Key To Music Grades

A - You will never be whole without it
B - Highly recommended
C - Flawed, but still pretty good
D - It's your money, not mine
F - Why couldn't this have been burned in Fahrenheit 451?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Kyuss - ...And The Circus Leaves Town (1995)

...And The Circus Leaves Town is, unfortunately, Kyuss' last record -- especially if you ask Josh Homme. Fortunately for us, it's their best. Ever eat chicken? Well, because this is pure Grade A beef. Homme's guitar rumblings have never tasted so meaty what with his propensity for detuning, bass amplification and creating the most memorable riff he can think of. Did this guy study Ron Asheton licks? The enormity of delicious riffage is all over this record; from the fuzz-tone thumpery of "Hurricane" and "One Inch Man," the precious psychedelic guitar warblings of the atmospheric "Phototropic" (my personal fave) to the heavy sludgefest that is "Glorious Lewis," the loose bluesy jam of "El Rodeo" with its splendid opening guitar line, or perhaps the heavy wah wah-tinged "Jumbo Blimp Jumbo" or the delicate, layered guitar melodies in "Catamaran" -- this album is fantastic. The only song that doesn't touch me is "Size Queen." Any stoners from the 70s who've broken their needles on the classics of yore while pining for something new and incredible can start here, because these guys are the real deal. No frills, all balls, modern-day rock as it should have been, but never was because capitalism favors better marketing than better musicianship. All in all, there's nothing to lose with this one, or for Blues For The Red Sun or Welcome To Sky Valley (two other great albums), for that matter. A nod of thanks to Master Cianan for this one, who knew I liked the Queens. Oh, and "Tangy Zizzle" rules, too: "Yeaaaaaah, yeah, put it in gear baby. Hell yeah, that's what I like about you baby; you're always on time." B+


bob_vinyl said...

One thing that was so great about Kyuss was how they took those heavy 70s riffs and brought them into the present. So many of the stoner bands just rehashed Sabbath, but Kyuss took it to a new place.

The Mad Hatter said...

The difficult thing these days, as a listener, is to distinguish between those who are merely rehashing and those who are stretching it out into a new direction. There's so much stuff. I never even heard of these guys until my friend randomly pulled out an LP and told me I had to listen to them. I'm really happy that happened.