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Kyuss Lives! - 89%

Doominance, January 20th, 2015

John Garcia formed Slo Burn in an instant after Kyuss split-up in 1996. Garcia and local friends from the desert wrote and recorded several songs under the Slo Burn moniker, but only four of them were recorded professionally and became their only official release: 'Amusing the Amazing'.

This EP is approximately 15 minutes in length with four great desert/stoner rock songs that are very similar to what Kyuss sounded like. The most obvious similarity are the vocals, because of Garcia's past as Kyuss' singer, but also the music itself is similar to what the legendary desert punks released in the early to mid 90s.

The guitars are down-tuned, heavy and fuzzy, but with fun, memorable riff that pack a good punch. The use of lead/solos are somewhat scarce, and when used, simple. But they're effective, because stoner rock is supposed to be straight-forward, fun and wild instead of bukkake'd by flashy wankery a la Dream Theater and so forth. The bass guitar is wonderfully heavy and wobbly, doesn't shy away at all, though, it can be a bit difficult to follow it at all times, because of the heavy and catchy guitar riffs and loud drumming. And speaking of the drumming, it's basic, groovy stoner-drumming by the books.

And that's what 'Amusing the Amazing' is really. Stoner rock/metal by the book. If you're familiar with Kyuss, you'll certainly have an idea what Slo Burn sounds like. The music is straight-forward, but isn't as basic as a lot of Fu Manchu's music. There's a fair amount of progression and tempo-changes in the songs, bar the opener "The Prizefighter", which is just a very short and one-dimensional rocker.

Unsurprisingly, that makes the opening track the weakest. The three remaining songs, though, are excellent. In fact, they're better than a fair amount of Kyuss songs, which says a lot, because Kyuss were THE desert/stoner rock band that released only excellent albums.

What would greatly improve 'Amusing the Amazing' is if Slo Burn had enough cash to add the missing demo tracks to this EP. They're also excellent songs; better than "The Prizefighter" and on par with the rest. "Wheel Fall" and "Positiva" would be the perfect additions and would almost stretch this EP long enough to be a full-length album, but what can we do? Nothing, but enjoy this criminally underrated and short-lived project.