Vista Chino

Album Title: 
Release Date: 
Friday, August 30, 2013
Review Type: 

Stoner fans, beware! For Vista Chino is simply the new bandname taken on by John Garcia (singer), Brant Bjork (drums) and Bruno Fevery (guitar), now that the other former Kyuss members Josh Homme and Scott Reeder won their law suit against Kyuss Lives! using that name for any recordings. Further proof of the ongoing animosity between the former Kyuss members.

It all started so innocently, back in 2010, when John Garcia announced his European John Garcia Plays Kyuss tour (his backing band existing of members of Dutch and Belgian musicians from Agua de Annique, Kong, Celestial season, and Arsenal), which started at that year's Roadburn Festival. On that very tour, other former Kyuss members Brant Bjork (drums) and Nick Olivieri (bass) joined Garcia on stage for several concerts, thus representing ¾ of Kyuss on that band's 1992 Blues For The Red Sun album. Obviously, the trio loved to play the old songs together again, and from it formed the plan to organize another European tour, this time under the monicker Kyuss Lives!, and using Bruno Fevery as their guitarist. The new band continued to tour, playing Australia and New Zealand in May 2011, Europe again in June, and during the Fall (until New Year's Eve) they would play South and North America, with that other former Kyuss bassist, Scott Reeder, playing several dates outside the US. Somewhere along the line, an announcement was made that Kyuss Lives! would record an album, planning to record it during Summer 2012.

Those plans were put on a temporary halt, when in March 2012 Homme and Reeder files their federal law suit over the use of the Kyuss name. Olivieri left the band that same month, to be replaced by Billy Cordell. In August, a ruling prohibited Garcia and Co. from using the Kyuss Lives! monicker for studio recordings, but permitting 'em to use it for performances and promotional materials (on the premise that the words “Kyuss” and “Lives” be written in “equally-prominent lettering”! In response to the ruling, Kyuss Lives! renamed itself to Vista Chino, but first did some more touring under the old name, with the Soundwave Festivals of 2013 being the last under that monicker. Although Nick Olivieri had rejoined the band for shows during November and December 2012, his tasks during the Soundwaves shows and various “sidewaves” were performed by Mike Dean. The band played its first show under the new bandname on June 9 of this year, at the Orion Music and More Festival, and are currently still on a world tour to promote their album and new name. During an August interview, Garcia would state that Vista Chino from that time on would be a trio including himself, Bjork, and Fevery, but also described Olivieri as an “honorary band member”.

Prior to the latter events, the band announced its signing to Napalm Records on May 23, and on that same day posted a new song entitled “Dragona Dragona” on their SoundCloud page. The album includes guest appearances of Mike Dean on the song “As You Wish” and of Chris Cockrell on the album closing “The Gambling Moose” (a 13-minute track). Upon release, the album peaked at #14 on the Billboard Heatseekers album chart, proving beyond doubt that this band has a “reason d'être”! For your introduction to the band's music, check out the aforementioned “Dragona Dragona” on (www.), and listen to samples of the other 9 songs at iTunes (find link via the band's facebook, (www.) On the other hand, if you're a true Stoner fan, you really need no pre-listening sessions before going out to your local record store and get the album, do you now!? Yeah...this is year-list material, by all means!