Kyuss

Picture of Kyuss

Wretch

Kyuss - Wretch ©1991 Dali Records
1. (Beginning Of What's About To Happen) Hwy 74
2. Love Has Passed Me By
3. Son Of A Bitch
4. Black Widow
5. Katzenjammer
6. Deadly Kiss
7. The Law
8. Isolation
9. I'm Not
10. Big Bikes
11. Stage III

One of the earliest Kyuss outings finds the band in a spirited, low tuned jam fest mood, rumbling through nearly a dozen songs with little fuss or fanfare. The basic style of the band is already in full bloom throughout Wretch, but perhaps the songwriting isn't as completely realized as later albums from the band. Though on the whole the album is pretty enjoyable as something you might put on while you're doing some work around the house, it doesn't quite captivate as much as other Kyuss releases. There are an abundance of fuzzed out guitar jams, reasonably good singing from John Garcia and above average songs, but nothing to quite blow your mind. As a start for this band, Wretch is a good debut but I'd recommend Sky Valley or ...And the Circus Leaves Town as better examples of what Kyuss is all about.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/2000

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Blues For The Red Sun

Kyuss - Blues For The Red Sun ©1992 Dali Records
1. Thumb
2. Green Machine
3. Molten Universe
4. 50 Million Year Trip (Downside Tip)
5. Thong Song
6. Apothecaries' Weight
7. Caterpillar March
8. Freedom Run
9. 800
10. Writhe
11. Capsized
12. Allen's Wrench
13. Mondo Generator
14. Yeah

The sun baked day slowly recedes into the stillness of the desert night and you retreat to the patio to enjoy a cold beer and kick back. Chances are, if you fully intend to complete the proper mood, you'll put Kyuss on the CD player. The grooves and jams are infectious and laid-back reminders of a fuzzier day. I hesitate to label Kyuss as anything but rock music as they are very unique and transcendental of any scene. This early album is a great listen clear through, with that trademark Kyuss sound eminating throughout. Compared to later material, there is a definite looseness to the song structure (as you can hear in "800"), but you can't go wrong with any of it. Josh Homme's unique guitar playing is everywhere and goes from groovy to a quick beautiful acoustic interlude called "Capsized".

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/1998

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Sky Valley

Kyuss - Sky Valley ©1994 Elektra
1. Gardenia/Asteroid/Supa Scoopa And Mighty Scoop
2. 100/Space Cadet/Demon Cleaner
3. Odyssey/Conan Troutman/N.O./Whitewater

During Kyuss' relatively brief existence as a band (four studio albums from 1991-1995), the band managed to forge a sound and establish themselves as one of the more memorable outfits of the 90s and without ever bothering to become a grunge act. Rather, Kyuss embraced what would probably be more readily called "stoner rock". Guitarist Josh Homme more famously went on to form Queens of the Stone Age, but it can be argued his participation on Sky Valley (or "welcome to...") represents one his career highlights.

Although the album features ten songs, it was originally released in three "suites" that allowed three or four songs to be presented in a single CD track. Most music listening in the CD era found listeners doing a lot of track skipping and avoiding the album listening experience. Or even the "I just listened to a full side of a record" experience. So the decision to engage listeners in this manner was both smart and daring. (Naturally, later pressings of Sky Valley have the individual tracks indexed out normally, thus not all listeners may come across the original "three suites" experience.) As it turns out, the songs had a very nice flow which allowed for them to blend into the next song with great ease. Kyuss had hit solidly on their sound with this album, with a heavy approach that still somehow managed to sound laid back and breezy. The album utterly oozes with grooves and songs with subtle catchiness.

Insofar as Kyuss' releases go, this is by far their best one. Sky Valley is the album to get if you find yourself interested in this band's career. If one must have the inclination to throw this band into the "stoner rock/metal" subgenre, it also surpasses just about 98% of the stuff lumped into that category. Perhaps that's my subtle way of saying this is one of those albums worth tracking down.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 03/2013

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...And The Circus Leaves Town

Kyuss - ...And The Circus Leaves Town ©1995 Elektra
1. Hurricane
2. One Inch Man
3. Thee Ol' Boozeroony
4. Gloria Lewis
5. Phototropic
6. El Rodeo
7. Jumbo Blimp Jumbo
8. Tangy Zizzle
9. Size Queen
10. Catamaran
11. Spaceship Landing

The desert does funny things to people, whether their ambition in life is biking, making music or just just playing golf. There's a certain vibe and atmosphere that one can only attain and properly understand by living in the desert. Kyuss, the lamented broken up group from the Mohave of California and veterans of the generator desert party scene, are one of the most prominent examples of desert metal (perhaps the only one, now that I think about it). Using ultra low grooves and slightly askew song structure, this final album from the band is a somewhat tripping and very engaging look at the band's solid songwriting skills. Heavy on the jams which are slow paced but still quite enthralling and with the vocals buried low in the mix (which only adds to their power), the entire album has fluidity. Guitarist Josh Homme deserves some recognition for his very unique style--you won't find anyone who sounds like him--as his bizarre tuning of his instrument is what gives Kyuss identity. The best tracks (and there are many) inlcude "El Rodeo" and the meandering "Spaceship Landing". Make this your retro pick of the week.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 12/1997

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