John Garcia - John Garcia (Napalm Records)

Familiarity does not necessarily breed contempt...
Release Date: 
31 Jul 2014 - 11:30pm

Well, it's been a long time coming but finally Mr Garcia has released a solo album, and while there are no big shocks or surprises, it's still a meaty album of head-shaking tunes. Opening with My Mind, it's a case of BOOM! It's definitely John on the vocals surrounded by thick guitars, rich in tone, with that kind of muted sound that we know and love. The bass strolls about the piece, cheekily popping up here and there. Lovely. Then it's the Black Mastiff cover Rolling Stoned; it's got groove and it's a bit stroppy like an over-confident coke-head strutting his/her stuff. Assured and cocky but wholly delightful. Flower gives the listener more opportunities to bob along - those seeking 400bpm metalcore will obviously steer well clear of this stuff but for those who dig both John and the stoner movement, they'll be most satisfied.

The Blvd offers raunch while 5000 Miles is pure head-shaking desert stoner goodness with majestic, slow chords that step up the pace as the track progresses onward. Where the fuck is my wizard-shaped bong? The weirdly disjointed out-of-time play of Confusion is minimal - just John and a fuzzy guitar (aside from a sprinkle of cymbal at the very end of the tune) to freak out the tea-heads as they reach for another cone and a smidge more chocolate. Suddenly you're being sucked into the punchy intro to His Bullets Energy. Oof! You're twisting my mellow, man. Personal favourites Argleben (massively thick and fuzzy) and Saddleback (more raunchy joy with some ultra sexy drum work) bring the listener to All These Walls for a last serve of the bluesy, rootsy good stuff.

Finally it's Her Bullets Energy with legendary guitarist Robby Krieger (The Doors) laying down saucy Flamenco guitars while John croons his sun-blackened, crispy heart out. Soulful, man, soulful. So yeah; no real surprises but a whole bunch of solid, stoner tunes. Nice - and to top it off John is touring Australia in September so you can catch him busting these tunes out in the flesh - totally fucking awesome.

Now where did I put that bag of stinky weed?