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Kyuss

Hailing from Palm Desert, CA, Kyuss (pronounced "kai-uss") has become something like a heavy metal equivalent to the Velvet Underground. Although they are widely acknowledged as pioneers of the booming stoner rock scene of the 1990s, the band enjoyed little commercial success during their brief existence, but their combination of sludgy, down-tuned guitars (often played through a bass amp for maximum, earth-shaking intensity), spacey jams, galloping thrash metal rhythms, and organic drums became a blueprint, often copied, but never quite replicated by countless underground metal bands.

Formed in 1990 by vocalist John Garcia, guitarist Josh Homme, bassist Nick Oliveri, and drummer Brant Bjork, Kyuss (named after a character from Dungeons & Dragons) began jamming at so-called "desert parties," in and around the isolated towns of the Southern California desert. The band gradually built a local following, signed with tiny independent label Dali Records, and released their first album, Wretch, in 1991. Under-produced and poorly financed, the album failed to capture the band's live sound and went mostly unnoticed until sporadic touring started earning Kyuss a reputation as a ferocious live unit, as well as the respect of many fellow musicians. One of these, Masters of Reality singer/guitarist Chris Goss, decided to produce the band's next effort, and the collaboration bore fruit in 1992's stunning Blues for the Red Sun. Soon hailed as a landmark by critics and fans alike, the album took the underground metal world by storm and established the signature Kyuss sound once and for all: the doom heaviness of Black Sabbath, the feedback fuzz of Blue Cheer, and the space rock of Hawkwind, infused with psychedelic flashes, massive grooves, and a surprising sensibility for punk rock, metal, and thrash.

Based on this sudden surge of interest, the band was signed by Elektra Records just as Dali was about to go bankrupt, and despite the loss of bassist Oliveri (he was replaced by Scott Reeder, formerly of the Obsessed), the band continued building momentum with 1994's Welcome to Sky Valley. Also recorded under Goss' guidance, the album nearly matched the brilliance of its predecessor and saw Kyuss taking the novel approach of grouping the songs into three extended suites. Still, despite such creative promise and an ever-growing fan base, personal strife had already begun tearing the band apart, and drummer Brant Bjork was the first to depart when they concluded their fall tour. Then, although they quickly recruited the jazz-trained Alfredo Hernandez to replace him on 1995's noticeably less inspired ...And the Circus Leaves Town, a final rift between Homme and Garcia finally brought Kyuss' meteoric run to a disappointing halt.

2000's Muchas Gracias: The Best of Kyuss collected rare outtakes and live recordings and effectively put a capper on the Kyuss legacy, but after a period of relative silence, each bandmember's talent began leaving its mark on a number of relevant projects. Garcia briefly worked with straightforward desert rockers Slo Burn in 1997 before reuniting with Reeder in the much more promising (but ultimately doomed) Unida, later lending his in-demand pipes to Hermano and other bands. Brant Bjork sang and played guitar in his own power trio, Che (featuring his Kyuss replacement Hernandez on drums), and released a number of solo albums while joining top fuzz rockers Fu Manchu on a full-time basis. As for Josh Homme, discounting a short touring stint as rhythm guitarist for Screaming Trees, he initially retreated into production and spent much of the late '90s collaborating with an impressive array of musicians on the eclectic Desert Sessions. Some of this material was later reworked into his next major project, Queens of the Stone Age, which saw him paired with original Kyuss bassist Nick Oliveri (who had kept busy working with Dwarves) and, at first, drummer Hernandez, as well. Ironically, by their third release (and last with Oliveri), 2002's Songs for the Deaf, Queens of the Stone Age had achieved significantly larger sales than Kyuss ever did, though it's arguable whether they've yet matched their predecessor's legendary status. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: ...And The Circus Leaves Town

1. Hurricane

2. One Inch Man

3. Thee Ol' Boozeroony

4. Gloria Lewis

5. Phototropic

6. El Rodeo

7. Jumbo Blimp Jumbo

8. Tangy Zizzle

9. Size Queen

10. Catamaran

11. Spaceship Landing

x

Track List: Blues For The Red Sun

1. Thumb

2. Green Machine

3. Molten Universe

4. 50 Million Year Trip (Downside Up)

