Kyuss continues to cast a large shadow over the stoner doom scene that is perpetual and ever-changing. This truth is no more certain than the shadow they cast over themselves and having to live up the expectations they set. Coming out of nowhere (really the Palm Desert in California), the band set the template for the genre with Blues For The Red Sun (Dali) and Welcome To Sky Valley (Elecktra), but were always going to be hard-pressed to keep that pace. Looking back on their final album And The Circus Leaves Town (Elecktra), it may have not have lived up to its lofty older sisters, but it has some gems that maybe were not appreciated at the time since the band was disintegrating. Continue reading
It’s been four years since Denver quartet Luna Sol powered onto the scene, with a certain amount of buzz around the fact that frontman Dave Angstrom had recruited former Hermano bandmate John Garcia as a guest on debut album Blood Moon (Cargo Records). Follow-up Below The Deep (Slush Fund Recordings/Cargo Records) continues the theme of the band’s self-styled “High Mountain Rock,” which incorporates variety into the Desert template. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
With the queue for Sunday’s opening act Wizard Fight snaking out the door of the Black Heart, there’s a little wait to see Wales’ HARK. Although different from Jim Isaac’s previous outfit Taint, the two share a lot of common DNA; Aggressive, angular riffs with plenty of groove, time changes galore, and plenty of chances to bang your head. There’s a big, receptive crowd for so early in the afternoon, and the band respond with a loud and energetic performance. Continue reading
Has the doom and stoner scene ever been in ruder health? Possibly not, judging from the quality of acts on show at the sixth edition of the London Desertfest. The three-day festival, held across a number of venues across Camden Town has riff-mongers of all shapes, sizes, and styles doing their best to shake the capital apart. Continue reading
When I spoke to former Kyuss frontman John Garcia in 2014, he said the follow-up to his debut solo record could easily be an album of covers. In truth, Garcia’s sophomore album, The Coyote Who Spoke In Tongues (Napalm), is instead an extension of his ‘An Evening With’ unplugged tour; nine tracks of stripped back acoustic music, featuring re-imaginings of Kyuss classics and some new material. Continue reading
Former Kyuss frontman John Garcia will be releasing his new acoustic record, The Coyote Who Spoke In Tongues, tomorrow via Napalm Records. Continue reading
This past year was a huge one for music with so many bands releasing new material it was hard to keep up, even for us here at Ghost Cult. So many legacy bands, modern classic acts, and up and comers dropped new music this year, some may wish they had waited until 2017 to drop it like it’s hot. Without further ado, here are our picks for the new tunes you need in your life in 2017. Continue reading
Desertfest London will announce next spring’s first bands next week on October 13th. Tickets will go on sale to coincide with the release at 10 AM local time GMT and will be £100 for the 3 day weekend fest, with no increase from this year. Continue reading
Two acts, two guitars, no drum kits and three leather sofas. This might well be the most sedate gig London’s Camden Underworld has ever seen. Former Kyuss frontman John Garcia is back in the capital, but this time on a short unplugged tour billed as “An Evening With”. So instead of a full band we have leather sofas and War Drum’s Ehren Groban playing acoustic.
Despite the name suggesting otherwise, Bellhound Choir is a one guitar project from Denmark. The perfect kind of jam for a hot sunny beach around a campfire, and a fitting warm up for the night with Christian Hede Madsen’s smooth baritone and sparse guitar create a mellow combo of dark country and blues.
Where some metal musicians – for example Zakk Wylde – are known for their acoustic leanings, this is new territory for Garcia. Going unplugged allows the former Slo Burn/Hermano/Unida/Vista Chino frontman to show off a more sensitive side to his vocals in a way that’s only occasionally been hinted at on record. He’s always had a quality voice and a back catalogue filled with stoner classics and the stripped back sound allows Garcia to take centre stage from the comfort of his leather recliner and shine.
We get a few cuts from the new self-titled Garcia album; tracks like ‘The Bld’ and ‘Her Bullets Energy’ work well as mellow campfire numbers, but much like on record it’s the jumping riffs of the Danko Jones-penned ‘5,000 Miles’ that stand out as one of the best. The original numbers penned for this tour and potentially new album are a more straight ahead mellow acoustic numbers, but ‘Phototropic’ shows off Groban’s skill with an acoustic guitar; employing a series of loops to really build the layers of the song into something special, while his solo spot shows off some real Spanish classical flair.
Unsurprisingly it’s the Kyuss numbers that get the biggest cheers of the night, culminating in a one-two of ‘Green Machine’ and ‘Space Cadet’. Still sounding fresh even after 20 years, the old classics translate well to acoustic. Garcia still has a great set of pipes on him, but despite being a good show, the trouble with finishing on such a high note, however, is that it brings up that eternal question: when the hell are we going to get a proper Kyuss reunion?
WORDS BY DAN SWINHOE