Review: “Incoming Transmission” by The Jibbons

Four years in the making, Staffordshire quintet The Jibbons have spend a year creating their debut full length album “Incoming Transmission” after defining their sound. They define themselves as a Hard Rock band but in truth there are a myriad of styles within their sound and by the time the unclean vocals in opening track “Black Magic Box” take hold of your ear drums, Alternative Metal is perhaps a better genre to put them in. But who needs a pigeon hole when musicians are capable of moving 4 genres in a song seamlessly without the fear of being written off? That opening track is full of grandeur with some orchestral work building off a bluesy rock riff to create an epic introduction to the band. A fine balance has been struck between the two vocal styles with an evil growl unclean playing off against a harmonic bright clean with some chugging riffs along the way. “God Of The Sun” has a fun introduction riff before bursting into some Raging Speedhorn esq tones with sludgier tones and a big bass sound. The refreshing use of the unclean vocals to bolster the sound makes the album have a wider appeal and it’s in some ways a guilty pleasure. “Sounds Of The Drums” takes bit of Iron Maiden influence to the lead flourishes while it’s caustic vocals during the verse are as heavy as they come. An epic sing-a-long chorus anthem, it’s breakdown section is a punchy blend of juddering riffs and pounding kit work that you might not have expected to hear after the albums opening 20-30 seconds.

Slowing things down for “Eyes To The Sky”, a track that uses the big clean vocals to create something epic and beautiful with a certain amount of progressive leaning atmospheric, The Jibbons throw a curve ball by dropping the unclean vocals. But then it’s not that much of a surprise, given that they wouldn’t necessarily suit to music. “Time Moves On” has some classic rock licks with some impressive musicanship and giving Queen guitarist Brian May something to think about. The sentiment of the track is one of looking ahead while looking back and knowing that the big wheel keeps turning no matter how much you don’t want it to. “Mysterio” brings back the unclean vocals with a brutal roar in a dirge riff after a meloncholy toned opening before using it as a backing vocal to turn up the heat. A progressive bridge into a biting verse mid song is a moment of clarity and calm before the storm of what is a stand out track on the album.

A song with Hard Rock opening akin to something you might expect from Avenged Sevenfold “Fever” has the whammy bar moments that will get people on the dance floor. It’s a good time track that uses some familiar sounding chord progressions and overlays them with some slick lead work to great effect. Snippets of synths are heard on a number of cuts but with “Incoming Transmission” programming is the beating heart. Area 51 speech samples interweaved neatly into electronic drums make the album title track an introduction to the epic science fiction closing of “Project Titan”. After a blistering set of riffs the story of precursor alien species living amongst us unfolds with a surprising amount Metalcore in the guitar work. As humanity has become a hostage to the hive, the band themselves reach a new high with a sublime piece of musicanship. As an album, “Incoming Transmission” is one that gets better as it plays out building on the best pieces of each track in a varied and inspired listen to a finale that is the last thing you’d expect [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Black Magic Box
  2. God Of The Sun
  3. Sound Of The Drums
  4. Eyes To The Sky
  5. Time Moves On
  6. Mysterio
  7. Fever
  8. Incoming Transmission
  9. Project Titan

“Incoming Transmission” by The Jibbons is out 1st November

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