After thirty odd years playing music, with the heavily influential Kyuss through Slo Burn, Unida and Hermano as well as a couple of solo projects, John Garcia, is well known to those into stoner / desert rock. His vocal style is often imitated (or at least attempted!), and the musical output is of a consistently high quality as well. Garcia is about to tour Australia in acoustic mode for the first time, and will be playing selections from his entire back catalogue. I recently spoke with John to get a run-down on what’s in store for the tour.
El Jefe – What’s your inspiration for choosing the songs you want to tackle acoustically, and how do you decide what might work best?
John Garcia – Well, to start with, I dig the challenge of doing things in a totally different way and to keep moving forward musically. Some songs like ‘Green Machine’, which work well with a full band can be much harder to do acoustically, so there is the challenge to make it work with just a guitar which is really cool. ‘Gardenia’ as well, is much harder to do this way, so it means I have to keep pushing the boundaries musically. ‘El Rodeo’ is just a rad song, and really fun to play, and with a tune like ‘Space Cadet’, I get to change a couple of the things with the vocals I didn’t like with the original. Continue reading →
When Californian Skies are forecast to meet Australian shores: an interview with Unwritten Law’s Scott Russo.
As Scott Russo answers the phone, he’s having several other conversations with those in the lounge room. It’s 1pm in San Francisco and the people from immigration have arrived an hour early to complete his paper work for Unwritten Law’s upcoming tour of Australia. After an initially jolted introduction, we settle into the exchange of questions and stories related to the bands future, past and present.
With the frontman’s paperwork currently in process, we nostalgic punters Down Under have a lot to be excited for. With the beginning of their scheduled tour dates quickly approaching, we know that we can anticipate their 1998 self titled album AKA The Black Album in full, but what else?! Despite the fact that I may be considerably too young to be an old-school fan, I couldn’t hold back my excitement when it came to asking Scott, “So, what can you expect? Well, we’re gonna play the Black Record from front to back, the first song to the last song, and then we are gonna break down that set and play additions.” Continue reading →
Switchblade Jesus are a heavy-duty bunch of motherfuckers hailing from Texas. Their ST debut has had plenty of airplay in the El Jefe homestead. Mrs El Jefe also particularly dig’s their catchy, dirty stoner rock!
Fuzz Evil are from nearby Arizona, and as the name applies, are a fuzzed-out band with a love of…fuzz. The Glitterbones 7 inch was a great intro to this mob too.
So FE and SJ have joined forces for The Second Coming Of Heavy; Chapter VII release, out now through Ripple Music, with each band contributing 3-4 songs each and all of scorched earth proportion.
Rather than fuck around with niceties, Switchblade Jesus instead chose to launch a vicious punch to the side of the head with ‘Snakes And Lions’. A growling menace of a song, with a filthy wah-fest intro to one of their trademark riffs. Great drumming too! Continue reading →
Melbourne grind core / yobcore legends King Parrot have unleashed their third LP, a character building behemoth called Ugly Produce. The moniker suits the album to a T! It’s a bruising and relentless collection of blast-beats from drummer Todd Hansen, searing guitars and guttural, tortured vocal mayhem.
‘Entrapment’ is used as the launchpad for the sonic time bomb that follows. The two jackhammers fucking rhythmic attack delivers a powerful impetus for the blaze of guitars and Matt Young’s crazed vocal “styling’s”.
Who but an Aussie band could write a tune called ‘Piss Wreck’. Spell check won’t even recognize it as English, but we all know someone who should embrace this song as a personal anthem. It’s a cool song too. Continue reading →
Immediacy is the first word that come to mind as soon as the track ‘Doom Boogie’ drops first on the El Colosso album, Pathways. Its relentless riffs never let go, vocalist Matt Cooper is an absolute powerhouse monster of a singer, reminiscent of all my favourite singers from the last 20 years; Layne Staley, Chris Cornell and a million other in between his pitch and range are out of this world, he holds the words in such taut tight control, that you become breathless in awe.
The single ‘Leatherhead’ is a perfect first release, its groove heavy rhythm will have you punching holes in the walls and screaming with ecstatic pleasure.
‘The Hunted’ just pulverises your ears until a river of blood is flowing.
The title track ‘Pathways’, has more ridiculously heavy riffling that entrances you so deep that not even a trained hypnotist could wake you up! Continue reading →
Brand new to the Melbourne music scene, Mental Tremors hit the ground running. They released their self-titled debut and within a couple of weeks they were signed to European DIY label Cursed Tongue. It’s easy to hear why they were signed to a label so quickly, as soon as the cat scratch riff of ‘Like A Broken Town’ kicks in, the listener is body slammed against the floor and spends the next five and half minutes trying to compose themselves and left wondering what the hell just happened.
‘Bastard Son’ slows the tempo down slightly; the drums penetrate deep and hard with an ongoing hypnotic groove.
Considering the band is only a duo it’s hard to fathom the racket they make, a wall of sound is built high above the listener and smashed down around their ears with an almighty force. Continue reading →
It’s always hard when someone you know asks you to review their band. It could be awesome… but what if it just isn’t your thing? or even worse, what if it’s shit? So when Andy Simpson of the legendary Don Fernando sent me a message and asked if I could listen to his new project Meathook, I thought I would do the usual thing of sending it on to someone else, but then I clicked on play…
So all you Tool fans who have been waiting 612 years for a new release, ‘The Beginning’ kicks off with an intro that would slot perfectly into Undertow, with riffs straight from the Blues For The Red Sun mixing desk, and a solo that goes on for miles; the song steamrolls across the great expanse covering everything from hard edged stoner to doom and all in between. There are no lyrics, no words, just like this review, nothing could truly describe the sound of this track, except that ‘The Beginning’ is the perfect introduction to Meathook, which will string you up by your ears and make them bleed for more. Continue reading →
During the ’90s Melbourne had a thriving all ages band scene, and the kings of that scene were The Meanies, they realised that punk rock was not just for adults but for everyone of all ages, everywhere they played there was total chaos, but not in the malicious sense, it was more unbridled energy kind of chaos.
Tonight’s gig was a celebration of 25 plus years of total madness and kinetic punk rock. Continue reading →