Review Summary: A greatest hits and rarities CD that is light on both hits and rarities.2 of 2 thought this review was well written
Kyuss was always a band that deserved more than what they got. They started out small time, helped invent an new genre of music, and right when they started to get noticed they fell apart. So, to add to the unfortunate nature of the band's success, EastWest records issued this greatest hits album, which is no such thing.
The album is an interesting mix of rarities and what seem like random tracks picked off their other albums. In total, only 5 of the tracks are off any of the main albums; One from Wretch, one from Blues For The Red Sun, one from Welcome To Sky Valley, and two from ...And The Circus Leaves Town. That's pretty terrible on it's own, but to add insult to injury, none of the tracks from those albums are their best. 50 Million Year Trip (Downside Up) is a great song, but would I put it on a greatest hits album over songs like Green Machine, Thong Song, or Apothecaries' Weight? No, I would not. The pick from Sky Valley, Demon Cleaner, makes more sense, being a single, but even then I would have easily chosen Asteroid, 100 Degrees, Space Cadet, or even Whitewater over that. I could make an entire other album out of the songs that didn't get chosen for this one.
This brings us to the other songs on the album, the rarites. They did a little better here, but there is one glaring fault; the exclusion of Kyuss' excellent cover of Black Sabbath's Into The Void. Seriously, they got both Fatso Forgotso and Flip The Phase off the Kyuss/Queens of the Stone Age split EP, but they couldn't get Into The Void? That's terrible. However, Un Sandpiper, the album opener, is a awesome song with a defiantly heavy groove and just fantastic playing throughout. Shine, the second song on the album, is also great in all it's ultra-heavy and gloomy goodness. Mudfly is a decent song, though it feels like it's just a filler song that someone found as a B-side to a single. It's not like their other instrumental-type interludes that are rich and full of ideas. It's just a simple verse-chorus-verse stomper without any lyrics. A Day Early And A Dollar Extra is a little better than Mudfly, though it too feels like it was left off other albums for a reason.
Also included on the disc are live versions of Gardenia, Thumb, Conan Troutman, and Freedom Run. And although it is great to have these songs on here as well, they really should have been the album cuts and not the live versions. These live versions sound essentially the same as the studio cuts except with some different solos and poorer sound quality. And although this is expected, they put these songs on what is supposed to be a best-of.
All in all, it's a mixed bag. If you're a hardcore Kyuss fan, you'll love the few extra songs this album gives. If you're new to Kyuss, do yourself a favor and just pick up Blues For The Red Sun or even ...And The Circus Leaves Town. They are both far better ways to first get in to the band. Alternatively, you can check out the 3 for 1 compilation, which basically combines Kyuss' last three albums, the major label ones, into one large package. Either way, get this after you've listened to Kyuss so much you need more Kyuss to get that fix.