John Garcia spent twenty years amassing the tracks for this album and as they spread themselves out like a desert vista all the assorted colours of his career are brought to bear.
‘My Mind’ gets things rolling in a distinctively familiar fashion, a slow burning rocker with a big chorus and some glorious bass work in the second half that gives way to the growling menace of Black Mastiff’s ‘Rolling Stoned’ and its very un-Garcia like opening lines: ‘If you leave me, I will kill you’. Perhaps by playing a card like this early, John Garcia is letting his audience know that his solo album may not be everything they expect and there is certainly more than a little diversity on display.
From there the album continues to offer catchy hooks and solid grooves through the likes of ‘The Blvd’ and the Danko Jones-penned ‘5000 Miles’ until the album’s mid-point. ‘Confusion’ is a minimalist piece built on a single guitar playing a doom-ridden riff with an understated vocal from Garcia with the second half of the album taking some nice dramatic turns leading to the enormously fuzzed-out rumble of ‘Saddleback’ and the upbeat ‘All These Walls’ with its surprising sprinkle of guitar ambience. The close-out is a reflective piece given the over-dubbed Spanish guitar stamp of approval by none other than Robbie Kreiger, final proof if any was needed that while the focus here is always John Garcia, he is more than willing to let his sidemen – including former bandmates Nick Oliveri, Dave Angstrom, Chris Hale and more – step out into the spotlight as well. Most importantly, even though some of the songs are very old, the care that Garcia has taken with the selection and running order makes for a consistent rock release from beginning to end.
For those still holding out for the return of Kyuss, John Garcia may prove a disappointment. Separate it from that kind of expectation, however, and what you have is a great rock record.
1. My Mind
2. Rolling Stoned
4. The Blvd
5. 5000 Miles
7. His Bullets Energy
10. All These Walls
11. Her Bullets Energy