John Garcia & The Band Of Gold

John Garcia long ago cemented his legacy as one of the most recognizable and powerful voices  in the rock music. If his career only consisted of his work with Kyuss he would still be a legend. But when thinking of John Garcia’s career you have to mention his vocal performances with his other bands, Slo Burn, Unida, Hermano and Vista Chino as well. The dudes voice is literally a stoner rock soundtrack and is all over some great songs. His unique style and grit are a stoner rock signature that over the years many have tried but can never duplicate.

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In recent years Garcia has embarked on a solo career and in 2014 dropped a very nice debut self titled record.  The album featured a ton of guest appearances by high caliber musicians including former band members like Nick Oliveri (Kyuss)  and Robby Krieger from the Doors just to name a few. Next Garcia  took an acoustic trip with versions of songs from his  solo stuff  along with some fresh arrangements of Kyuss classics on the Coyote Who Spoke In Tongues. This album also features Ehren Groban (Guitar), Mike Pygmie (bass) and Greg Saenz (percussion) who of course are now known as the band of gold. 

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So let us now look at the latest release from Mr. Garcia. Dropped on January 4th 2019 through Napalm Records the third installment of the Garcia solo run is an absolutely beautiful record. The album which is simply titled John Garcia and The Band Of Gold was produced by the one and only Chris Goss and features 11 tracks. First off, Garcia has put together an amazing band whos chemistry and style gel perfectly. Look no further than the albums opening track Space Vato for direct evidence of this. The 2:45 instrumental track sets the tone with a slow swelling intro before it kicks into overdrive with Mike Pygme killing it on some tasty and ripping bass runs. Greg Saenz drumming style pushes the song forward dropping snare hits like shotgun blasts. Riff master Ehren Groban plays with a very fluid and smooth style. The three together make a heavy monster beautiful.

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The album then drops into a swanky little groove called Jim’s Whiskers that features some killer riffs and solo work by Ehren Groban on guitar. It doesn’t take long to hear those classic Garica vocal pipes and he sounds as strong as ever. He has such a great natural tone that was made for stoner rock rock grooves.  The next track Chicken Delight has such a great feel and groove to it. Vocally Garcia creates a really cool dynamic that creates some killer tension over the music.  He uses his voice like an instrument that helps shape the over all feel. I love how aggressive Saenz drumming attacks the groove on this track but still manages to stay laid back while punching the riffs home.

       

This album is full of killer riffs and plenty of heavy. My Everything is another strong track that has the band of gold laying out the perfect foundation for Garcia to paint over. The songs breakdown has some real nice guitar work by Groban. Don’t Even Think About it is another track that has The Band Of Gold laying fire while Garcia does his thing. The main riff has a serious hook to it while Pygme and Seanz hold down a heavy gut punching groove. The vocals have that classic Garcia tone but also sound fresh and energetic. Again, Garcia creates very interesting dynamics that had to the already strong melodies. What Garcia does vocally amazes me. The way he uses is range and natural tone add so much depth to the music. What he does is very subtle, but it takes true skill and craftsmanship.

By far my favorite track on the record is Apache Junction. This little chem is a chugging masterpiece. I love the feel of this tune. The Band Of Gold shine on this track while Garcia belts out over the top with grit and an amazing vocal tone. The guitar tone sounds tits and I love the really subtle and intricate parts of the riffs. Seanz holds it down while Pygme and Groban drive it home. Again, The Band Of Gold just have that special magic. They just capture a certain feel and attitude that sounds so natural. 

I’m a big fan of this record and can easily see it being on a lot of best of lists at the end of the year. I think Garcia sounds great and has put together an amazing band that is clicking on all cylinders.  I also have to say these are just great songs. I’m a huge fan of what I call the feel. It is hard to put in words but you know it when you hear it, or should I say feel it. This record has it. It sounds so natural and pure. Nothing is forced or fake.  There is something so magical when a band can have such strong chemistry and connection. In my opinion Garcia, Groban, Pygmie and Seanz together have that magic. My hope is that we will get more new music from Garcia and The Band Of Gold in the future.

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Brant Bjork & “Saving Mankind”

So lets get real for a quick minute! They don’t make them much cooler than Brant Bjork. I mean honestly, the dude just gives off the ultimate chill and cool vibe. He’s like the desert Jesus or some shit.  OK! RANT OVER!!

