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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, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Wretch - big bikes dammit!!!

Stoopid music rights and the associated legalese
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.
Sexy like a slow grind... Kyuss definitely rocks
I say Vista Chino!!!!
yes...good!
hahahah joo-fighters ! !
sullivan4til e
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.
why is the wretch album not up? freaking pandora dont know whats up
Why is awesome so rare? Not the slightest; been asking that question for a long time.
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 ?
what an album - tops BFTRS despite the Carl Sagan reference
This was one of the first bands I liked that wasn't punk. Right after the smashing pumpkins.
(pronounced Epic)
When Maynard does a cover of demon cleaner- you bet kyuss is worthy.
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!
Just got ''Wretch'' and ''The Best Of.''
I love this band
They dont have the first cd
All 3 albums are must-haves.
New band to me, but f**k they're good
love the way they broke the Sky Valley album..... pandora picks a song you get an E.P.
Ky-YES!!!
My friend just turned me on to these guys. Mega-thankfu l , they ROCK.
Saw them in Nz last year and they were awesome!Kyus s rule man!
Great desert music.
wretch please
how could such a good band turn into such a f*g band
lol they suck esp. the vocals!
f**k yeah
There can be only one! First saw them @TheWarfield in SF in 1992. Epic. Followed by shows @The Cactus Club in San Jose and Bottom of the Hill in SF.thru the years. Got to play with Unida @Stoner Hands of Doom with one of my bands Greenhouse Effect a while back and that was a blast. Long live the Mighty Kyuss!!!
wilkison1
Love it.
Saw Kyuss lives a couple months ago. They are still awesome. Seeing them again next weekend. Best show ive seen in a long time...
My trifecta will soon be complete...N e u r o s i s , Isis and now Kyuss at the Regency Grandballroo m in S.F. saturday the 19th. I will die content!
Saw Kyuss way back in the '90s. Still one of the best best best shows I've ever seen.
legendary. Kyuss's influence on heavy music is as much as sabbath, maiden and metallica is.......

TITANS!
Saw Kyuss Lives the other night - amazing, they do not need Josh at all. Bruno is the man! Great live, super heavy and super tight.
widespreadpa i n t e r s
long legs,long hair,big tits, you got a big ayuss,but your parts will never last...NEVER LAST !
kingjrew
Homme is an idiot...He can't 'get along' with anybody for too long - why else would QOTSA have an ever-changin g line-up? I still like the first 3 QOTSA albums w/ Nick, but after that I'm done with them...lucki l y I'll be seeig Kyuss this weekend in Asheville, NC - the PERFECT city for one of the greatest 'Stoner Rock' bands to play!
Too bad they can't get along- this is seriously good s**t!! Guitar in the base amp--- who'da thunk it.
I was pouring motor oil when I first heard them here at Pandora. I tried to stop and made a big mess so I just could look at the laptop who was playing.
dude stash that thing behind teh couch - the pizza's here...
lemonlawatto r n e y
Kyuss Lives is cool but only half as good as Kyuss would be if Garcia and Homme could just "get along" Damn Shame!
I went to the gym the other day, and played three Kyuss discs back-to-back on my mp3 player before I realized I was absolutely friggin exhausted and NEEDED to go home.

As such, my workouts shall foreverafter be dubbed "Kyusstenics " , (although 'stonercisin g ' also works quite well:)
This band is genius! I love Josh Homme...
amaion17
heavy metal VU i like that
yes.
wanna get high?
SO AMAZING..... d e s c r i b e s this band perfectly
Anything Homme does is badass. Hes the king.
Legends, i agree. Fukn awesome
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