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And the circus leaves town - 70%

Sheldon, April 6th, 2006

This was the bands final full length album, and it has to be said that with the loss of Drummer Brant Bjork, some of the flair and power to their music has also been lost. No discredit to Hermandez, but the same genius that was there on Sky Valley and Blues has just gone. This is still a fantastic heavy rock album, but by Kyuss standards it is a little weak.

The opening track kicks the album off promisingly, with Hurricane, despite having nothing new to offer from previous works, will still leave your neighbours wishing you were dead. One inch man calms things down a bit, with a catchy opening riff with signature thrumbing bass that put Kyuss on the map. But after this, the album slows down a little too much, with tracks like Gloria Lewis and Phototropic never really picking up.

But the album does redeem itself somewhat with the three closing tracks, Size Queen, Catamaran and Spaceship landing. Each progress the Kyuss sound further. Size Queen sees a fantastic vocal performance from Garcia, in fact his voice is one of the things that really came along on this album, boasting more melody before and being more varied than on previous works. Catamaran, again far more melodic vocals, and this time clean guitars to match, and the thrumbing bass, so prominent on the other tracks, only makes itself known in the chorus. It is like no other track they have done before. The final track, Spaceship Landing, is over ten minutes long, Kyuss are accustumed to writing tracks of epic size and proportions in the past, but this track, despite being long, has a more dark and sincister kind of theme. It does not put you in mind of vast sweeping desert scenery, it is more of a back to basics rock number, with a few breaks in it (10 minutes of thrumbing bass would numb even the most dedicated Kyuss fan).

This album, despite showing a new direction for Kyuss, lacks the shear size and uniqueness of Sky Valley or Blues for the red sun. It was to be the last they made to, and despite it's many flaws, it is still well worth a listen. Kyuss breaking up did however mean that bands like Queens of the Stone Age could come into being, boasting a more tight sound, they filled the hole that had been left in the wake of Kyuss.