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So why am I talking Brant Bjork right now you ask? Well… Mr. Bjork will be releasing his 13th solo record titled “Mankind Woman” through Heavy Psych Sounds on September 14th 2018. From start to finish this is 100% with out a doubt A Brant Bjork record. “Making Woman” however is a result of  solely collaborating with producer, Co-writer and guitarist Bubba Dupree(LowDesertPunkBand). Bass duties were handled by guest appearances by Armand Secco Sabal and the legendary  Nick Oliveri. Another desert legend Sean Wheeler, who happens to be another LowDesertPunkBand vet, also makes a guest appearance on vocals. This album takes all the traits I’ve loved best about Bjork’s solo stuff and cranked them to 11!

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“Mankind Woman” is 11 super groovy, tasty and blissful desert sunsets morphed into music. No joke, this just may be my favorite Bjork record to boot. Everything about this record is rad and comes through the speakers so naturally. I love the tones and the vibe on this record so much. The production is clean, smooth and very well balanced. It gives off a very old school vibe with sounding dated. It literally  feels like Bjork and company are set up in my living room playing. Brant also delivers his best vocal performance of any of his records while diving into deeper lyrical content then records before. The albums title track “Mankind Woman” features that classic laid back Bjork vocal style that he does better than anyone else. “Chocolatize” opens up the album with a quirky little groove and killer vocal hook from Bjork that sinks deep into your brain and rattles around for hours.

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Sean Wheelers guest vocal performance on the track “Pretty Hairy” is absolutely amazing. The dude has such a great nature tone in his voice and it paints over Brants guitar rhythms perfectly. “Pretty Hairy also has a killer little guitar solo and bass breakdown in it. This track is defiantly a high point on the record for me.

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“1968” is another stand out track pushed by a swanky little riff and a super cool feel on the drums. It also has a really rad guitar lead in it. “Nation Of Indica” finishes off the album with no remorse. Marching forward with a killer baseline while Wheeler delivers another bad ass vocal performance. The song builds tension while also creating a trance like experience. The lyrical contents touch on mental health and hit home. “Pisces” is yet another track with a tasty guitar riff and great vocal performance by Bjork.

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This album gets better and better after each lesson and gets stuck in my head. I could defiantly see “Mankind Woman” making it onto my top ten albums of the year list. Longtime fans of Brant will not be disappointed. Musically this album has that magic chemistry that is hard to explain. Lucky for us Bjork, Dupree, Oliveri and Sabal captured that magic on tape. Lets just hope we can get more music out of this combination in the near future. You best head over to Heavy Psych Sounds and pick this bad boy up!

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Mountain Tamer

So… I’m back bitches! Life has been crazy to say the least but I’m starting to get a foundation under me again and I’m ready to roll.

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Mountain Tamer has been a band on my radar for some time now. In fact, since they were still located in Santa Cruz I’ve kept tabs on them.  I caught them on tour with Mondo Generator and Doors To No Where and was instantly a lifelong fan and have been looking forward to hearing new music from them since. Well… Andru Hall(Guitar/vocals), Casey Garcia(drums) & Dave Teget(Bass/Vocals) who’s powers combined create Mountain Tamer have unleashed a brand spanking new album titled “Good Fortune, Dark Matters” on us and its very impressive.

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So.. the boys of Mountain Tamer dropped their sophomore record on us August 24th via Magnetic Eye Records and it takes no time at all to take off into a fury of rock wizardry.  The track “Faith Peddler” opens up the 11 track album with a bad ass bass groove laid down by Teget that sets the tone for the rest of the album. Teget and Garcia make up a very strong and powerful rhythm section. One of the tings that make Mountain Tamer great is the unique and little settle things they do. “Faith Peddler” also has a very Dexter like video along with it that unless your a vegetarian is must watch TV.

The boys in Mountain Tamer have a killer chemistry playing together and it comes through the speakers loud and clear. Their songs come of very natural and in sink versus forced or cookie cutter. The track “People Problems” is a prime example of this. They lock in together and Andru Hall delivers his strongest vocal performance on the record. He also drops a killer Primus style guitar solo on this one. Hall has a basic approach to the vocals that are the perfect match for what the instruments got going on. I get a kinda Nebula meets Dozer vibe at times.

The track “Wretched” is nothing short of epic. Its by far my favorite song of “Good Fortune, Dark Matters.” Its laced with a doom type riff that sludges along pounding your face in while Hall hooks you with some killer guitar work. I love me some doom but sometimes its gets to receptive and boring to say the least. “Wretched” is a prime example on how not to fall in that repeat it over and over doom metal trap. Mountain Tamer keep it interesting by utilizing those settle changes I was talking about earlier. This song builds you up has if your getting ready to march off to battle.

Overall “Good Fortune, Dark Matters” is a very solid record from a very solid up and coming band. Mountain Tamer is the real thing and I suggest you check them out. Go see them live and buy “Good Fortune, Dark Matters.” Good news is that the boys will be hitting the road and hitting it hard!

