For many of you, the name John Garcia doesn't mean a whole lot. I get that. For some of us - people that have long loved the world of Stoner Rock and Metal, John Garcia is every bit the musical God that people like Ronnie James Dio, Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson are in the world of "classic metal". With Kyuss alone, Garcia quite literally defined exactly what this genre is supposed to sound like. His post-Kyuss projects all ventured in slightly different directions and showcased an uncanny ability to add more and more to an already brilliant musical style. For the first time since Kyuss, Garcia seemed to truly put every creative thing together perfectly with Vista Chino. Much like artists do though, he immediately ventured away from that to do something again a bit different and much more personal to him. That project is the simple, self titled JOHN GARCIA. While it's not quite as accessible as Vista Chino was to the every day fan, this might just be his best work yet. The legend continues.
Having spoken to Garcia recently, he told me that many of these songs were decades old that he always wanted to bring to life. For many of them, he added a new spin to them which just fleshed them out in new directions than they were originally intended to be heard in. Whatever the case, it works. As someone that owns all the Kyuss, Unida, Hermano and Vista Chino music, I can say in all sincerity that many of these songs stand above all that history. "5000 Miles" is, without question, the best song of Garcia's career. The riff that drives that song is simple and nasty; a truly addictive groove will have your head banging throughout the entire song. Other songs, like "The Blvd" are equally appealing and impressive. Garcia's voice is powerful throughout the entire disc, but it's only a small part of the equation. More than ever before, Garcia just sets a mood that carries through from start to finish. When you listen to songs like "His Bullet's Energy" (which features Robby Krieger of The Doors), you hear a lot of Queens Of The Stone Age, only with the grit that band never took with them once Josh Homme split to form that band. Other songs, like the emotion filled "Confusion" just ooze the pain and frustration that Garcia is trying to express perfectly.
PITRIFF RATING - 97/100 - As this genre of music goes, JOHN GARCIA is one of the best. While I think Vista Chino's PEACE might be a touch easier to digest for the everyday rock fan, this solo work is a fuzz filled home run from the single greatest artist the genre has ever seen. JOHN GARCIA is an emotional listen, and I'm quite sure that is exactly what the namesake of the project was going for. Mission accomplished.