Vista Chino: Peace review

\"Peace\"    The band Vista Chino began in 2010 as a Kyuss reunion of sorts. It started when former Kyuss members John Garcia, Brant Bjork and Nick Oliveri had the urge to get together and jam some old Kyuss songs live. Since founding member Josh Homme declined to participate, the rest of the band decided to tour under the moniker Kyuss Lives. When the band announced that they were planning to record new material under the name Kyuss Lives, a legal battle with Homme insued. It ended with the band having to change their name to Vista Chino. Make no mistake, even though the band changed it’s name, all the elements that made up the classic Kyuss legacy are intact.  The band is trying to break free from fan speculation as to what the band should be and sound like to forge their own musical identity. The band is comprised of John Garcia on Vocals, Brant Bjork on Drums, Nick Oliveri on bass and Bruno Fevery on guitar. The band’s debut album for Napalm Records is called “Peace” and it is a cornucopia of strong song writing, innovative bass fills, buzzsaw guitars and hefty desert rock. The album is complex and engaging, yet maintains a laid back heavy groove reminiscent of the jam bands of the 70’s. The cd starts with the moody intro “Good Morning Wasteland.” It sets the tone for what’s to come next. “Dargona Dragona” features some very abrassive vocals and a super fuzzed up guitar sound that kicks the album into high gear right out of the gate. It has elements of classic Kyuss, interwoven with touches of Fu Manchu and Sheavy. “Sweet Remain” bears a strong resemblance to the first Queens Of The Stone Age cd, but the lyrics center around the bands legal battles. “As You Wish” is a combination of Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats and The Desert Sessions. “Planets 1 & 2” is one of the true standout tracks and is broken into two equal parts. It also finds John Garcia trading off vocal duties with Brant Bjork. “Adara” is a slow hypnotic number that sounds like vintage Soundgarden. “Mas Vino” is a short instrumental interlude leading into the titanic “Dark And Lovely”. A classic Kyuss style free form jam. “Barcelonian” is another song that sounds like “Blues For The Red Sun” or “Welcome To Sky Valley” era Kyuss. The cd reaches it’s apex with the epic “Acidize/The Gambling Moose”. A 13 minute piece that is broken into two parts and morphs back and forth through many musical genres and ends the album as strongly as it began. Here’s the bottom line. If you like Kyuss, then you’ll like Vista Chino too. If you don’t know Kyuss , but like Desert/Stoner rock bands like The Sword, Melvins, Monster Magnet or Fireball Ministry, then you owe it to yourself to give this a listen. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it is an ejoyable listen. 7 out of 10. -Eric Hunker