The flagship band of the 'stoner rock' movement in the 90s, Kyuss' limited commercial success, unique sound, and iconic appearance has made this band the stuff of myths since their peak in the mid-90s.
A young Josh Homme looks lost in a photo of kyuss: his thin, 17-year-old frame, complete with daggy cap and mullet, looks meek next to drug-addled bass-player turned rock-hero Scott Reeder, or gruff-voiced jesus lookalike John Garcia. Nonetheless, Homme's relentless dropped-c riffing and insatiable knack for groove are at the heart of Kyuss unique sound, best captured on their rough-n-tumble third album, Blues For The Red Sun.
The slithering 'Thumb' is a prime set opener: raw, often confusing vocals and a swelling-and-bursting rythm section power through a solid 4 minutes of nu-psychedelica, before dissapearing into 'Green Machine', a personal favourite Kyuss track.
With few exceptions, Blues... always sounds like its trying to catch up with itself. Each new turn in a song appears to excite the player enormously: snappy drums find renewed energy with every shift from chorus to verse and back again, and each time Homme takes a solo, Reeder is directly behind him, mimicking his every note with his teflon sound.
Blues... also sees the band hit full-on psychedelica, with tracks like 'Freedom Run' and 'Apothecaries Weight' cutting up the stamping riffage with wah-laden guitar licks and superweird samples. However, this is not to dismiss the heavy moments: The steam-train staccato of '50 Million Year Trip' is delightfully energetic, sliding from one catatonic groove to the next with nary a slip.
And, as with all albums this in-depth, a part of the bands personality shows through on occasion: on the minimalist slam-jam of 'Thong Song', Garcia's thick southern drawl declares: 'my hair is/real long/no brains/all brawn', and he's probably right in a way: the band were infamous for their love of cars, drugs, and groupies. But this is hardly a criticism. if anything, it brings an earnestness to their sound that fills the listener with energy.
While they will never achieve the commercial success of Queens Of The Stone Age, Kyuss are truly a cult band worthy of their status, and Blues For The Red Sun is possibly one of the saddest cases of an album that will never be truly appreciated by rock fans and critics alike. Glorious, dark, moody, chaotic and rife with head-bangers, this album is complete as they come.