published at muzikreviews.com
The Petroleum Age is a pleasantly simple, down to earth album, great for background summer evening listening. A past-meets-future venture blending sounds of Americana with rockabilly, Philip Gibbs’ fourth studio release will reach particularly close to the hearts of Texan listeners. Gibbs fondly recounts the stories of the fights put up by Sam Houston (“Sam Houston’s Blues”) and Stephen F. Austin (“Stephen F. Austin’s Blues”) against General Santa Anna in Texas’s fight for freedom….Although the first few tracks remain enticing and impactful, towards the middle of the album the quality begins to decline. “To Block You From My Eyes” is painful to listen to and Gibbs would do well not to model any further tracks on this one. Although the guitar work is pleasant and enjoyable, blunt and heavy vocals detract too much from it to allow for success. Around the sixth track, “In the Middle of the Evening”, the balance between a “down-home” natural style and an under produced lack of musicianship is lost, making the remainder of the album a chore to get through.