If this were an album by any other artist or band, you would wonder just what they were taking as you look at the title of it… But it is not. It is an album by the man who is best described as the ‘voice of Desert Rock’ and one of the most influential figures in the stoner subgenres of rock and metal. It is the latest offering from John Garcia, the legendary frontman of Kyuss. Only this time, it is nothing like Kyuss at all.
Gone is the pounding bass, the rhythmic and hypnotic drums and the fuzzed out guitars. All the effects and heaviness are cast aside in favour of an acoustic approach with more subtle percussion. Confused yet? Well if you aren’t, see if you can translate what the Coyote is howling.
From the opening offering of “Kylie” and its hook laden, percussive strummed approach to trips through ‘Blues For The Red Sun’ and ‘Welcome To Sky Valley’ along with a host of his other works, you can feel the desert rock groove wrapping itself around you and trying to make you bend to its will.
Garcia’s iconic vocals are spot on. The high, raw and expressive sound suits the stripped back acoustic approach, going well with the vigorous feel in the opening track and some of the more dirty blues sounding sections. “Give Me 250ml” oozes Hendrix, teetering on the edge of exploding into Foxy Lady with its distinctive sounding chord progressions and the slight classical influence in “The Hollingsworth Session” really adds some diversity to this release.
However, the main ear catching tracks are the acoustic reinventions of the classic Kyuss tracks. “Green Machine” is a slow and softly delivered slice of acoustic atmosphere musically whilst the vocal delivery is smooth and soft with just a hint of rawness, a complete 180 take on the high octane, fuzz laden early 90s anthem. “Space Cadet” and “Gardenia” also have an injection of some new life on their previous renditions. Space Cadet’s iconic groove laden riff really thunders out with a slight touch of twang to it under the softer vocal approach whilst Gardenia’s intricate arpeggios ring out clearly and captivate in so many new ways.
Garcia himself described this as one of the most important releases in his illustrious career and honestly, I am in full agreement. The atmospheric nature revealed in these tracks which have been stripped right down to their bare bones and built up in a new way really demonstrates the talent the man has and just how diverse and wonderful his vocals really are.
The coyote may talk in tongues, but it’s left me pretty much tongue tied.