Top positive review
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Bombastic, Blissed-Out desert grooves
on 17 September 2003
Before Queens Of the Stone Age, Josh Homme and Nick Olivieri were in one of the most influential rock bands of the nineties. That band was Kyuss, and 'Sky Valley' is possibly the best of their albums - although 'Blues For The Red Sun' and '...And The Circus Leaves Town' are damn fine records too.
Criminally ignored by the mainstream music press (unlike QOTSA, who seem to be everyone journalist's band of the moment), Kyuss nevertheless gained a huge underground following, and it was a surprise when they split so suddenly whilst seemingly on the verge of greater success. Apparently, there were internal problems within the band - namely they all hated the singer!
Still, you'd never guess there was friction in the camp whilst listening to this huge slab of stoner metal. The opening track 'Gardenia' fuzzes into view with an immense, snaking riff, and doesn't relent for nearly six minutes before giving way to the spacey 'Asteroid' - which starts with a clean, quiet intro followed by another juggernaut of a riff.
An example of the sheer inventiveness that set Kyuss apart from their peers is heard when bizarre, atonal guitars pop in halfway through a song which has all but broken down into nothing ness. The song then gets faster and faster as it reaches its climax before cutting straight into the best track on the album, the amusingly-titled 'Supa Scoop And Mighty Scoop'.
This monster of a song possesses what must surely be the best metal riff written since Master Of Puppets. John Garcia screams over the top 'Don't try to take me away; Like I can't live without you' - it sounds cheesy but fits the song perfectly. Halfway through the song changes into another garganutan riff with a completely different feel, the rhythm changes on this album are fantastic. If you thought the end of the previous song was odd, just wait until you hear the end of this one!
The rest of the songs are equally impressive, with some variation on show. '100 Degrees', for instance, is a heads down speedburst clocking in at under two and a half minutes in length, whilst 'Space Cadet' is an acoustic song which manages to sound menacing (God know how they pulled that one off). 'Demon Cleaner' is extremely catchy and the majestic closing track 'Whitewater' is sheer class. In fact, the only thing that lets the album down is a rather stupid hidden track at the end which is nothing more than the band pissing about on a hammond organ for a minute and a half. Tedious.
Still, happily locked away at the end of the album you need not concern yourself with it at all. Simply ignore it and concern yourself only with the rest of what is one of the finest rock albums ever released.