Brant Bjork Brant Bjork & The Operators

Who'd a thunk it? Ultra-infectious angular funk, soul, R&B and pop from stoner rock deity Brant Bjork. You could be forgiven for expecting slabs of fuzzed out riffage from the guy who wrote two of the all time heaviest Kyuss songs ("Green Machine" and "Gardenia") and brought much needed dynamics to Fu Manchu, but you'd still be wrong. Those familiar with his first solo album, Jalamanta, will know Bjork also has a taste for old school soul, funk and R&B. And once again it's Brant's show, as he plays almost every note you hear. Brant Bjork & The Operators finds Bjork straying even further from dessert rock. There are actual moments of pop glory, jazziness and flirtations with the off-kilter "robot rock" favoured by former Kyuss band-mate, current Queens Of The Stone Age axe-man and Can fan Josh Homme. Okay, Bjork hasn't shed big riffs and psychedelia completely (and that's a good thing), but this is quieter and more varied collection than anything he's done in the past. Music journalists regularly find themselves wedged between teetering columns of crap CDs, but this is the kind of gem that makes the hours wading through musical sewage worth it. (Music Cartel)