The Rickety Old Shack

John Garcia — John Garcia

album cover

As someone who discovered Kyuss long after the legendary group had already disbanded, I also dove into the vast number of projects each member involved themselves in afterward. The one positive of Kyuss breaking up was that each member was churning out a steady amount of quality music — so we were getting more material even if they were doing it separately. John Garcia's Slo Burn and Unida projects were both very good, but after a myriad of label troubles he went a long time without releasing any material. This made Garcia easily the least prolific member of the group, while Josh Homme ascended to rock stardom, and everyone else from Nick Oliveri to Scott Reeder kept themselves busy with numerous projects and production gigs.

Prior to taking a bit of a hiatus from following music in the mid-aughts, the last thing I remembered hearing Garcia's voice on was a highly unexpected — but nonetheless very good — collaboration with The Crystal Method and Limp Bizkit's Wes Borland on "Born Too Slow." It's 2018, and it doesn't feel any less weird to write that sentence out, but I digress. Fast-forward to 2014, and I happen across a review for a self-titled album I previously had no idea existed or was even in the works. The line-up of contributing musicians looked like a Desert Sessions reunion, so I was sold on the concept immediately. Since then, this album has been an extremely underrated part of my music collection, one that I keep coming back to 4 years later.

John Garcia feels very much like the spiritual successor to Unida's Coping With The Urban Coyote and Slo Burn's Amusing The Amazing EP. The reason for this is largely due to John Garcia's distinctive voice and writing style, his presence and charisma give any song he's featured on a very distinctive feel. Musically, this album is full of zero surprises for anyone familiar with its namesake and his past work. That being said, this record is an extremely competent, well-written and engineered stoner rock album from one of the genre's legends. As a vocalist, Garcia's range is fairly limited but he is a master within it. The album's acoustic closer, "Her Bullets Energy" has Garcia changing things up a little with his delivery, likewise with "Confusion" and its much slower pacing. The rest of the album is fast-paced rock with some sweet rhythms and tasty hooks.

Everything on the album feels tight and coherent, even with the long list of contributors. "All These Walls" sounds like it could be a Unida B-side, and I mean that in the most complimentary way. John Garcia and friends manage to evoke and implement the best elements of their stoner rock bonafides, and recorded a strong solo debut with absolutely no filler material. Running 45 minutes, John Garcia is a solid collection of material, with standout tracks like "Flower," "Rolling Stoned," and "His Bullets Energy," serving notice that John Garcia still has a lot to offer the music world. This record easily belongs in the upper echelon of post-Kyuss projects. I've gotten a lot of replay value out of this album over the years and I can't recommend it highly enough.

Summary

One of the most underrated frontmen in the rock world, John Garcia's self-titled solo debut is a perfect serving-size of authentic, well-crafted stoner rock. Eleven tracks of hard-grooving, fuzzed-out rock and John Garcia's voice belting out lyrics that only sort of make sense in a way that only John Garcia can. The man is one of my favourite singers, and I honestly couldn't tell you more than a handful of his lyrics without looking them up. John Garcia is a must-listen for any fans of Kyuss, obviously, but also anyone craving a hit of quality, no-frills rock. This record is extremely underappreciated.

Album Information

Release date: July 25th, 2014
Record label: Napalm Records

John Garcia — vocals, production
David Angstrom
Gary Arcy
Tom Brayton
Dandy Brown
Monique Caravello
Mark Diamond
Damon Garrison
Ehren Groben
Chris Hale
Danko Jones
Mikey Kocsandi
Jack Kohler
Robby Krieger
Nick Oliveri

Track Listing

  1. My Mind
  2. Rolling Stoned
  3. Flower
  4. The Blvd
  5. 5000 Miles
  6. Confusion
  7. His Bullets Energy
  8. Argleben
  9. Saddleback
  10. Her Bullets Energy

Link: shop.napalmrecords.com

—by Derek

Published: November 8th, 2018.