At the dawn of the ’90s, residents of California’s Palm Desert region experienced mysterious tremors emanating from the dunes in the middle of the night. But this wasn’t some nuclear test or UFO landing—it was merely the sound of Kyuss revving up at one of their storied generator-powered outdoor happenings. Formed in 1987 (originally as Sons of Kyuss), Kyuss were a Gen X Black Sabbath cast from the DIY mould of Black Flag, and swiftly became local heroes for their rogue desert concerts. However, with their second album, 1992’s Blues for the Red Sun, Kyuss became your favourite grunge band’s favourite band, establishing the gold standard for modern stoner rock through the combination of John Garcia’s seething growl, Josh Homme’s lava-lamp-swirling riffs and the earthquaking grooves of bassist Nick Oliveri and drummer Brant Bjork. Alas, endorsements from the likes of Nirvana weren’t enough to boost the band’s fortunes and after two more commercially ignored psych-metal masterworks (1994’s Welcome to Sky Valley and 1995’s …And the Circus Leaves Town), Kyuss imploded. Homme soon found far greater success fronting the equally muscular but more accessible Queens of the Stone Age; however, Kyuss’ enduring legend would inspire Garcia, Oliveri and Bjork to reunite in the 2010s under the (legally mandated) moniker of Kyuss Lives!
- Palm Desert, CA, United States
- Hard Rock