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"Maryville Daily Times Article"

For most bands, losing the guitarist and the bass player — both of whom wrote most of the songs — is a sure-fire recipe for crash-and-burn, never-to-be-heard-from-again infamy.

Whether it's the band's youthful enthusiasm or rock 'n' roll grit — probably a combination of both — the three remaining members of hard rockers 1220 have persevered. Tonight, they'll roll out the red carpet for "Miss Legendary," a new EP recorded by local uber-producer Don Coffey Jr.

Needless to say, it's been a roller coaster ride for 1220 vocalist Jacob Gibson and his bandmates over the last couple of years.

"Our guitarist and bass player quit in December 2005, and we were sort of forced into the position of pushing ahead," Gibson told The Daily Times this week. "They had written most of the songs previous to that, and the rest of us had just contribute to the arrangements, so we were put into a real dilemma. I don't think there was any question of whether we would carry on, but Ricky (Dover, the band's other guitarist) and I were put in a position where we had to write and write fast.

"And really, that turned out to be a good thing. We take a lot more pride in the songs now, because they're more a part of us. That was the catalyst to get us to start writing, and it came together quick. We came up with some covers to get going, and then we started finding our own songwriting and our own sound. We're still nervous about what people think of the new songs as opposed to the old stuff, but it's stood up well at the live shows."

The group formed at the end of 2000 — Dec. 20, 2000, to be exact; hence the band's name. The guys started out as a jazz combo back in middle school, but the classic rock on which they had grown up prompted them to change genres. Slowly, they started playing publicly — first at pool parties and birthday parties, and then at Old City gigs like Barley's Taproom (where the band will perform tonight) and Old City Java. (In fact, the group's first concert at an actual music venue was the night of the members' graduation from high school.)

On the band's first album, the 1220 sound was anchored in classic rock along the lines of Led Zeppelin and Bad Company. With "Miss Legendary," the direction has taken on more of a modern rock, and the lineup change has brought more instrumental complexity to the songs. The funky feel of "Jungle Cat" is offset by scratchy guitar licks and layered vocals, and the driving drum intro to "Burning Your Bridge Down" rolls into a set of guitar licks that sound almost Southern in their rockishness.

The swagger that made 1220 so palatable to early fans — including those who discovered the group through exposure on "The Funhouse," the 8-10 p.m. program on WUTK-FM, 90.3 The Rock — is still very much a part of the 1220 formula. If anything, Gibson's vocals sound more confident, thanks in large part to his new role as one of the band's primary songwriters.

"It's a lot easier singing songs when you're writing for your own voice, because you know what works for you and what doesn't," he said. "I loved the songs we played back in the day, but I think what we're doing now is more high-energy rock than it used to be. Back then, it sometimes felt like we were trying to write radio-friendly, pop-rock stuff. Now it's just us writing what we want to hear and have fun with.

"In that respect, it's a lot more fun. We're certainly happy to be in the position we're at, and ultimately, I think it's healthy to change members every once in a while. That gives us all a chance to learn to play with other people and different types of players. We're happy with where we are right now. It's certainly been a trying year, but I think we're better for it."
- Steve Wildsmith

""Miss Legendary" CD Review"

Miss Legendary
On their latest release Miss Legendary , Knoxville four-piece rock outfit 1220 sounds like it just stepped out of 1982, straight off L.A.'s Sunset Strip and into your CD player wearing leather pants and high-heeled boots and guitars slung way down low. So raw that the jewel case is still dripping with bloody residue, Miss Legendary offers a snapshot of that giddy era when the cocksure glitter rock of T-rex and the New York Dolls wedded the grimy street sounds of Hollywood heavy metal. Lead vocalist Jacob Gibson is a sneering juvie spitfire on strutting rawk numbers like "Out on the Town" and "Money Talk." And guitarists Ricky Dover and Nick Kurtz get their Jimmy Page on with solos that show off just enough chops, and attitude to burn. The only time 1220 comes close to straying off-course on this five-song EP is on "Jungle Cat," the third track, which sets off as another slinky sleaze-rock vamp, then gives way to a jarring reggae-inflected refrain. But then Gibson comes on purring like an oversexed tomcat prancing through an alley full of queens in season— —and makes it all hang together on the strength of sheer snotty conviction. Who said rock is dead? Long live 1220.

- Metro Pulse


1220 - 1220 (LP) (2005)
1220 - Miss Legendary (EP) (May 2007)



Based out of Knoxville, Tennessee, 1220 bring echos of the seventies style of rock, but with a good dose of their own swaggering style. With the rock-solid rhythm section of Bill Van Vleet and Nathan McDowell anchoring the the twin guitar attack of Nick Kurtz and Richard Dover, this band has the power to back up vocalist Jacob Gibson's soaring vocal lines. Take the unpredicatablity of early Aerosmith, and mix a little bit of Led Zeppelin and T. Rex, and add a little Motley spice, and you've got a band that sounds a bit like 1220.

Formed in Knoxville in 2001, the band released a their first self-titled CD in 2005. After going through a lineup change in 2006, the band recorded their latest E.P. "Miss Legendary," with former Superdrag drummer turned recording uber-god Don Coffey, Jr. at the controls. With every show, in every city, 1220 keeps turning heads with their infectious high-energy shows. Once you see the band live, you'll never forget it. And there's no better time than now.