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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: John Garcia Chills Out With His Second Solo Outing, 'The Coyote Who Spoke In Tongues'

THREE years after his eponymous solo album, John Garcia (ex -Kyuss, Slo Burn, Unida) returns with a very different beast, offering chilled out renditions of some well known classics as well as John Garcia’s solo work.

More acoustic and melodic than his previous album, this new release by John Garcia demonstrates a maturity in his vocals, although he still has a slight tendency to drift off key.

However, this is a very small criticism of a superb record. Not afraid to play with unexpected tempo changes, ‘The Coyote Who Spoke In Tongues’ is a very immediate album. No third or fourth listen is required before this becomes a favourite.The album kicks off at a pulsing pace with ‘Kylie’. With a memorable chorus, it’s a song that feels like an immediate classic. When you think you have it sussed, it puts on the brakes for a beautiful middle section.

 While less confident artists tend to front load their albums with the big, energetic numbers, John Garcia is so assured in the strength of his music that he is happy to take the foot off the gas on the second track ‘Green Machine’. It works and helps maintain the mood for the rest of the album. ‘Green Machine’ conjures up images of tumbleweeds and high noon stand-offs. It wouldn’t feel out of place on an album by those other storytellers, ‘Protomen’

‘Give me 250ML’ continues the loose, acoustic feel of the album. This track feels like John is playing to no one in a dressing room before hitting the stage. A simple but effective track.

Beginning with a catchy acoustic riff ‘The Hollingsworth Session’ continues the more relaxed approach that is unfolding with every song on this new Garcia recording.

A song that would sit comfortably on any 70s record, ‘Space Cadet’, unlike it’s title, feels very grounded. A perfect song for cracking open a few beers around a campfire

‘Gardenia’ has shades of ‘Zombie Eaters’ by Faith No More before it moves into a southern bluegrass final minute.

Unlike the other tracks on the album, ‘El Rodeo’ has an almost sinister opening. This song would fit perfectly on the soundtrack for the next season of ‘Westworld’. It is one of the more complex pieces on the record. However, it’s in this song that John’s vocal abilities seemed to be stretched too far, especially in the last section.

‘Argleben II’ begins gently and soon moves into one of the more memorable guitar riffs on the album. Like the rest of the recording it has a depth to it that creates a song that is more than the sum of its parts.

John’s guitar skills are beautifully evident in ‘Court Order’, the instrumental final track on the album. It is a very fitting way to close.

There’s no denying that ‘The Coyote Who Spoke In Tongues’ is a very confident record and definitely gives John Garcia another string to his bow.

If you are after an energetic record to bounce around your living room to then blast out John’s previous album ‘John Garcia’. If you are more in the mood for sitting in your rocking chair while sipping “lemonade” as the sun goes down, then stick this on and enjoy.

Review by Laurence Doherty

John is joined on the record by, Acoustic guitar: Ehren Groban, Percussions: Greg Saenz, Bass: Mike Pygmie

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