Kyuss – Blues For The Red Sun

KyussJosh Homme and Nick Oliveri were credited to bringing “stoner rock” to the mainstream, with their initial two albums they made as Queens of the Stone Age. With 2001’s Rated R, they introduced me to a new type of rock; tight, repetitive rhythms coupled with heavy bass. Rated R and it’s followup Songs For The Deaf, confirmed QOTSA as one of the best rock bands in the world. But Josh and Nick had already treaded this ground 10 years ago with their previous band Kyuss (pronounced Ch-eye-us). At the turn of the 90’s, they were creating a different kind of rock music in the deserts of Southern California that was literally a thousand miles away from grunge. This was thick and heavy music, drawing influence from Black Sabbath and drone rock groups like Earth and Sun0)))).

Josh Homme showed a smart touch by playing his guitar through a bass amp, so with most of the tracks on this album it’s hard to tell what’s guitar and what’s bass. Indeed the first track “Thumb” is just like swimming in tar. It’s just so thick sounding, a sound it shares with “Green Machine” which is slightly softer as you can tell what’s actually a guitar playing. There are a couple of instrumentals on the album which help segue some of the songs together like “Moleten Universe” and “Caterpillar March”, which pass by quickly enough. There are some longer tracks like “50 Million Year Trip” which has some tempo changes and some shimmering guitar work.

Most of the other tracks offer some variation, either being fast and heavy or slower and capable of change. The only thing I found slightly grating was Brant Bjork’s voice, it’s kinda bog-standard heavy rock vocals on what can’t be described as “bog standard” rock. It’d be nice to hear Josh Homme’s croon on some of the tracks. But all in all that’s just a minor point; Blues For The Red Sun is still a blisteringly heavy album that’s got some great sounds on it.

Kyuss – Green Machine:

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