Review: Hermano

“Only A Suggestion”
(Tee Pee Records)

Kyuss. The name alone sounds massive. Led by soul-metal golden throat John Garcia, they ushered in the explosive sound we now call stoner rock. Since the demise of the Palm Desert giants though, Garcia has fronted band after band of sludge-metal sound-alikes, coming ever so close to the magic of Kyuss with the glorious thunder of Unida, but never quite getting there. Hermano, being the current (if you can call 1999 current) incarnation is a Garcia side project, occupying his time while a Unida sophomore release waits in limbo, the unfortunate result of Rick Rubin’s American label splitting from Columbia/Sony and blah blah blah. Hermano features huge, fuzzed-out Sabbath riffs, supernova drums, and a heavy-bag bass workout with the power to induce seizures, or at least immediate bowel evacuation. It’s like Kyuss all over again. Only, we know what Kyuss sounds like already, so it’s a little less awesome. What is awesome is the fact that Garcia’s vocals are still the blueprint for modern stoner rock a decade after he helped create the sound. No, Hermano isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s good. Real good. And a pinch of the mean green will probably make it even better. But that’s only a suggestion.