24 Feb 2017

John Garcia: "The Coyote Who Spoke In Tongues"

Better stick with Kyuss and Vista Chino
If you're even superficially interested in stoner rock, you should know who John Garcia is. He is the legendary voice of stoner rock, having lent his gruff singing to the likes of Kyuss, Unida, Slo Burn, Hermano and Vista Chino over the course of his 30 year career.

On this, his second solo album, Garcia breaks new territory as a folk-style singer/songwriter with his trademark vocals set to a minimalist soundscape of acoustic guitar chords and sparsely used piano and other instrumentation. Though a vocalist by trade, John Garcia reveals himself to be an adequately competent guitarist, favouring a percussive tone that gives the album a little punch.

"...these stoner rock classics don't necessarily feel truly at home..."

The Coyote Who Spoke In Tongues features mostly music from his previous bands - Primarily Kyuss. And these stoner rock classics don't necessarily feel truly at home as acoustic pieces, and Garcia's performance - both on vocals and guitars - isn't quite thoughtful or deep felt enough to feel truly relevant or even necessary. 

A few tracks stand out as having made the transition from half-psychedelic far-fetchers to percussive acousticity in a decent manner, but all in all The Coyote Who Spoke In Tongues feels like a missed opportunity to put some soulful bluesiness or desert dreamscapes into already brilliant songs. Instead, the album comes off as mostly just arpeggiated guitars and standard chords set to Kyuss lyrics in what could probably be described as an unnecessary vanity project that adds little to songs that are already defined as immortal classics.


Released in 2017 by Napalm Records


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