Not just a desert nostalgia trip,
This review is from: PEACE (Audio CD)
Kyuss being such a touchstone for so many people, a few years back I was delighted to hear that the then touring Kyuss Lives! intended to record new material, but was concerned that their monolithic past would weigh down the perception of any new music. The lawsuit that followed, as petty as it was, that forced the name change to Vista Chino came, to my mind, as a blessing in disguise in that it reinforces the idea of a fresh start, and a hell of a fresh start it is.
The album opens after some atmospherics with Dragona Dragona and Sweet Remain, a brace of songs that reintroduce John Garcia as one of the finest rock vocalists to never truly get his due. The music here is hard hitting,driven along by a signature Brant Bjork clatter and layered with rumble and fuzz from Bruno Fevery akin to something off of Coping With The Urban Coyote and by the end of track three any long term fans of the personel involved or the genre itself will have a smile on their faces. Track four marks where things change up and you really hear Nick Oliveri's bass turned up, pushing you into an almost arabian flavoured trance. The track has a hook that's not so obvious and you realise that the album doesn't just exist to preach to the converted. Next comes the Green Machine riff on Planets 1 which has lead vocals from Bjork, in itself something which helps to change up the pace and when Garcia comes in for Planets 2 you feel like he's been given a grand introduction.
Next come four songs which all in their own way update the old formula, bringing them in line with their more contemporary copyists and yet somehow going further, you can hear traces of Witchcraft, Spiritual Beggars and Truckfighters and you realise that perhaps this is the record that the original band could quite easily have put out as a follow up to ...And the circus leaves town, being as they were then on a trajectory of evolved musicianship that saw them a different band from the one that defined a genre and for some a generation with Blues for the Red Sun.
This standard edition closes with the 13 minute epic "Acidize...the gambling moose",building from a ghostly, echoey fuzz riff, through the band at their most radio friendly anthemic as they are when Garcia goes falcetto, through a time signature shift or three to a desert blues skronk, ending in a Skynyrd riff getting slower and slower to it's final collapse. Though the two tracks that follow on the slightly expanded edition are fine songs, they disrupt the continuity and the record should end here. Fans of this band are probably going to want the long form album experience and I couldn't recommend the journey this album takes you on any higher, wonderful work.