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Fu Manchu Does It Again

So at this point Fu Manchu has the Fu Manchu formula down to a science. Put out a killer record, tour and repeat. I have honestly never been disappointed with one Fu Manchu record. Sure, some I like more then others, but they are all freaking good. The thing is, they all sound like Fu Manchu. Killer riffs, simple and laid back approach to the vocals and serious grooves. Well…. Their latest album “Clone Of The Universe” came out today and its another darn good one.

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“Clone Of  The Universe” starts off strong with the the track “Intelligent Worship” in which Fu front man Scott Hill (guitar/vocals) drops that classic singing style of his. He has always had such a unique and cool approach to his phrasing. There is no mistaking him for anyone else.  Of course the song also features a killer riff that rocks hard and gets the head banging. Guitarist Bob Bach also drops a fantastic guitar solo on this one.

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The album then takes a turn into circus like groove with the song “(I’ve Been) Hexed.” The guitar vibe is really cool on this one and gives lots of space for bass player Brad Davis to show his chops. The next track “Don’t Panic” reminds a bit of Bl’ast!, but with cleaner and tighter execution. Drummer Scott Reeders performance on this one is top notch.

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“Slower Than Light” is a classic Fu Manchu groove that ends up punching you in the face. Scott’s vocals put you in trance while the bass line is pure silk gold. Its the perfect song to lead into “Nowhere Left To Hide.” which is yet another track built around a killer riff. Fu Manchu really let the groove sit in on this one. The slightly sludgy riff pulls back to earth.

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The title track is probably my favorite of the album. Its got all of the Fu Manchu elements I love. The vocals work hand and hand with the guitar and you can’t  help but digging the hook. Scott Hill is a very underrated when it comes to his lyrics and the hook type melodies he comes up with. Fu Manchu songs always seem to get stuck in my tiny little pea brain.

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The album closes out with “ll Mostro Atomico” which is an 18 minute epic monster of a Jam. The band sounds enormous on the long drawn out intro as they pound the riff home. The guitar solo work is killer! Oh by the way… Fu Manchu had a little help from Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson on this one so…. Thats a thing.  “ll Mostro Atomico” also features some pretty cool soundscapes.

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So yet again Fu Manchu does what Fu Manchu always does. They stick to being bad ass and as consistent as consistent gets. All four members are stealer players and good dudes to boot. The only complaint I have is I wish there was more!! Seven songs just wasn’t enough. I will say the band sounds very powerful and energetic. You can hear the energy come through their playing on every note. I will be in attendance for the big release show tonight and look forward to seeing these new tracks live.


 

 

 

All Souls Brilliant Debut!

So….. All Souls is a band that you absolutely need to check out! I mean it!!! The LA based band that features: Antonio Aguilar (Totimoshi)  on guitar/vocals,  Meg Castellanos (Totimoshi) on Bass/Vocals, Erik Trammell(Black Elk) on guitar and Tony Tornay (Fatso Jetson/ Deep Dark Robot/ Brant Bjork) on drums is set to releasee their debut self titled album and its a masterpiece. The album is driving, colorful and chalk full of hooks. You can see that All Souls knows a thing or 2 about rock n roll just by looking at their members resume.  You could even say All Souls is a super group. But…. All Souls is much more then just that. Their music and style is something familiar and comforting while be new and exciting at the same time. That folks, is not an easy thing to do!

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All Souls 9 track album starts strong from the very get with “The Ghost Is Flying Home.” The song starts with a strong punchy cadience that would make Jack White jealous. The guitars paint over beautifully with a dark and mysterious riff that lead into some nifty lead work in the same realm of early QOTSA. All Souls use tempo changes and a killer hook during the chorus to drive this puppy home. The guitar riffs after the songs breakdown deliver the knockout blow.

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The track “Never Know” features another strong vocal performance and killer guitar work. Antonio has little hints of Jello Biafra in his voice that lay over All Souls musical canvas perfectly. He has the perfect voice and style to lay over what the band is doing. The mix and production on this album are great! You can really hear what each member and instrument are bringing to the table. Meg and Tony hold down a solid rhythm section that also keeps your interest with subtle but powerful tweaks. Both are amazing musicians that deliver the goods with such taste.

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“Rename The Room” may just be my favorite track on the album. I love how it builds itself up with plenty of tension and beautiful Melodys that all play off each other. The raunchy guitar solo over the bad ass bass line gets me. The first half has a bit of ZZ Top thing going but leads into a massive Pink Floyd kinda thing. Like I said All Souls have hints of something familiar in their sound but deliver it a very unique and intriguing way. This song seems to grow and grow and gets better with each listen.

