Vista Chino Peace

Vista ChinoPeace
Despite the album title, the road to the Vista Chino's full-length debut has been anything but peaceful. Originally entitled Kyuss Lives!, the group were formed in 2010 by former members of legendary desert rock deities Kyuss. However, in 2012, a lawsuit launched by former guitarist Josh Homme and bassist Scott Reeder against vocalist John Garcia and drummer Brant Bjork effectively prevented them from using that moniker. Undaunted and rebranded Vista Chino, Garcia and Bjork were joined by guitarist Bruno Fevery (Arsenal) and bassist Mike Dean (Corrosion of Conformity), and have moved forward, creating music very much in the spirit of Kyuss, if not under the same banner, with Peace. The record isn't an attempt to mimic the style of Kyuss, but neither does Peace attempt to escape the mammoth, stoner rock sonorousness that gave it birth. There is an open, meandering quality to the record, a subtle but powerful use of space (highlighted particularly well in "Barcelonian") that gives Peace both a lightness and sense of gravity. It's defined a by a sense of organic complexity, which sometimes opens into a thick network of sonic fractals, as on "Acidize/The Gambling Moose," or softens to an easy minimalism ("Adara"). While it's impossible to discuss Vista Chino without comparing them to Kyuss, Peace is a proud and powerful first effort that does an admirable job of acknowledging its origins without being shackled by them. (Napalm)