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Phase Separation by Ferrill Gibbs (Kang Louie)
How many people here remember King Louie from the old site? Anyway, he was very much a heart-on-your-sleeve Christian, and did think out loud with some crazy ideas from time to time, but I always thought him genuine and thoughtful. Anyway, we've stayed in touch through the intervening years, and become pretty good friends. Why is this in the music section, you may ask? Because Kang, aka Ferrill Gibbs, just released his first album, Phase Separation. It's quite good southern rock, and he has a nice gravelly scream.

He sent me his album, and I produced the following review - some of you may have already read it on your Facebook feed, if I'm your friend, and if that's relevant. I went through every track, and made comments about the album. There are some links and some youtube videos of his songs as well (mostly just the music behind a photo still) at the end. If nothing else, it might be entertaining for some of you to have some trouble squaring that dude from like 8 years ago with the clearly talented individual he has become.

It's just starting to get radio play, and he's doing gigs and interviews in promotion of the album.

If this doesn't interest you, please read no further. ha ha Ye have been warned.

Phase Separation

Released July 11, 2011, Phase Separation is the debut album of Ferrill Gibbs, proprietor of a fresh new sound out of Mobile, Alabama. The album is an eclectic mix of sonic fusion, from blaring electric licks to jazzy blues-inspired laments, this raw southern rock blended with instrumental joy seizes your attention immediately, and entertains throughout. Think Lynyrd Skynyrd meets Widespread Panic with a side of Rush.

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For a first album, the vocals, harmonies, backup and instrumentals are all very polished, and for the most part the production is very well done. Gibbs is able to meld a variety of vocal sounds and tempo with different aspects of guitar riffs in the same song. He demonstrates an admirable vocal range, and can even boast to have an adroit raspy scream.

The album opens with a great track You’re Not Alone. This song has some of the best lyrics on the album, you’ll get bit by the way it is. A call for compassion and tolerance “you’re a group of lonely people, holding sticks and stones to make you feel safe”, “it ain’t no use to remind you the rules if I’m not gonna live by them too”. The vocals in the last half of this song communicate the sense of seeing the often tragic human condition but desiring a common understanding to confront it.

The second track is almost misleading, it starts out as a reflective song, extolling the virtues of a cherished lover, but then Be Like You builds up in an awesome way, an increasing crescendo of sound and talented licks, with a gravelly belting of the obvious emotion evoked by the lyrics.

David’s Song has a great haunting blend of lead, backup and harmony vocals by Gibbs. The religious nature of the tune might not be to everyone’s liking, but it’s really about overcoming and prospering in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds through inspiration. And even though divine encouragement hasn’t been a motivator to me, I can see where one can draw illumination from the tale.

War has a nice raunchy guitar intro, and a trombone and piano riff in the middle, really giving it a jazzy-blues feel. This song might be the best overall track on the album, the combination of vocals and sound is awesome. “Better get it right?” Yes it did.

I’ve felt Naked/Never Innocent for most of the relationships I’ve had, a heady mix of vulnerability and forgiveness. This track starts with a raucous beat and transitions into an electric guitar pounding, that honestly reminded me of Helter Skelter when I heard it the first time. The ending with the boisterous “naked” ensconced in a scream is perfect. The religious overtones I think could be switched out, because the main theme of the lyrics about redefining self and becoming a changed, better person, in spite of the tough experiences to get there are universal to anyone cognizant of personal struggle.

Talk Radio boasts some impressive female backup vocals. The juxtaposition between the raunchy lead vocals and screaming guitar and the talented female backup brings this song together. The mixture of vocals and sound is a savoury auditory sensation. The political nature of the tune is smart and poignant.

Irish Blessing might be the most melodic of the tracks, again with impressive backup vocals. The Crash Test Dummies became famous for the tandem of the bass-baritone of Brad Roberts with the higher angelic backups of Ellen Reid. Ferrill Gibbs et. al. could really be onto something special here with his great vocal range and occasional gravel, and the female backup really rounds out the sound.

The love song Never Let You Go reminisces about an ongoing relationship and a promise to continue a commitment previously made. It speaks about a hopeful future and appreciation for love given. This is a song many would wish they could write for their wife on their anniversary, if only they had the talent of Gibbs. This song demonstrates the accomplished range in his voice.

Runaways reminds me of Steven Page from his Page One album. It is a great tune showing heartfelt emotion found in finding solace from the crazy world in the love of another. For anyone who has felt how love freely given can act as a refuge, it will speak to them.

Advice from elders invokes much common sense wisdom. Papa shows a little bit of song writing genius and a little bit of heartfelt admiration of the path traversed by others. It takes a whole lot of experiences from life, distills them into lyrical form, acts as a tool for reminiscing, this might be the most personal and intimate of the tracks. Musically it isn’t on the same stage as the other songs, but the emotion in the tune is palpable. Gibbs shows us he is a bonafide writer of songs with this offering. This is different from all the other songs, very much like listening to great folk music, like a Bob Dylan or Jeremy Fisher tune, a fitting end to the album. It makes you sad that the disc is done, and you want more.

Aside from the great music and vocals, in a few songs the lyrics could be improved. Gibbs has been known for clever word play and literary artfulness, but in some tracks it is minimal. In Be Like You, for example, the amazing vocal presentation and rock-out guitar at the end of the song are impressive, but on the whole, it is lyrically simplistic and somewhat repetitive. But then Paul McCartney has sold more than a few albums with simple love songs!