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“Sadist Servant” is an instant epic war march! That song makes me wanna battle robots or do something crazy like real life exercise. Tony T crushes it on the drums with a little help from some dude named Danny Carey (Tool) on percussion.  Antonio and Erik’s combined guitar work seems to make for a perfect chemistry.  Haunting guitar solos glide right over the battle rhythms creating the perfect soundtrack for dropping into barrel of a big wave feeling the oceans strength and the surreal feeling of harnessing something so powerful.

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I could honestly go on and on about this album. All Souls crushed on this one and I guarantee this will be in rotation for me for a long long time. There is just so much interesting musicianship on this record. What I love about All Souls is on the surface it sounds so clean and simple. The formula is a killer riff, strong rhythm section and the vocals deliver the unmistakable hook. But if you really listen you can pick up all the little nuances All Souls craft into their. That my friends is not an accident. Its very calculated, its very thought out, and it takes skill to pull off.  Antonio, Erik, Meg and Tony have something special together and they know how to write a complex song that is still easily digested. You can hear and feel punk, desert, grunge and even epic Iron Maiden vibes all mixed  into a exquisite creature.

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ALL SOULS debut and self titled record will be available worldwide 2-9-18 trough Sunyata Records. For those of you who are vinyl collectors you best act fast. The super cool folks at RUNIED VIBES RECORDS are doing something very Special. There will be 2 versions of All Souls debut album. One will be only available on tour through the band. The other is original screen printed piece of art by Kat Von D. Both will be limited to 100. Both will feature different artwork than the CD. I suggest you get over to Ruined Vibes now because these puppies will sell out. In the meantime check All Souls on….

(FaceBook, IG, Twitter, Bandcamp, Web)

CD RELEASE SHOW

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Wedge & The Killing Tounge

 

If you like good old fashioned  rock n roll then you must check out Wedge. They use a mix of 60’s and 70’s rock with a little bit of psychedelic sprinkles on top.  The 3 piece Berlin based band will be dropping their Sophomore album “Killing Tongue” February 9th. Featuring 9 blistering tracks ‘Killing Tongue” is no joke. The band literally sounds like they should have been part of the original Woodstock line up.  This is the perfect album to crank while the beers are flowing, the grill is fired up and good times are in the making. I love how they use the Hammond Organ to texture their tunes. The track “high Head Woman” is a beautiful display of just that. Wedge has some serious talent and skill. The track “Lucid” allows all 3 members to shine on their respected instruments. My Favorite track on the album has to be “Tired Eyes.” From the tripy intro to the the outro, the song takes you to different time and place.

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I will admit, “Killing Tongue” took a hot minute to register for me. On my first listen I didn’t really get it. Once I let it settle in and took the time to dig in and really listen I really couldn’t help but appreciate what the boys in Wedge are doing. The guitar work on the album is defiantly top notch and the songs just make me feel good. I love how Wedge structures the songs on Killing Tongue. They incorporate many different instruments and styles but still have the fuzz I crave.  So If your at all a fan of that 60’s sound you music check these dudes out!

RELEASE DATE 9TH FEBRUARY 2018

AVAILABLE IN LTD SOLID WHITE VINYL
BLACK VINYL
DIGIPAK / DIGITAL

WEDGE FACEBOOK 

 

River Cult has arrived!

Heads up folks. The Brooklyn based band River Cult is making some serious noise on their debut full length album Halcyon Daze. The 3 piece, which features Sean Forlenza (Guitar/Vocals), Anthony Mendolia (Bass) and Tav Palumbo (Drums), should definitely be on your radar.  River Cult have a 70’s vibe thing going but also bring plenty of heavy. They are great at highlighting grooves while also filling the soundscape with a psychedelic flavoring.

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Halcyon Daze starts off strong with the up tempo track Likelihood Of Confusion that starts with a jazzy riff almost in the vibe of Brant Bjork or Walking Papers. The song then slams into Sabbath like riff that allows Forlenza to paint over the top with some killer guitar work.

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My favorite track off the album has to be The Sophist. I love the heavy doom vibe and the band utilizes space very well. The lyrical theme is also very reliable to many folks that I know.  The Sophist is a trip that is just under 12 minutes long but is well worth taking. River Cult use tempo changes and killer tones to really help shape their songs. River Cult use dynamics very very well.

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I’m absolutely pumped this album was sent my way. River Cult should be extremely proud of this record!! Halcyon Daze will make a big splash in the rock, doom and psych community! I highly highly suggest you check them out! Halcyon Daze will be available world wide on FEB. 9th 2018!

HALCYON DAZE WILL BE RELEASED ON MULTIPLE FORMATS

Vinyl:  Nasoni Records
CD/Cassette:  Blackseed Records
Digital:  Magnetic Eye Records