TVD Live Shots: Slo Burn at The Garage, 6/14

When legendary stoner rock band Kyuss split up in 1996 after releasing 4 genre-defining albums, their future was unwritten. Guitarist Josh Homme went on to form Queens of the Stone Age while frontman John Garcia would experiment with several musical projects. Arguably the best was a short-lived band called Slo Burn. Even though they technically only released a 4 song EP more than 20 years ago, the legacy and appetite for the band lives on—big time. (There is an album recorded for Red Ant Records in 2001 that is incredibly difficult to find.)

Fast forward to last week at the Garage in London. It was hotter than hell in 600 capacity venue and it was jam-packed. I managed to squeeze my way into the photo pit about 30 seconds before the band hit the stage. I think I saw Kyuss once on the Sky Valley tour and I remember seeing Unida in NYC years ago, but Slo Burn was sort of a mythical band that no one thought would resurface.

From that point on it was a heavy-duty, high-voltage riff-a-palooza for 90 minutes straight. Even though I didn’t recognize every song, it all sounded familiar. The first thing that you notice is that this band is incredibly fucking tight, the second is that Garcia’s voice is one in a million. Furthermore, his knack for melody is unmatched. This guy can write and sing over the top of pretty much any riff in the world and make it his own, and that’s something that very few singer-songwriters can achieve at scale. When you hear Garcia, you know it’s Garcia—period.

Highlights for me included the 4 songs I know from the EP and pretty much every other song in the set that night which apparently included 3 new songs (thanks to the superfans who fill this stuff in on setlist.com by the way). I would guess that means there’s a new album either in the works or already done. Either way, that’s good news.

Bottom line: John Garcia charges forward with the best post-Kyuss project to date and shines a glimmer of hope on the faces of insanely dedicated fans.

Random note: The term “stoner rock” really needs to go away. I think it dumbs down the idea behind much of the genre’s music, not to mention pigeon holes the bands while turning away potential non-stoner fans. Someone, please fix this.

Check out hi-res shots from this incredible show here in the gallery.

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