Thrash Hits

November 3rd, 2010

Kyuss are back (but without Josh Homme): The Argument AGAINST

Our ih-house surly bastard, Hugh Platt, greeted the news that “Kyuss” were reforming by sighing too much, and pulling a face that makes Droopy look happy. What exactly is his problem with ‘Kyuss Lives!’…?

Kyuss Lives! promo photo Thrash Hits

Sorry, but this ain’t Kyuss. Not even close.

Sure, click over to the band’s Wikipedia page, scrool down and Lo! John Garcia, Brant Bjork and Nick Oliveri are among the list of former members of Kyuss. And that’s three out of four roles filled, right? By anyone’s estimation, 75% of a band’s line-up can be counted as legit, right? Right?!??

No – of course it can’t. Even the three ex-Kyuss members involved in this moneyspinner acknowledge that it isn’t really Kyuss – that’s why they’re going under the somewhat berkish moniker of ‘Kyuss Lives’. The creative core of Kyuss is, was, and always will be Josh Homme. Don’t believe me? Go check out the songwriting credits on any of Kyuss’ albums. Sure, there’s a couple of tracks on each album where Garcia gets a look in, and Brant Bjork’s input cannot be understated (particularly on 1994’s seminal Welcome To Sky Valley), but Kyuss’s songs are for the overwhelming most-part Homme’s songs. For “Kyuss” to reform without Homme is like a Smashing Pumpkins without Billy Corgan. It is a Guns ‘N Roses without Slash. Oh.

Spot the difference between ‘Kyuss Lives’ and the real deal:

Hell, if we’re picking hairs, Nick Oliveri isn’t even the bass player that most people associate with the “classic” Kyuss line-up. His involvement ended following the recording of the band’s second album, Blues for the Red Sun, and it wasn’t until the band started touring that record, with Scott Reeder on bass duties, that anyone really paid much heed to the Palm Desert rockers. It wasn’t until the release of the aforementioned Welcome to Sky Valley album – made by the line-up of Homme, Bjork, Reeder and Garcia – that Kyuss went from being a critically-acclaimed band to universally-hailed stoner-rock kings.

Josh Homme isn’t in this Kyuss reason because unlike the other three, he doesn’t need to be. As Amit has previously said, Homme’s success post-Kyuss has been stratospheric. He has helmed Queens of the Stone into becoming one of the biggest crossover rock acts of the last decade. He married a punk rock icon. He hangs out with Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones and makes music that sounds like a watered-down Desert Session to sell to idiots and Andy Copping as meaningful rock’n’roll.

Despite being involved in multiple bands since being booted out of Queens of the Stone Age in 2004 (by Josh Homme, no less), Nick Oliveri hasn’t exactly been burning the candle at both ends. And even as a Kyuss fanboy, it pains me to admit that Brant Bjork’s work since leaving Kyuss haven’t lit the world alight. And then there’s John Garcia. Garcia – talented musician as he is – knows the monetary value of the Kyuss name. When he toured as “Garcia plays Kyuss” earlier this year, Garcia sold more tickets, sold more merch, and made more money than he has done in years. When he brought out Nick Oliveri and Brant Bjork for that set at Hellfest, all three of them sat up and took notice of the excited coverage the event got across the internet. With album sales dropping through the floor, everyone’s got a mortgage to pay.

Don’t fuck with Josh Homme:

So go ahead – buy yourself a ticket to a ‘Kyuss Lives’ show. Convince yourself that you’re watching something special. Get nostalgic about events and musicians whose heyday happened well before you were old enough to give two tugs of a dead dog’s cock about them. Go home, sleep with your wife, and be happy. Just remember one little thing from me:

Sorry, but this ain’t Kyuss. It’s not even close.

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Oo-er. Sounds like Hugh doesn’t agree with Amit Sharma one bit on this one. If you missed Amit’s explanation of why the Kyuss re-union is worth getting excited about, click here and check it out. Now’s the time to scope out the band’s forthcoming UK live dates, and decide whether or not you want to stump up your cash for a ticket to see ‘Kyuss Lives’…

Kyuss Lives Spring 2011 tourdates
31 Nottingham Rock City
01 Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall
02 London The Forum
04 Glasgow ABC1
05 Manchester Academy
06 Bristol O2 Academy

Note that 03 April 2011 is available, just in case they decide that one night at the Kentish Town Forum is not enough…


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