Brant Bjork
Black Power Flower


4.0
excellent

Review

by insomniac15 STAFF
November 24th, 2014 | 42 replies


Release Date: 11/14/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The heaviest so far.

Only a few months after completing a world tour with Vista Chino (ex-Kyuss Lives!), Brant Bjork unexpectedly returned to the stage with some friends under the new moniker, The Low Desert Punk Band. Even though nobody expected any new solo material this year, he started teasing the crowds with several fresh tunes. Then, without much hype, landed his hardest hitting album yet, Black Power Flower.

Mixing his trademark cannabis soaked rock 'n' rol'e with copious amounts of hard rock this time, Brant churned a multitude of chunky riffs and packed them into one cohesive unit. He always had a penchant for heavy grooves, but often toned them down with spaced out jams. However, on Black Power Flower the man cranks his amps up to eleven and lets the good times roll. His tenure in Vista Chino must have ambitioned him to add a whole new layer of distortion to the songs and it works wonders. Cuts like 'Stokely Up Now' and 'Buddha Time (Everything Fine)' are murky monsters that kick harder than anything on previous records. The fuzzy grooves are at a crossroad between melodic and dissonant, whereas screeching solos are wandering all over the place. 'Controller Destroyed' and 'We Don't Serve Their Kind' share punk influences, boasting some infectious melodies and some of that cool swag we all love to hear from the guy. For this album, even the vocal delivery has been switched from the usual prophetic tone to shouts. It is a very appropriate move, as the songs ask for urgency, a feature you wouldn't correlate with Brant Bjork.

'Soldier Of Love' and 'That's A Fact, Jack' are closer to the laid back, stoned jams, yet the Low Desert Punks wrapped them in a layer of fuzz too, turning them into dirty rockers. Plus, the funky wahs and imposing vocals work their magic over the rather simple, but downright catchy chord progressions. The tension breaks towards the end of the record, where 'Hustler's Blues' and 'Where You From, Man"' bring out the hazy side portrayed best on Jalamanta or Saved By Magic. The former feels like a night drive through the desert with its smoky bass lines and guitar licks, before bursting into an explosive finale. The latter is the soundtrack to the ride back home, where a main riff is looped for over eight minutes. It gradually loses steam and Brant adds only some echoed effects, a few spoken vocals and solos, leaving enough room for jamming. It will most probably become a live favorite.

In the end, no matter what trends arise, Brant Bjork is one of the most comfortable artists and doesn't wish to step outside of his universe. In a genre he helped define and refine over years, he still delivers some of the most basic and yet compelling riffs all by himself. Whether you hand him a fuzz pedal and a wall of cabinets or just an acoustic guitar, the man will never fail to offer you a slick tune. There are dozens of acts that thrive on his legacy, still, if you want the real deal you need to come back to the godfather of stoner rock. Black Power Flower doesn't aim to break boundaries, it just maintains the high standards that everyone should seek. Roll up a fat one and enjoy.




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user ratings (32)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 24th 2014


4637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This guy never fails. I love the record. Unfortunately the stream was available only for a weekend.



Controllers Destroyed - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t47VQgQBnF4

Where You From, Man - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wkQs33I6F4

We Don't Serve Their Kind - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SV-iYrnWw6E

Digging: The Ocean - Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic

laughingman22
November 24th 2014


2798 Comments


this guy rules, will definitely check this out

sweet review too

SharkTooth
November 24th 2014


13853 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I just knew you were gonna review this, don't ask me how, I just knew

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 24th 2014


4637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks.

I knew it too from the day I found out about it haha. You should give it a couple of spins, it's awesome.

SharkTooth
November 24th 2014


13853 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

well everything Brant Bjork has been involved with except Vista Chino has been awesome so yeah I'll take a spin

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 24th 2014


4637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I am not the biggest Vista Chino fan either. It's a nice record, but pales in comparison with anything Kyuss related. Luckily, he returned to his solo career sooner than I expected. He also has an unreleased instrumental album, Jacuzzi that might see the light of day next Spring.

SharkTooth
November 24th 2014


13853 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

out of the 3 solo albums by former Kyuss members released this year, this is probably the best

(judging from what I've heard)

RVAHC13
November 24th 2014


826 Comments


Brant Bjork is the MAN!!! Can't wait to try this out!

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 24th 2014


4637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I agree with you. John Garcia's album is nothing special. Which is the third album? I think I totally missed it lol!

SharkTooth
November 24th 2014


13853 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nick Oliveri's Uncontrollable-Leave Me Alone



it's better than the Garcia one, but not by much

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 24th 2014


4637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh, I didn't even listen to it. I like the first two Mondo Generator albums, but after that it's just a complete mess (much like him).

SharkTooth
November 24th 2014


13853 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Honestly it's a solid listen, but there's just too many meh tracks scattered throughout

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 24th 2014


4637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll give it a spin. Haven't jammed any Oliveri in a very long time.

emester
November 24th 2014


8249 Comments


I usually reserve this kind of stuff for the warmer weather but I'll check this out due to how much I dig Kyuss

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 24th 2014


4637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm surprised he didn't aim for a summer release. I always correlate stoner rock (and especially Brant Bjork, Yawning Man or Kyuss) with summer.

emester
November 24th 2014


8249 Comments


yeah it just doesnt feel right in 40 degrees in NY

kinda like listening to Paysage in the summer if you catch my drift

RunOfTheMill
November 24th 2014


3816 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sweet review, Brant Bjork rules. Would you say this is closer to the style he had on Jalamanta? The guy has made quite a few departures from that stoner sound over the years, but I'm interested in hearing something like that again

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
November 24th 2014


4637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The last couple of songs are closer to Jalamanta, but there are no instrumental experiments or simply spaced out stuff. The rest is heavier than Punk Rock Guilt or Gods & Goddesses and more focused on fuzzy grooves.

greg84
Emeritus
November 24th 2014


7598 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This reminds me of Supafuzz, which is a good thing.

Digging: Daughters - You Won't Get What You Want

qiblas
November 24th 2014


453 Comments


I need to buy this!



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