Hermano Dare I Say…

Countless bands have channelled the spirit of desert rock originators Kyuss, but of course there’s only one Josh Homme and only one John Garcia. While the former has strayed far from his roots in Queens of the Stone Age, Garcia has attempted to recapture the Kyuss magic in short-lived outfits Slo Burn, Unida, and a handful of guest-vocal appearances. Hermano’s debut, 2002’s …Only A Suggestion, was just that: a possible implication of what was to be, which the band has fortunately realised now on Dare I Say… Gone is ex-Disengage guitarist Mike Callahan and Afghan Whigs drummer Steve Earle; band mate Dandy Brown (Orquesta Del Desierto) picks up the remaining guitars, while lead guitarist David Angstrom recruits skinsman Chris Leathers from his side projects Supafuzz and Devil May Care. Opening scorcher "Cowboys Suck” and QOTSA clone "Life” are truly fantastic rock, and the T-Rex stomp of "Roll Over” and the pulsing, anthemic "Brother Bjork” push Hermano way ahead of the stoner pack. "Is This O.K.?” picks up the QOTSA helm again but with more of a Solace spin, but "Murder One” is a dramatic acoustic blues number along the same lines as Led Zeppelin’s "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp.” Garcia belts them out on "My Boy” and the Ten Minute Warning-esque driver "Let’s Get It On,” with lyrics and backing vocals by Aleah X of Devil May Care. After the lazy ambience of "On the Desert,” Garcia kicks off "Angry American” with a very James Hetfield snarl then rips through another barnburner that closes the album. Garcia’s glorious pipes are the most up-front in the mix, as this Hermano instalment is the closest he’s come to Kyuss yet. (Meteorcity)