By Gruesome Greg
Leave it to Nick Oliveri to bring Josh Homme and Brant Bjork back together. There had been some bad blood between the two founding members of Kyuss, with Bjork’s latest album Punk Rock Guilt drawing its title from
a comment Homme made about the drummer in a music magazine. While I’m not sure whether the two were ever in the same room together, they each appear on three tracks on the new Mondo Generator disc, Cocaine Rodeo.
That’s not to say this record sounds like Kyuss. Cocaine Rodeo is an offbeat mixture of plodding, bass-heavy alt rock, and sub- two-minute punk tunes. Leadoff track “13th Floor” is the most likely single. The first of the three tunes featuring three-quarters of Kyuss, it actually sounds a lot like QOTSA, albeit with Oliveri’s hardcore barking replacing the softer strains of Homme’s voice.
The undisputed highlight of the 42-minute platter is seventh track Simple Exploding Man. Featuring Homme, Oliveri and Bjork with a cameo from John Garcia on backing vocals, it starts off with a horror movie soundbite, then descends into sludgy territory, sorta like a cross between Soundgarden and EHG. Homme breaks into a stoner groove around the four-minute mark, the moment somewhat ruined by Oliveri’s screams. The track fades out on a Bjork beat around the nine-minute mark, before coming back in with two-and-a-half minutes of solid stoner riffage. The closest thing to a new Kyuss tune we’ll hear this year—it’s worth a download, if nothing else.
The third Bjork-Homme-Oliveri collab is the title track, a joke country song with a refrain of “Wake Me Up And Get Me High,” reminiscent of “Lick My Doob” offa Sky Valley. Interesting that they chose to name the album after it…
This record gains a couple points for the packaging, as it comes complete with a couple “bonus tracks,” including an alternate version of “Simple Exploding Man.” (Apparently, Track 7 is the Extended Version, and it sounds a lot better than the alternate take.) There’s also a twelve-track bonus live disc, recorded at The Troubadour in ’03. Not a bad buy for 16 bucks…