By Samuel Cravey
Artist: Peter Bibby
Album: Grand Champion
Release Date: September 28, 2018
Label: Spinning Top
Straight out of the land down under, Peter Bibby is unmistakably an Aussie through and through. Whether it’s his striking vocabulary or wild-west-esque-outback sound, Bibby’s tunes on Grand Champion positively drip with a knack for hilarious storytelling and a crafted blend of bluegrass mixed rock ‘n’ roll. Bibby (“Guitar Strum/Vocal Shriek”) and his band mates: Dirty David Taylor (“Drum Fetish”), Strawberry Peter Longsnake Gower (“Bass pluck/Violin Shred”), Nicholas Allbrook (“Accentuation/Flavour, Drum Pound”) and Shiny Joe (“The Man Who Thinks He Can, Good In A Pickle”) are based out of Perth, the capital of Western Australia. He quit his job at 19 to give playing gigs a shot. After a while, Bibby got a new higher paying job that he subsequently got canned from for showing up late and hungover from gigs the night before. So like any sane Australian, he decided to do more gigs. While performing alongside acts like Frozen Ocean and F**king Teeth, Bibby’s popularity has spread all over Australia and even across the Pacific to the United States.
While the occasionally crude lyrics might offend church-goers, most listeners will find immense pleasure listening to the boisterous, anecdotal songs like “Medicine,” “Long Baby” and “Work for Arseholes.” Bibby sells himself as a rollicking, almost lunatic, madman throughout the album, and that might be what makes the songs so fun to listen to. “Medicine” drives happily along to a tasty guitar riff from the get-go, and leads into a strong drum rhythm with organ chords layered on top. Bibby humorously howls out his desperation for pain pills, singing, “The doctor said to reconsider my diet, but I didn’t come here for advice, I came here for medicine, pseudoephedrine, anti-inflammatories and a big box of codeine, I came here for pills, pain killin’ pills!” Another great track, “Wake up Hungry” is an edgy, cynical rock song with a menacing guitar tone and blasting drum rhythms. Bibby’s lyrics in “Wake up Hungry” detail the less glamorous bits of being a songwriter like waking up hungover, not getting paid enough for playing gigs, or “being too stuck in dreams to adequately feed the baby.” “Pissbird Firetruck” can make any boring ol’ car ride into a hootenanny with a folksy drum and bass rhythm, dandy fiddle playing, lively guitar strumming and an eerie shrieking violin climax that brings to mind scenes from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. “Big Chook” is a juggernaut of a bluegrass-rock song, layered with a bluesy bass groove, Bibby’s one-of-a-kind lyrics and Deliverance-style banjo sprinkled in. It switches things up from other songs with a tempo change that increases throughout the song until downright exploding.
Bibby and his troupe the Bottles of Confidence, have thrown fans quite the bone with Grand Champion. Bibby’s creative storytelling of his mischievous antics is awfully entertaining despite being a bit vulgar at times. He loves making music and feels fortunate to have people willing to listen to his work.
“I consider myself pretty lucky that anyone wants to listen, not to say I think it’s sh*t, it’s just nice that people care,” said Bibby in an interview with a journalist at Monster Children.
The album is one heck of a good listen, and its seemingly ironic title Grand Champion aids immensely in selling Bibby’s iconic, slightly-screwy, Australian singer/songwriter persona.