John Garcia And The Band Of Gold – John Garcia And The Band Of Gold

Reckon we can get through a John Garcia album review without mentioning Kyuss? Since the breakup of that genre-defining band, Garcia has regular delivered satisfying slabs of desert rock goodness. And in his latest effort, John Garcia And The Band Of Gold (Napalm Records) he’s just delivered a belter of a dirty Rock record.

This is Garcia’s third solo album – the ‘Band of Gold’ moniker is just a new name given to the band he’s been with for a while since they were more involved with the songwriting this time – since 2014, and may well be his best yet.

In the release announcement, Garcia said the album’s release meant “the drama is finally over,” and hinted this may be his last album release, saying it is “unclear if I will ever be doing this again”, saying this was down to growing weary with the music business and the people who he originally had in the studio to produce the album failing to share his vision.

Despite the issues behind the scenes, John Garcia And The Band Of Gold is a riot. From the get-go of rollicking instrumental opener of ‘Space Veto’, this is a band that sounds energized and hungry. The riffs have a swagger, Garcia himself sounds confident and happy.

From ‘Jim’s Whiskers,’ ‘Popcorn (Hit Me When You Can)’ to ‘Apache Junction’ and ‘Kentucky II’ is all fuzzed-up boogie, funky jives, stomping groove, and catchy vocals. ‘My Everything’ has a chunky headbanger-inducing stoner riff, ‘Don’t Even Think About It’ might be Garcia’s catchiest vocal hooks this side of Kyuss (so close!), and it all ends with the dreamy ‘Softer Side’.

John Garcia And The Band Of Gold is a little gem of a Rock album, and possibly Garcia’s best work since Slo Burn.

8 / 10

DAN SWINHOE