Heavy Psych Sounds
rating icon 7 / 10

Track listing:

01. Can't out Run The Sun
02. Guerrilla Funk
03. Mexico City Blues
04. Five Hundred Thousand Dollars
05. Black & White Wonderland
06. Oui
07. Mixed Nuts
08. Lost in Race
09. Polarized
10. Do You Love Your World?

Brant Bjork is revered as a legend in the niche, rock 'n' roll realm of fuzz 'n' filth—desert rock and stoner rock, that is. He has been involved with numerous projects during his career, even delving into hardcore punk early on. But he's primarily known for his work with the band from which QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE was born, KYUSS, as well as FU MANCHU. The desert-dwelling multi-instrumentalist returns now with "Jacoozzi", a slice of yore that has finally had the opportunity to surface.

The ten songs comprising "Jacoozzi" have been collecting dust in the desert for nearly a decade. Back then, Bjork felt a sense of burnout from excessive touring, and was going through a divorce. During this less than desirable state, Bjork entered a house in Joshua Tree, California, to record a solo record. He decided to scrap his preconceived ideas in favor of allowing the tape to roll as he created music from the heart in an improvisational manner. And, further explaining why "Jacoozzi" was shelved for so long, once the release was recorded, Bjork's former bandmate in KYUSS, vocalist John Garcia, asked him if he wanted to regroup—an effort that successfully led to the KYUSS LIVES! tours and the related follow-up project: VISTA CHINO.

It was just a few days into the recording session, back in 2010, before Bjork ditched the solo album idea in favor of simply jamming by himself and, for all intents and purposes, for himself. He initially built eight tracks of drum beats as the foundation, later layering other instruments atop. While Bjork's intention for these tracks was to capture the essence of his debut solo release, 1999's "Jalamanta", the energy and general feel of "Jacoozzi" has more in common with 2013's "Peace", the album by the aforementioned post-KYUSS project (sans Josh Homme) VISTA CHINO. The similarities between "Jacoozzi" and "Peace" make sense considering that the latter was recorded onto tape only three years after Bjork's shelved tracks. More specifically, the drums for both albums clearly constitute the bedrock upon which additional tracks and instrumentation are layered.

The prominent percussive element not only steers the ship, it assumes a central role with power, conviction and a primal quality drawn from the tribal-like beats. The rhythmic groove is everything, and it's simply hypnotic. This is the case throughout the entirety of "Jacoozzi", but perhaps most prominently on the opening track, "Can't out Run the Sun". "Jacoozzi" won't be regarded as the pinnacle of Bjork's career, but it is a genuine and sincere creative expression that's admirable in terms of artistic integrity, and—most importantly—longtime fans will likely find it appealing.

Author: Jay H. Gorania
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