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And the Circus passes through.... - 80%

enshrinedtemple, May 24th, 2016

“Yeah, yeah put it in gear baby, that’s what I like about you baby, you are always on time”
And the Circus Leaves town was the final studio album by the legendary Kyuss. Kyuss would endure another lineup change. Brant Bjork the drummer would ride off into the sunset and Kyuss would carry on minus two members. Not to minimize the departure of Oliveri but losing Bjork had to be a punch in the gut. Bjork had so many contributions that went above just playing the drums. The songwriting process included Bjork and he was very instrumental to the bands previous two albums. Circus is a very flawed album, but still it’s got its fair share of quality material and shining moments. Circus is not comparable to their past glories however as the band struggles to the finish line.

The music itself is quite enjoyable despite the shortcomings and the politics involved with the musicians. There is solid single like songs but there is a lack of cohesion to me. Every song to me sounds good by itself but within the context of the album, it just sounds like typical Kyuss. Nothing really new or trailblazing that the band did not already do much better. It plays more like a collection of good songs rather than a cohesive effort from their past. If you like Kyuss, you can put these on and find plenty to enjoy

One Inch Man is one of the songs that is really killer and works as a single. It does have a music video attached to it that is also entertaining. Its catchy and the video conjures up psychedelic imagery with the band playing. This song embodies what Kyuss are about. A little humorous, but at the same time hard rocking and serious. Their more serious side shows up on El Rodeo. It’s a really heavy track that keeps building. It probably could have worked as an instrumental but Garcia uttering the phrase RODEO just sounds so good!

Looking at the song titles, it looks like Kyuss were starting over as a band. They let a lot of humor shine through with titles like Tangy Zizzle and Thee Ol’ Boozeroony. Perhaps the desert and the band politics really got to them so they wanted to make light of the situation they were in. Or they were just on a lot of drugs. It definitely sounds like they had a lot of fun recording what could have been a train wreck.

The Circus was indeed leaving town after all. As they say all good things must come to end. There is a little bit of disappointment due to high expectations but one can only expect so much for so long. I applaud the members of Kyuss for fighting through issues when they needed to and letting it come to a graceful end. Yes, I am ignoring the subsequent reunions of Kyuss Lives and Vista Chino. This is not a place to get into those but I agree more with Josh’s side of the coin. Why reunite and further tarnish? There are plenty of moments where I see the other side of the argument too. I can listen to Vista Chino but it just makes me think of Kyuss and the great music they created.

We all know that Circus is Kyuss last studio album and Josh Homme would go on to form Queens of the Stone Age and John Garcia would go on to form Unida. They knew it was time for Kyuss to be done after Circus was completed. They knew the spark was dying out and I commend them for that. Rather than letting themselves get too stale, they quit before worse things would inevitably come. If Kyuss kept going, I am sure it would have just been Mr. Garcia steering the ship and it would not have worked. In doing this honorable deed, Kyuss cemented their legacy as the premier stoner and desert metal band.