Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band

Black Power Flower

Written by: BV on 27/12/2014 19:19:11

Fans of stoner rock will probably not be wondering who Brant Bjork is. For those uninitiated, Bjork is one of those heavily influential characters involved in the earliest developments (and initial success) of modern stoner rock from the so-called Palm Desert scene. As a drummer for Kyuss and Fu Manchu he garnered a reputation of his own, but it wasn’t until the release of “Jalamanta”, his first solo album, that he proved that he was no mere drummer. Several solo outings later, as well as albums by other projects like Vista Chino, we find ourselves here – with Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band’s new effort “Black Power Flower”.

“Controllers Destroyed” kicks off the proceedings with an upbeat Fu Manchu-esque ripper of a track which shows that Bjork has adopted a faster, heavier approach than what has been previously evident on his solo outings. The production of the track also shows a move away from the somewhat lo-fi tendencies of his previous work, making it all a tad more accessible whilst never really deviating from the initial appeal. As a songwriter, Brant Bjork is most definitely up in the same league, or at least relatively close, to the bands for whom he has had tenures. “Buddha Time (Everything Fine)” showcases this excellently with its bluesy stoner groove and repetitive mantra-like vocals. It is nearly impossible to not be swayed just a little by the grooves displayed here and should one be able to resist the urges to groove along, it shows restraint beyond what I am personally able to muster.

“Soldier of Love” continues the ever-increasing amount of groove on the album whilst also showcasing Bjork’s prowess as a vocalist – something often overlooked by most, it would seem, even though he seemingly possesses much of the same charisma as the front-men he has previously backed. “Soldier of Love” also embarks on a somewhat explorative psychedelic journey around the middle of the track where Bjork’s nasal fuzz-guitar solos on like it’s the only thing that ever has mattered and ever will matter - ”That’s what it’s all about!” sings Bjork in the midst of the thick haze of fuzz guitar, and I’m inclined to agree with him.

Closing with the long-running “Where You From, Man” it is evident that Brant Bjork has come a long way since his earliest exploits as a solo artist on “Jalamanta”. Lyrically he’s still not a mastermind but it never really seems of consequence when he is the godfather of groove he’s always been. “Black Power Flower” is, by all means, a rad mixture of Palm Desert stoner rock and psychedelic hard rock and I, for one, would be overjoyed to see Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band pursuing this particular musical formula for at least another album.


Download: Buddha Time (Everything Fine), Soldier of Love, Where You From, Man
For the fans of: Vista Chino, Fu Manchu, Kyuss
Listen: Facebook

Release date 14.11.2014
Napalm Records

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