Jan. 12, 2017 12:11 PM

Who was Jennifer Hudson before she was an “American Idol” star? Did Carrie Underwood grace a stage before her days on the show? One day, people may ask the same thing about Gabe Broussard after his run on “The Voice.” The teen’s back story is already written and pressed on the Conspiracy E.P. by his band Strange Theories.

Before Broussard started appearing on The Voice, Strange Theories was already gigging around Lafayette and selling their debut record. For his fans from the show, it is a bit different from his rendition of Marc Broussard’s “Lonely Night in Georgia” that helped him break out on his blind audition. Instead of Southern soul, the record pulls from several rock influences yet maintains its radio-ready feel.

With help from Dockside Studios, Conspiracy is a well produced effort that easily fits into the Top 40 spectrum. It owes a lot to a pop take on several rock influences. The opener, “Because of You,” has a guitar lick similar to Pearl Jam’s “Dissident” and is loaded with pop punk feels and builds funneled through a squeaky clean band that is so innocent they thank God and their parents on their album jacket. Another influence can be heard throughout as Strange Theories possesses a sound akin to The 1975’s “Girls” along with the band’s fondness for pop sensibility — just without their electro pop delivery and missing some of the edgier themes. If Arctic Monkeys had a lot softer edges and Kings of Leon stuck to the sounds of “Around the World” and “Waste a Moment” instead of their more grand instrumentation, searching for one of the three would result in an algorithm hit for the other two.

Lyrically, Strange Theories is hook driven and straight forward but well versed with a feel-good approach even when singing about feeling bad. Still, there is a feel of a Radio Disney teen band that releases a rock-edged album and is close to growing up but still all-ages friendly. Or, the feeling you get when the classic rock station advertises for the concert by Bastille in New Orleans.Overall, it makes Creed sound like they belong on the cover of Thrasher and raises the question when did rock get so pretty?

Even in live renditions of Van Halen’s “Jump,” Broussard’s voice is still so pure it softens the attempted edges. In other words, fans of his work on “The Voice” won’t be disappointed as it works completely as his NBC-approved back story.


Introducing The Current