John Garcia – “John Garcia” (Napalm Records)
Kyuss. Slo Burn. Unida. Hermano. Vista Chino. Whatever legendary vocalist John Garcia turns his hand to becomes El Dorado. Now comes his long awaited solo release and like a desert receiving life renewing rains, it’s blossoms are both to marvel and wonder. Musically, there’s nothing heavy or complicated about this album, essentially being light stoner groove rock. Garcia’s laid back almost radio miked vocals indeed kick back to the back seat of the mix, with the drums somewhere in the mid range and the guitars n bass up front producing a fuzz around sound that really encompasses the listener on funky but trippy songs like ‘5,000 Miles’ (written by Danko Jones 10 years ago as a gift to John) , the hard rockin Cult-ish ‘All These Walls’ with the 43 year old Garcia still showing power in his voice and a simply choogin’ cover of Black Mastiff’s ‘Rolling Stoned’, arguably the star on this record. Speaking of stellar lights, the sunset acoustic closer of ‘Her Bullets Energy’ – written by John when he was 19 years old – features The Doors legendary Robby Krieger guesting on Spanish guitar who provides a fitting western rock finish to match the splendor of Garcia’s desert style. With Queens Of The Stone Age’s Nick Oliveri providing bass lines and Slo Burn’s Chris Hale and Damon Garrison guesting alongside Hermano’s Dandy Brown and Dave Angstrom, Garcia’s self titled solo is a fitting reflection of the man’s life, his experiences, his (many) friends and ultimately his achievements. Beyond that, it is one damn fine rock album that while not being a take two of his previous projects certainly acknowledges his roots while taking it to the next level and into a wider arena.