Groove. Style. Power.
The band known as Kyuss presents a variety of heavy
rock easily influenced by Ozzy-era Black Sabbath and
Led Zepplin. When you listen to them, you can hear
it clear as day. What Kyuss shows is that they understand
what makes great rock and what made their musical forefathers
so well received. It's not just the heaviness, but the style
and songwriting behind the sound.
Kyuss' bluesy rock is infectious. Guitars are heavily
distorted and layered with a deep fuzz reminiscent of 60's
and 70's rock. Bass lines and the drums are clean and provide
both a wonderful beat and backbone to the music. John Garcia's
vocals are acidic and add a shrill bite to songs that would
often be so laid back that one might relax to them.
Welcome to Sky Valley is presented as three seperate
tracks, each composing of three to four songs. Each section
has it's own personality, but the strength of the album is
listening to it as a whole. The opening track, Gardenia,
sets a wonderful tone that will give new listeners an idea
of what they're getting into. It has that heavy groove with
a hook that just pulls you in and then just keeps running
until the powerful apex near the end.
Part 2 is a wonderful triptych of songs, probably the strongest
of the three parts. 100¡ is a fast-paced rock track,
followed by Space Cadet, one of the best accoustic
pieces I've heard in some time. At the end is Demon Cleaner,
another in the line of heavy-handed rock tracks that starts
with a tribal-like drum intro. The final song of the album
is Whitewater, a lengthy, yet emotional track that
is signature to Kyuss - it starts off rather mainstream,
but falls into a more free-form explorative, almost like an
And that's where Kyuss is really at it's best. When
they seem to be just "winging" it, they show an inventiveness
and imagination that really draws you in. While a lot of their
stuff is more straightforward (calling it mainstream would
be a misnomer), when they stray from the main path, you really
just have to sit in and enjoy the ride.
What else can be said about Kyuss? They prove that
blues-laced rock isn't dead and that bands still write smart
rock songs. If you even had a bone in your body that loves
good old-fashioned rock and roll, Welcome to Sky Valley
should be a part of your music collection. You'll be caught
by the groove and catchy hooks and glad you stuck around for
the whole length of the album.