The Uncommon Houseflies began somewhat by accident when Louisville, Ky., writer (LEO, Insider Louisville, Alcohol Professor) Kevin Gibson realized his obsession with the Ramones had to be dealt with. And not by sniffing glue.
So, along with his son Scott on guitar, he formed a band that plays accessible power-pop -- featuring some punk, power-pop, alt-country, indie rock and even rap/funk (!) influences -- with quirky, often humorous, lyrics. From the dark comedy of "Disgruntled Shooter (In the Nursing Home)" to the social commentary of "Wretched Radio" and the heavy-yet-tongue-in-cheek rock of "Space Monkey," the Houseflies are never short on interesting characters and stories.
The band's 2010 release, Excrement Weather, produced classics such as "Beating Up Hippies" (which is actually about bullies and their hidden reasons for violent behavior), "Na Na (Where's the Spatula?)" (an ode to not quite fitting in), "Supermarket Sushi" (about a haunted grocery store) and "Cotton Candy in the Rain" (an ironic anti-love song).
Guitarist Butch Bays came on board in early 2011, and an EP titled Wretched Radio, featuring "Space Monkey" and "Commando For Jesus," was released in early 2012. A holiday EP titled A Very Houseflies Christmas (featuring a murder ballad re-imagining of the classic "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer") followed in December 2012.
In 2013, the band released the EP Hipster Apocalypse, which achieved no critical acclaim whatsoever. (We did, however, hear that the Bottle Rockets liked it.) The title track is an end-of-the-world epic about the earth's takeover by hipsters. The latest release was the live album, What Could Possibly Go Wrogn?, which is available for download. The latest release, in 2016, is Tijuana Tornado, a full-length album featuring a pop-rocker ode to Zooey Deschanel and a title track about a Mexican luchador.
The band also has branched out performance-wise, playing in Chicago and Nashville as part of International Pop Overthrow, and in Boston as part of a tribute to Charlie Chesterman, one of Gibson's songwriting heroes. Fall 2012 saw them perform a tribute to Spinal Tap, complete with wigs, costumes and a mini Stonehenge. Since then, they've opened for the likes of Mac Sabbath and Unknown Hinson, among others.
Along with drummer John Hayes, the band, featuring both Gibsons and Bays, is now working to promote Tijuana Tornado. They're also honing their mad zombie-killing skills. True story.