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Kyuss

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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
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Stations Featuring
Kyuss


Albums by
Kyuss

Top Songs by
Kyuss

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Gardenia
  3.   Green Machine
  4.   Un Sandpiper
  5.   Son of a Bitch
  6.   One Inch Man
  7.   Allen's Wrench
  8.   100 Degrees
  9.   Stage III
  10.   Caterpillar March
  11.   Size Queen
  12.   The Law
  13.   Odyssey
  14.   Space Cadet
  15.   Supa Scoopa and Mighty Scoop
  16.   Mondo Generator
  17.   Writhe
  18.   Freedom Run
  19.   50 Million Year Trip (Downside Up)
  20.   Jumbo Blimp Jumbo
  21.   Big Bikes
  22.   Katzenjammer
  23.   Whitewater
  24.   N.O.
  25.   Asteroid
  26.   Demon Cleaner
  27.   800
  28.   Thong Song
  29.   Molten Universe
  30.   Thumb
  31.   Thee Ol' Boozeroony
  32.   Hurricane
  33.   Spaceship Landing
  34.   Catamaran
  35.   I'm Not
  36.   Conan Troutman
  37.   Flip the Phase
  38.   Mudfly
  39.   Yeah
  40.   El Rodeo
  41.   Gloria Lewis
  42.   Tangy Zizzle
  43.   Shine
  44.   Deadly Kiss
  45.   Black Widow
  46.   Love Has Passed Me By
  47.   (Beginning of What's About to Happen) Hwy 74
  48.   Lick Doo
  49.   A Day Early and a Dollar Extra
  50.   Capsized
  51.   Apothecaries' Weight
  52.   Phototropic
  53.   Isolation
  54.   Fatso Forgotso

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