Many of the songs start with a slow cadence and simple melody and grow into something spectacular, and you can hear the sheer joy in singing in the gravelly vocals of Gibbs. Repeated listening to this album is required to hear the nuances and to appreciate the messages. The eclectic blend of vocals and instrumentals, and earnest and honest lyrics, makes this an exceptional debut album. I hope he continues to pursue this dream!

Review: 8/10

For more information, see http://www.ferril...

Here are some youtube videos of three of the songs:

It wasn't eight years ago that he made the last appearance was it? I dont think I have been around that long.

I recall the name, but I suppose it could have been made in passing when refering to 'good xians we lost and missed / crazies we appreciated'.

The last of the three you have posted appeals the most.
I remember Kang, I always pictured a hillbilly when I read his posts.
Nice stuff.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
Good stuff - I like it, most especially the second and then the third videos.

I remember Kang. I think by the time I joined he was posting very little, and then only another time or two after that, that I can remember.

Congratulations to him on his first album and I hope he has much success with it, with lots more successful music to follow.
Here's a new tune he's playing around with, it's post-album, but does show signs of a great singer/songwriter. This one is a little more personal to me, as I can relate to it quite well. He's going to be doing most of his stuff acoustically while doing promotional gigs, so this is a good sign.

That's a good tune. I think he really benefits from keeping it acoustic, it helps keep the feeling of the song intimate.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
This just isnt working for me, given the last few nights in the UK. I find the mindset you approach a song with can alter the reception quite significantly.

Good rasp on that voice though.
Theory_Execution wrote:

This just isnt working for me, given the last few nights in the UK. I find the mindset you approach a song with can alter the reception quite significantly.

Good rasp on that voice though.

What? Are you saying that a touching love song extolling the virtues of current happiness isn't appropriate to riot or post-riot sensibilities? ha ha I can see your point, maybe you have a perspective that can help me make sense of the whole thing, I still don't understand what it is all about. I mean, it's not like you guys lost a hockey game.
Haha, I saw those, no making out in the streets here though, save for if you count making out of a window with a stolen tv.

What happened is a black guy was shot in London on the Thursday, he was killed. Initial reports said he had fired at police and they responded with two shots to the head.

The police would not offer a statement, so the family and friends of the guy gathered around the police station demanding answers.

It is at this point that scrotes (scum, criminal sorts) turned up on mass at said police station and started trashing it, starting fires. This group drew crowds and moved on to smash up the local area, seeing their opportunity and the lack of control the police had, they started looting shops.

People in Birmingham, and later Manchester saw their opportunity also, and organised similar actions via encoded Blackberry messaging, one such message reading something like this;

'I dont care which end you are from, meet at such and such a place at 7pm'.

So with a few hundred criminally minded heading to these places and openly looting in daylight, those standing by also started looting.

So they have been smashing into shops, looting setting them on fire and trying as many shops as they can.

Where it gets bad is comminities have come out on the street to protect their neighbourhood, and one such group (Group of Seikhs) was targeted by a guy in a car, he drove at them, up onto the pavement and killed three of them.

Now, because of the ethnicity spread in London and in Manchester those in the south are blaming 'the blacks' and those up north are blaming 'the whites' with people also blaming 'the pakis'.

Thankfully it has been raining the last two days which often put a litteral dampener on rioting. Hopefully it doesn't turn into a full scale race riot.
Thanks, TE, that does help to parse what's going on there. Some $300 million in damages is no minor scuffle.
Theory Execution, If I might I will respectably disagree with you. I have been reading about the riots in England and they smell rather like the riots that have occurred in the US.

I ask you to look at the videos of the execution of Oscar Grant. An event that caused the perpetrator to serve 2 years in prison. Cops kill minorities with impunity because they know that no court will punish them for it.

I do not excuse the acts of mobs. I do understand them and as a consequence do not condemn them entirely for what they do.

Consider race relations in the UK. Are they significantly better than those in the US. I would suggest not.
I would not trust your American media, and I know through work that the Chinese are having a field day with the footage (no doubt using it to show where democratic capitalism gets you) and have a guest we are expecting next week fearing for her safety.

On which point(s) do you disagree JohnH?

Reports today have detailed that he did have a gun, guns are not legal in the UK (there are special permits, this gun was a replica adapted to fire live rounds however) and that he was known to have blood connections, as well as continued contact with one of the biggest gangsters in Manchester.

Now it may be the case that the gun was planted, and just because his family were of a criminal bent does not speak of his character in any way, maybe he was outright murdered by the police - the problem is, the rioting outside of London looked nothing like a demonstration against police brutality.

Messages on social networking sites simply stated, let’s meet here and rob the place - if the demonstration was against police brutality, what do high end electricals have to do with it?

I did state something incorrectly in my previous assessment; the three lads that died were Muslim (also Pakistani-British) and were run down by a car filled with Black-British lads. The father of one came out to denounce any revenge attacks or any notion of race hatred.

The disgusting part of watching him make that statement live, was the anchor after him who in summary of the fathers measured/considered words summarized it as follows:

"there is no beef between the black and Asian communities"

What was the point of ghetto-ising / gangsta-ising the fathers words? On British television the BBC set a standard for spoken word, the queens English if you will, I do not know why the commentator decided to stray from that in this situation.

There was another interview on the BBC in which the host accused an old black man of being a rioter - he slapped her down though and BBC have issued an apology.
Well, to return to the thread topic, the Mobile Press-Register just did an article about Ferrill and the album. Long-timers might be interested to know that yes, it's Fish with him in the photo (no not the guitar).
Here we go. Bumping for relevance in another thread.
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
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