I used to adore Kyuss, and any single project afterwards, Slo Burn, Unida, Hermano, QOTSA… John Garcia’s voice was, and still is, one of the most powerful, yet underrated, voices in rock, genuine and unique. Whatever his proposal was, I was up to it. But at certain point I got tired of Kyuss, and especially of the frontman.
I don’t listen to Kyuss albums very often nowadays, and reckon my interest falls directly onto Homme’s QOTSA. How come? That’s good question, and now I know the answer. You remember that funny statement which says something like “I don’t hate Springsteen, but his fans are loathsome”? Well, this is what happens to me. I got tired of Kyuss and Garcia, because of the tedious worship of the diehard fans towards the band. Same happened with Pearl Jam. I used to love them, they were my favorite band when I was 16, and remember myself trying to convert everyone into PearlJamism, till some day, for some reason the existing fanaticism started bothering me somehow, and I went easier. Not that I hate Vedder nowadays, but hmm, I don’t see him as cool as I used to.
Well, many people adoring Kyuss have got stucked in both the band and the style, with all due respect. Of course their legacy is outstanding, they opened a new path and inspired many great bands, but it should fair to remind that bands such as Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Monster Magnet, and many others were their influence. Stoner is nowadays a very generic label applied to any kind of bands, from Down to Fu Manchu, Nebula and Sleep. Well, labeling got crazy at some point and now there are lots of subgenres I can’t recall. I don’t know, I stand for the classics.
I’ve just remembered the first web and forum I subscribed to was stonerrock.com with my real surname, back in 2000, so innocent! Just discovered this site was sucked into the void in 2010. What a shame!
Good ol’ times! When I got back from London in 2000 I was referred as the Stoner girl, however, visiting my mates in London, I was labeled as Toi the punk rocker, as if the two styles couldn’t be compatible.
One of my first posts related to the album of the week last year, was related to Amusing the Amazing, that awesome EP by Slo Burn, the first, and probably the best project Garcia carried out once Kyuss were done for good.
Coping with the Urban Coyote, released by Man’s Ruin Records, was the second proposal Garcia surprised us with a new project named Unida. Unfortunately it didn’t last long, although there were many unreleased tracks travelling through internet. Yeah, those times when it took you 3 days to download a song at awful quality. I’m proud and lucky to say I saw Unida performing at the Garage in London, and I still keep a t-shirt, now shrunk, purchased at the show, which years later, was my outfit to see Hermano at Azkena Rock Festival. Never seen anyone from Spain wearing that tee, which makes it kind of unique item for me.
It was 2-3 weeks ago when my friend Xavi, precisely the one who was passing through a crazy Slo Burn mania stage when I wrote that post, visit me at The Hellhouse to have lunch together. While finishing cooking I asked him to play some music, and he chose an old copy of …Only a Suggestion. Needless to say, after listening to it several times in a row on my own, I purchased an original copy.
We were chatting and eating, but I couldn’t help stopping the conversation, and start an off topic regarding how good this album is. As if it was the first time I was listening to it. I’m serious saying at least it was 3 years, even 4, since I hadn’t played it. Don’t ask questions, I felt like an asshole, and had an unusual weird feeling: regret.
…Only a Suggestion was the debut album of Garcia’s most enduring project, Hermano, which I could see on stage a couple of times. With this band, it was confirmed one album/ep sometimes is better than a extended discography, as Hermano’s latest releases didn’t keep at the same level. However these 8 songs, 7 actually, are pure adrenaline. Straight to the point, no concessions, no filling tunes, just the essence of the band at its utmost. Play this album, at eleven, and listen to songs such as Manager’s Special, Senor Moreno’s Plan, or 5 to 5…you’ll shit on your pants, ha!
Thus, after all, I must admit John Garcia, aka Juanico, has been, is and sure will be, a reference for many, and one of a kind, so who cares about the bothering fans? Not me anymore. Long live the stoner vet!!!