VISTA CHINO

vistachinoVISTA CHINO – ‘Peace’
From the ashes of Kyuss and Kyuss Lives! comes Vista Chino – the brainchild of vocalist John Garcia and drummer Brant Bjork.  Not for a long time have we been this excited about a new band and with good reason.  These boys, with a little help from their friends, virtually defined stoner-rock with three utterly essential releases back in the 90’s.  In particular 94’s Welcome To Sky Valley became the Abbey Road of stoner.  And as misleading as that tag is, it was the perfect reflection of dusty nights in wide open spaces, creating magic music from the mountains, around burning fires and under twinkling stars.  Side projects have come and gone, most notably Garcia’s foray into more straight up hard rock with Hermano, which culminated in just two releases, most notably 07’s irresistable …Into The Exam Room.  Suffice to say expectations are high and on the whole, we’re not disappointed.  That wonderful tar thick bass and guitar groove is present and correct, imported guitarist Bruno Fevery seemlessly picking up where Josh Homme left off.  Garcia’s vocals are well, John Garcia – utterly distinctive and with livewire Nick Olivieri swinging his oar back in on bass, there’s a lot to like here.  Opening singles ‘Dragona, Dragona’ and ‘Barcelonian’ leave a lasting taste in the mouth, while the lurching ‘Planets 1& 2’ and ‘Adara’ which has a wonderfully sedate riff that’ll embed itself deep into the subconscious for weeks to come, stand as tall as a healthy desert cactus.  Perhaps what they’ve mislaid a touch is that killer, singular groove that elevates beyond a simple desert jam.  Take ‘Dark and Lovely’ or the 13 minute riff-athon ‘Acidize – The Gambling Moose’ – both low end, dark and heavier than a mammoth’s mamma, just a little off point and out of focus.  Still, Peace is a welcome return for a much missed group and their sound; done well and with its foremost protagonists at the helm, who’s to argue. (7)
STEVE FLETCHER

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