Vista Chino ‘Peace’ Review: Former members of Kyuss rock on as Vista Chino. And they make a pretty good case for stoner rock minus Josh Homme.
Unless your name is Josh Homme, being a member of stoner rock legends Kyuss hasn’t been easy lately. The band was continuing as Kyuss Lives, but Homme slapped them with a lawsuit. This caused his frenemy Nick Oliveri to jump ship and the rest of the band forging forward with a new name.
Their new moniker is Vista Chino, and they’re back with a new album called Peace.
But they could call themselves anything, and they’re still gonna sound like Kyuss; Dargona Dragon has the same Sabbath on steroids rumble that made their sound so compelling in the first place; tectonic bass, sludge guitar and the serrated vocals of John Garcia.
Sweet Remain and Dark and Lovely both feature jazz percussion to offset the pummeling riffing, Think ZZ Top at their most baked. It also offers a chance for Garcia to lower his voice from high notes that he can’t attain as easily as in the band’s early days.
Peace offers more light and shade with Adara, which has a cleaner tone than normally associated with a band so well versed in buzz saw fuzz. And Acidize…The Gambling Moose, has a riff akin to QOTSA’s Regular John.
Speaking of; the biggest issue with Peace is Homme’s absence. The man has a gift for twisting standard rock riffing into new and unorthodox shapes, and his knotty, quirky rhythms are missing. New guitarist Bruno Fevery is competent but falls short of Homme’s dynamism.
The production is very lo-fi compared the slightly more polished production of older Kyuss albums. But given the nature of the music, that’s a forgivable flaw.
But for a second act, Peace is an enjoyable resurrection. Until Homme takes a break from Queens Of The Stone Age and extends an olive branch at a possible reunion tour, this will do just fine. Perhaps the album’s title is a white flag to promote just that. It’d be nice if Homme would return the favor.