so much on my radar right now. Toby’s signature tone adds depth to the track and totally compliments Joe’s pleading vocals. “Change is what we need” and “The truth is what I know” are lyrics that stand out and have a personal meaning to me; that’s what I have lived for the last year or so and I’m not going to stop changing and seeking the truth or the facts. #confirmedandverified

GIRL ON A HILL - dig the tempo and this song just pulls out the rocker in me and the listener. It’s very Jibe in that there’s an imagery with it and makes it appealing because you want to know the story Joe’s telling. His vocals shine in this song. Y’all go back to 1997 and compare - pretty sure the girl on the hill could be responsible, in part to the continuation of the youthfulness that Joe still has. The breaks are bad ass, love them!

A SHADOW IN THE GARDEN - piano/keys little interlude; a break between some heavy feelings from the tracks before.

CHANGE - suprising 33 seconds at the beginning! Very moving and I love the breaks that make an impact that opens up to the chorus - eeek!!! Brilliant!! The lyrics are pressing to that thought that we’re all needing to change and something has to spawn this - her, him love, forgiveness, surrender - and Toby - dude...the guitar solo is rad AF!!

WE’VE ONLY JUST BEGUN - so personal for me since I was a part of the video and have been a fan first and foremost since the wee days. This song encapsulates the history of not only Jibe and the Deep Ellum music community, but for anyone that is a little older now and maybe once thought our lives were half over; well this song makes you see that we’re only just beginning to live now. And what we were searching for then, was always in our grasp. We just didn’t take it or believe it and somehow we had to venture out and fuck a lot of shit up (good and bad) only to see now, that it’s us that gets in the way of getting what we want. BOOM!! (Millennials, take heed!!)

DON’T GIVE IT ALL AWAY - love the bounce in this song. I can see the crowds moving all at the same time. Corey brutalizes the bass in this track. I mean Ben Jeffries throws it all down towards the midpoint - my GAWD!! Where does that come from? Seriously, this guy is a huge player! Go back and listen...

WAITING - very clean acoustic sound that blended up with Joe’s smooth with a smidge of dramatics in the vocals. There’s a point to be made - with the way it’s played, what the song’s played with, the dramatic ups and downs, and Joe’s perfect performance - I want to see this song live. And I want to see the other part sung by you know who...starts with a J and ends with an ustin...I love to sing with this song. I think this is another crowd favorite. I can see it - everyone singing along like we were all squished in the old Galaxy Club, sweating like pigs because it’s July and the AC was broken again.

BEST I EVER HAD - this is another song that is very Jibe-esque and there’s definitely a touch of Texas bluesy rock tucked away in the blends of notes. It’s pretty righteous!! I love the feelings that I can hear the guys playing. At the jump, the drums again beat the hell out of the intro setting the stage up for what’s to come. The three instruments are literally one here. They all come together and point right at Joe when he comes in - BAM - these four are the best together. I mean you can’t add or subtract anything.

SANCTUARY - another interlude that is so pretty and it kinda calms you down after “Best I Ever Had”. Let’s you catch your breath or let out the breath you’ve been holding in...

BRAVERY - how does this band’s sound, what they write and how they play manage to fill up every pore of what is missing in me? Seriously - for over 20 years. “Bravery” makes me so proud of myself, Joe, Toby, and anyone else who have emotionally struggled for the majority of our lives - proud that we can realize we are brave and we have survived thus far. Whatever the past was, it’s not now and coming through that has made us. It’s made us want to show others that they can be too. I’m not even going to talk about elements of this song musically - you’ll just have to listen to it and see where this song takes you. 

Epic Tales of Human Nature will take you on an inside journey. The songs will make you think, sing, cry, laugh, get pissed, remember, love, smile, yearn and most importantly; feel. I didn’t think about social media or how my pants are too tight, or the gray in my hair or my failed relationships, dysfunctional relationships with my daughter’s fathers or other woes I can have on any given day. Listening to Jibe did the opposite. It empowered me to do more, do better, try harder, believe in myself and my dreams, do my best to remember that I am enough and I am loved by those that love me. 
You don’t have to be a long-time fan of Jibe to get the contents of this record. You don’t have to have anything “wrong” with you either to get this record. It’s full of 11 songs that are musically geared to grab a listener either by Joe’s voice, Toby’s guitar playing, Ben’s beats, or Corey’s bass swagger. The attraction to Jibe is the familiarity of their songs with elements of the human heart found in their music. The Jibe fans will tell you that what keeps them coming back for more is the way the music speaks cathartically to their beings and even those that have never met the band face to face, but have seen their shows feel a connection far more than just out to have a good time at a rock show. And after 14 years, well as a fan I can say they did not disappoint with Epic Tales of Human Nature either. 

About Cherri Bird
Independent & selective wordsmith spreading the love from artist to fan by way of personal interviews, CD reviews and show reviews to photography and Live show feeds.