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Various Artists : Listen Without Distraction - A Tribute to Kyuss

I can think of few - if any - bands that have been more influential on our community than Kyuss. It's a joke, really. They've influenced dozens, if not hundreds, of bands worldwide, especially in the stoner heyday of the late 90s. I mean, you've got your 'Sabbath, you've got your Spine of God, you've got your this, you've got your that.....but so often if comes back to Kyuss.

So it was all the more surprising when I read about 'Listen Without Distraction...' coming out, only to realize that nobody's ever done a Kyuss tribute before. Almost 10 years on, and never a tribute? It should have been done years ago, but maybe everyone felt a bit daunted by the idea. After all, can you imagine doing better versions of 'Demon Cleaner' or 'Gardenia' than the masters themselves did back in the 90s? I can't either, but I'm glad that Hugo at Dias de Garage had the balls to do it anyway. The funny thing is, knowing what little I do about the Kyuss boys, they'd probably be the last ones to view the group's output as a sacred cow, enshrined forever in the Halls of Heaviness. I imagine that they're as interested in hearing these interpretations as the rest of us.

Like any compilation, 'Listen Without Distraction...' is hit and miss. More hit than miss, definitely, but at least everyone gives their all, and whether the version is faithful to the original or not, there is always respect. My personal faves are Cygnus' 'Thumb', Buffalo's 'Odyssey', and Sunferno's 'Gardenia'. All are pretty faithful versions, although the last one has an organ to give the song a cool europrog sound. That's how it is on this sampler: even the covers that follow the originals most closely have their own twist, and some have a good deal more than that. Your three favourite cuts will undoubtedly be different than mine, which is cool. That's probably the way it should be.

It's odd that it took a record label from the "bottom of the world" in Argentina to come up with this compilation of South American artists covering Kyuss songs. Props to them, sez I. The label already has two excellent releases under their belt (Dragonauta and Buffalo), so why not take the bull by the horns for their third release? After all, it's good enough for Scott Reeder (just read the liner notes), so it's got to be good enough for you and me, right? The real value in this is that hopefully it will encourage other, more prominent labels in other parts of the world to do the same thing. How about a doom compilation of Kyuss tracks? It's all good, but in the end the best thing about it is that it inspires me to go back to my collection to listen to the originals again.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. 'Thumb'
2. 'Green Machine'
3. 'One Inch Man'
Sandero Luminoso:
4. 'Love has Passed Me By'
5. 'Writhe'
Los Natas:
6. 'Allen's Wrench'
7. 'Odyssey'
8. '100 degrees/Whitewater'
9. 'Space Cadet'
10. 'Phototropic'
Sick Porky:
11. 'Demon Cleaner'
12. 'Supa Scoopa and Mighty Scoop'
13. 'Gardenia'
14. 'Asteroid'
Regular Xon:
15. 'El Rodeo'
Gallo de Dina:
16. 'Spaceship Landing'

Duration : Approx. 74 minutes

Visit the Various Artists bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Kevin McHugh
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