5. Thong Song

6. Apothecaries Weight

7. Caterpillar March

8. Freedom Run

9. 800

10. Writhe

11. Capsized

12. Allen's Wrench

13. Mondo Generator

14. Yeah

Comments

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victoria_05_ 5 1 0
Sexy a** s**t!
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nicocamp02
I respect this band because Josh Homme started in this band and then formed QOTSA,a great band.But,Kyu s s is a great band also.
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I saw Kyuss open up for Danzig in 1992!
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These guys are freaken awesome, how did it take me until 2016 to find them?
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victoria_05_ 5 1 0
Love
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Who the fricken frack wrote this s**t piece of s**t column? Punch yourself right in your face immediately.
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I meant to say , I'm getting this on Pinky Tuscadero's Whitenuckle Assfuck radio. ..
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Bobsonmycock used to be a stoner...wha t a joke...
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jemanis98
Man, you better never
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These guys were the s**t, no band could ever touch thier tone and style...
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King Kyuss all Hail heh ;*<=>
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jemanis98
I don't think I'll tease my hair...
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I used to be a stoner and don't think i would have liked these guys back then either. Thumbs down
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I've seen Josh Homme in an episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations . They went around the Palm Desert area, eating, drinking tequila, and hanging with Josh's friends from The Desert Sessions in the same studio where they recorded it. Absolutely zero mention of Kyuss, though they did mention QOTSA. Tsk tsk tsk.
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Don't know who labeled this stoner rock but, I love this s**t. Not even a stoner.
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Thats why I like u baby, you're alwayzzzz on TIME!
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starting to really like this band
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Been a fan for a long time, good to see pandora giving some much deserved love, very very underrated. Do yourself a favor and get every and anything they have put out. Well worth the alleged "stoner rock trip" whatever the f**k that label means!!!! Good hard core rock!
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Kyuss is by far one of the best metal bands of all time. I have been unable to get enough of them in the past 24 years
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Recently discovered this brief but magnificent group. 50 million year trip is a masterpiece along with whitewater.
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Josh Homme has a potty mouth. hahaha
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Newly converted. Josh Homme and Jim Morrison Rock!
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Stoner Rock Scene? Why was I not notified that there WAS such a scene?! Completely missed it.......... . s t o r y of my life. A day late and a dollar short.
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Wretch - big bikes dammit!!!

Stoopid music rights and the associated legalese
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i remember back sometime in the very early nineties seeing the green machine video and immediately got a boner. BFTRS had a huge impact on my life musically in high school thru the present and i owe them for providing a soundtrack to many various drug-fueled adventures. thank you, kyuss, even though you've blown my sh*t speakers before with you guitars fed into your bass amps.
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Sexy like a slow grind... Kyuss definitely rocks
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I say Vista Chino!!!!
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yes...good!
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hahahah joo-fighters ! !
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Yeah. Pandora needs to make more releases available, but it sure beats commercial radio, and having to hear, 'Pickelsmack ' , 'Jimmy Eat C**k', s**t-'Staind ' or the 'Joo-Fighter s ' . I still prefer pandora for sampling.
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why is the wretch album not up? freaking pandora dont know whats up
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Why is awesome so rare? Not the slightest; been asking that question for a long time.
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Desert awesome, more people that enjoy this stuff shud hang out. .. . . Wez don't getta see this stuff much. Nh Me needs travel. People awesome love cool stuff. Why is awesome so rare ?
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what an album - tops BFTRS despite the Carl Sagan reference
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This was one of the first bands I liked that wasn't punk. Right after the smashing pumpkins.
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(pronounced Epic)
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When Maynard does a cover of demon cleaner- you bet kyuss is worthy.
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j_rocket29
i learned of them a while back, just forgot to make a Kyuss station...th e first song I hear is a whole EP --- this is freaking AWESOME!
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Just got ''Wretch'' and ''The Best Of.''
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I love this band
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They dont have the first cd
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All 3 albums are must-haves.
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New band to me, but f**k they're good
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love the way they broke the Sky Valley album..... pandora picks a song you get an E.P.
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Ky-YES!!!
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My friend just turned me on to these guys. Mega-thankfu l , they ROCK.
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Saw them in Nz last year and they were awesome!Kyus s rule man!
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Great desert music.
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wretch please
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how could such a good band turn into such a f*g band
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