Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Favorite Albums: Kyuss - Welcome To Sky Valley

Last and this week i had a huge urge to listen to this album; i got into this after checking out “Demon Cleaner” which sounded like Sabbath to me but way different, mellower and trippier but also modern and vintage at the same time, i know it sounds pretentious but trust me on this one. They came out of the late 80’s/early 90’s stoner rock scene, from the Palm Desert, California scene to be exact; they came together playing “generator” parties, they were called that because the shows were in shacks out in the middle of the desert and for electricity, they had to haul generators, how’s that for underground?. Welcome To Sky Valley was their third album, produced by Chris Goss, the first they recorded with bassist Scott Reeder, who replaced Nick Olivieri, and it would be the last for drummer Brant Bjork, who got replaced by Alfredo Hernandez; if these names sound familiar it’s because these guys are deities on the American stoner/sludge/doom metal scene, all coming from and/or going to other giant bands; there are two more names that are way big here too but we’ll get to them in a sec. Not only was Sky Valley their major label debut, it also was the follow up to a monster of another album, Blues For The Red Sun; while stoners the world over debate which one is better, there’s no doubt about the gut-shaking sound of both albums and how great it is. Just listening to the heavy riffs plus the trippy, experimental tones and the vibe of how they’re jamming stuff on the go; the real deal is how powerful it is and at the same, have a sense of looseness. Listen to the bass rumble, listen to John Garcia’s soulful yet slightly muffled vocals (that’s the first big name), listen to Josh Homme destroy on guitar (that’s the second name), hear the whole vibe. Kyuss broke up in like 1997, and everyone went on to a lot of bands, Scott Reeder played in Fu Manchu and like every other stoner band in the US, Brant Bjork went and did other bands, John Garcia went on to Slo Burn, Unida and Hermano and, of course, Josh Homme, Nick Olivieri and Alfredo Hernandez became the first line up of Queens Of The Stone Age (only Josh is still in the Queens). “Demon Cleaner”, as i said earlier, is mellower than most all the album but it’s one of the best metal or heavy or Sabbathy or rock or whatever you want to call it songs of all time; “Odyssey” is one of the heavier songs but it has a nice structure, sort of goes up and down, and “Asteroid” is an awesome psych/experimental exploration that gives more dimension to an otherwise already stunning sound. This band could eat Queens Of The Stone Age alive anytime of the year, blindfolded, with both hands tied and suspended upside down in the air

Demon Cleaner.mp3

Kyuss page at
Buy Welcome To Sky Valley at Amazon

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