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After listening to John Frusciante’s The Empyrean over and over I was prompted to dig into my CD collection (remember CDs? they were great) One of my high school friends … well I say friends but it was one of those we’ve known each other for so long so by default we’re friends. We never had anything in common but we still hung out throughout high school.

One of his passions was his guitar, something I had no interest in but still I endured countless hours of him lost in his 12 strings. But one side effect of hanging out with a guitar head was he was always on the cutting edge of music; which when we hung out in the 90s was alternative guitar rock.

He was always a step of ahead of the mainstream and I would always watch in amusement as he would find this great band but then they would become popular and he would agonize whether to hate them because they were successful and everyone else was listening to them. One of the bands that were spared the horrible fate of success was Kyuss. Now I’ve had an aversion to excessive guitar music. I view the guitar as a support for lyrics and the song not a chance to play a 12 min guitar solo. The only exception to this I’ve had are the incredible John Frusciante’s The Empyrean and Kyuss’s …And the Circus Leaves Town album. Both are amazing but Kyuss takes incredible guitar music and goes a little harder, edger than the more recent Frusciante album.

Kyuss was a metal band formed in the late 80s and throughout its history plagued by infighting and high band member attrition. The band’s only continuous members were vocalist John Garcia and guitarist Josh Homme. The band was praised by critics but never succeeded commercially. Their one album …And the Circus Leaves Town did gain some airplay and sold well but shortly after it was released the band broke up. Ever since they went there separate ways there have been talks of a getting back together. The always accurate Wikipedia claims that while the rest of the band wants to tour again Homme rejects any talk of a comeback:

The offers come in all the time. They’re getting more and more expensive, and more and more elaborate. The money is crazy, but I’ve never been tempted – I don’t really care about the money, I never have. That’s not what KYUSS was about, so to punctuate the end of our sentence with that would be blasphemy. KYUSS fans are so fuckin’ rad, they’re fuckin’ badass — but to me, reunions are just not necessary. It’s not what it was, it’s what it is, and KYUSS was a really magical thing — and if you weren’t there, well, you weren’t. That’s just the luck of the draw. I don’t feel the urge to do it for somebody who didn’t have the opportunity to see us, or just didn’t take the opportunity to see us. I’ll let other bands alter their great legacies. KYUSS has such a great history that it would be a total error. I like that nobody saw KYUSS, and that it was largely misunderstood. That sounds like a legend forming to me. I’m too proud of it to rub my dick on it. –Josh Homme, May 2007

Pure class! I’ve recently started listening to the circus album again and can’t believe I haven’t had it on rotation. I mean just try and get the “El Rodeo” track out of your head! Try not to get hypnotized “Phototropic”, and “Size Queen” just dirty guitar goodness. So if you’ve been looking for an album can be played on high rotation this is your ticket.

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