Seven Sisters is
an ever-evolving, fantastic band that includes Mike Gibbins' kids: Adam
Gibbins, Owen Gibbins and, at times, David Gibbins. No doubt, Mike would
have been very proud to see where his sons, along with their friend
keyboardist/writer/vocalist Danny Johansson, have progressed to musically
and as maturing adults...
below. Covers history, influences, band dynamics, musical opinions,
& Mike Gibbins!
Previous to Mike's unfortunate passing in 2005, his son, Owen
(from his first marriage with Gaynor Gibbins) had released, as
Bedroom Boy, a self-produced CD/EP entitled Secret Garden.
Mike played the drums. It's a fantastic array of seasoned
hard-rock stylings; the chemistry of Owen's fiery guitar and Mike's
experienced flawless drumming make for sparks. It's a solid showcase
of the possibilities for Owen as a solo artist. The track "Secret
Garden" has a foot-stomping beat and an anthemic quality.
"It's No Secret" has an exceptional streaming riff.
And "Signal Sender" explodes like the best of Metallica.
A dynamic, inventive track.
At the time Mike passed away, his two youngest sons with his
wife, Ellie - Adam and David - were just starting to venture into
jamming with other musicians. Now they have accelerated into full-fledged
musical pursuits with their bands, Seven Sisters and Carnevil.
Seven Sisters was initially keyboardist Danny Johansson,
drummer Adam Gibbins, and a few different guitarists. They were
known as the Shut-Up Jacks. They changed their personnel in 2006,
through the addition of Owen Gibbins, and bassist Adam Bodnarik
(a friend of Johansson's). Together, they recorded the CD Falling,
and became Seven Sisters.
I bought their CD on the recommendation of Kevin McElligott,
and was immediately blown away, especially with the track, "Sienna."
As soon as that song started, I was transported - a beautiful
mellow cascading verse with a vocalist that sounded like he'd
reincarnated out of the late 60s, early 70s progressive rock scene
- a time when so many distinctive, incredible rock singers made
As this tune flowed, it suddenly began a rapid build-up with
ferocious intensity, then shockingly exploded into intense hard
rock mania, with brilliant inflamed guitar, crashing drums, and
subtle ooo's, all careening over scintillating vocals by Danny
Johannson. Intense chills the first time I heard it. Much the
same as when I first heard Badfinger's "Give It Up"
on headphones, an experience I won't ever forget.
The album is a superb achievement. Adam, Danny,
and Owen are monster talents and I have no qualms expressing that.
What really is amazing is the fact Adam Gibbins and Danny Johansson
were under eighteen when they recorded the album. Owen Gibbins
is the elder statesman of the band, being thirty-four when he
recorded and produced this CD at the Gibbins' home studio.
Five of the tracks - frenetic riff-rockers "5.0 Milligrams,"
"Honey," "Sure," "Jackie-O" plus
Johansson's first song ever, "Pillows" - originated
from the prior band called Shut-Up Jacks. Drummer Adam Gibbins
drives these home, exciting as can be. Danny sings them with a
needed edge, while Owen transforms the simple song structures
with his intelligent guitar riffs, tasteful effects and solid
leads. Check out the Knopfler-esque "Honey" and spot-on
soloing of "Jackie-O." Bassist Adam Bodnarik is steady
throughout the album, locked in with Adam at the root.
There are other mid-tempo songs that really portray
what makes this band even more noteworthy. "Where" builds
from its thick, marching stance - which takes over midway - then
breaks into a powerful chorus, "Where are these people I
love, people I touch…" - its ending peaking with a
heavily-effected lead riff. All is finalized by tinkling piano
over bombastic choppy chords.
"Windy Days" starts out with Bodnarik's slinky bass
guitar, atmospheric guitar runs, and low-key verses, before moving
into an electric piano solo, dark chants, reverbed arpeggiates,
and a repeat of its theme, "It's been cloudy a lot lately,
I'm sure you know…" Absolutely magical, with perfect
solos and a resolved guitar picking to take you home.
Three other tracks fulfill this stunning debut. "Eternal
Summer," a fully melodic hearkening to progressive rock,
with outstanding drumming by Adam Gibbins. "Rest Now, Roman
Soldier" which has a Mike Gibbins influence stamped all over
it - subconscious or not - has rolling rhythms and an intricate
surprising structure. This also showcases Danny's harmonica prowess.
There is additionally "Faith Saves," an optimistic tune
with a gorgeous hypnotic ending.
|If picked up to go further by a legit record label,
the material could possibly benefit with some re-mixing, as most
home studio projects do need at least a remastering to bring out
more bottom end. That is nitpicking, though - because this is a
flat-out sensational debut full-length CD, especially with the context
of their being a fledgling band. Danny Johansson writes all of the
tunes and is a natural talent in that area. Not to mention, he is
blessed with a vocal quality that is unique - a huge plus. I can't
directly compare him to anyone, and that is a huge asset for him
Mike and Ellie's son, David Gibbins, is a bass player and he
has played many gigs with Seven Sisters. He can be termed a rotating,
ever-"potential" member, but Carnevil is his current
band he plays with, as of June 2007. They are getting really hot
on the Florida rock scene. They have a lot of dates this summer
showcasing their blend of heavy metal permutations. A fantastic
lead singer named Chuck, whose voice betters many current hard
rock sensations, including Chris Daughtry, in my book. They also
go for the Death Metal angle, so be prepared for that. http://www.myspace.com/wearecarnevil
David Gibbins is a very well-spoken young man. In fact, each
of the Gibbins boys, along with Danny Johansson, truly impressed
me in the way they carry themselves. Ellie Gibbins is a guiding
light to all the boys, helping in any areas she can, giving them
a shoulder to lean on when it's needed.
These links below give you a chance to hear from each of them
directly. Owen's link is to an email interview. David, Adam and
Danny performed phone interviews with myself. Ellie was interviewed
on the phone by Mack McFarland. Dates of the interview are listed
photo - Tiffany Russell
Sisters - Buy the CD - Falling
to Apple Seedlings
Back to Badfinger-Iveys.com