Vista Chino – Peace

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By Gruesome Greg

It might not be Kyuss, but with three of the four original components, it’s still gotta be good, right? While I maintain that the new name makes me think of old man’s golf pants, here’s hoping the tunage can make me forget that plaid, khaki image.

Following a brief instrumental intro, I’d hafta say that “Dargona Dragona” is a pretty decent approximation of the classic Kyuss sound, the pre-release single capturing the straight-ahead groove rock of Blues for the Desert Sun. John Garcia’s got a bit more wear on his voice than he did 20 years ago, but he can still wail with the best of ‘em. And hey, while he’s no Josh Homme, Bruno Fevery comes through with a pretty tasty solo on this one, although it is perhaps a tad lengthy.

But then “Sweet Remain” and “As You Wish” lack that tangy zizzle of their predecessor, although the latter does have its moments. “Planets 1 & 2” have that mellow, laid-back feel of a Brant Bjork solo joint, before diving into a loose, desert jam in the back half. (I take it that’s Part 2?) “Dark and Lovely” also contains a decent solo/jam section, but as a whole, the song is more dark, less lovely, if you ask me. The album ends with 13-minute jam “Acidize-The Gambling Moose,” which sees Garcia pushing the limits of his vocal chords, while displaying some of the potential of this new lineup. Personally, I’d like to hear a little more where that came from.

I dunno man, but these tunes seem a lot more downtuned and downtrodden than your typical Kyuss fare. The bare bones are still there, you get the sense that this is vaguely familiar, but in the end, it’s probably for the best that they didn’t slap the old name on here, cuz it definitely pales by comparison.

(Napalm)

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Peace will be released by Napalm Records in North America on September 3, 2013

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.