The Hubs are an alternative 4-piece rock band from Bakersfield, CA, consisting of Benjamin Montoya – vox/ key/ and guitar, Adam Vargas – back up vox/ drums , Tyler Ochart– Lead guitar and Alberto Torres– Bass. The will be releasing their debut Ep, “Welcome To Beyond”, within the next month.
When you first hear The Hubs, you may think, “Ok man, this is kinda cool, so what?” That’s because you don’t really pay attention to what you’re hearing. After a while, you begin to pay attention to the words, the rhythms, the infectious melodies, the guitar solos and then you’re hooked. To your surprise, the music all of a sudden sounds really, really good. Trust me; this will happen to a lot of people!
The Hubs are not a perfect sounding band because they are devoid of the poppy, generic, commercial feeling that many alternative rock, emo or punk bands fall into. Theirs is a gritty, raw, emotional, guitar-driven expression that growls and snarls all throughout. At times, the sound can be almost overwrought, but as the emotion is genuine, nothing strikes you as superficial.
To understand this Ep you have to give it multiple listens. After a while it begins to stick on you. You’ll love the songs so much you won’t stop listening to them. At times the production on “Welcome To Beyond” is grainy, dirty and sludgy, but it suits the mood of the Ep like a glove, because every song is bursting at the seams with vibrancy and palpable emotion.
The Ep kicks off to a rocking start with the instrumental “Rocketship”, which has tons of energy, and great guitar work from Tyler Ochart. The noise rocker “Plastic Heart” is another energetic number. “Come Closer” sounds like a very catchy power pop song. The mini-epic “Rut” combines bluesy rhythms, raw guitar solos, and a great chorus to create something neurotically beautiful.
“Live Fast” is the catchiest song on the record and once again features some great guitar riffs. “Paranoia” is the weirdest and slowest arrangement here, but it fits well with the Ep’s tone and leads right into the emotional album closer “Beyond” .
“Welcome To Beyond” carries a consistent vibe and emotion, creating an Ep that perfectly conveys what the band wants to write. Alberto Torres’ bass playing is perfect, Benjamin Montoya and Tyler Ochart’s supporting guitar work flawless and Adam Vargas’ drumming superb.
The album does need a couple of spins to grow on you, but once it does, you’ll never tire of it!