VERTIGO RECORDS ALBUM REVIEWS: BLACK FLOWER POWER by BRANT BJORK AND THE LOW DESERT PUNK BAND

vertigologo2011Yeah, I know.  This badass record has been out for a while now, and here I am just getting to it now.  Well, it’s not for lack of loving the thing, because sweet Jesus this is a good record.  I’ve never hid the fact that I really like this guy’s music, and he is currently one of a small handful of acts that I still pine over new release announcements.  Although I really dug Kyuss, and you can’t fuck with the drumming Bjork did for Fu Manchu, it’s that place his solo stuff sits at that makes me love him so much.  It’s that place between Kyuss fuzznastics, Fu Manchu’s driving power, and Thin Lizzy’s vocal cadence that has me cherishing everything this guy puts out.

Brant_bjork_pressIf I was going to dig at him a bit I would say that, up until now, the sound hasn’t really altered that much over the past few records.  I know Brant Bjork and The Low Desert Punk Band aren’t here to reinvent the wheel or anything, but Black Flower Power is just a bit heavier; a bit darker.  Maybe it’s getting back together with his pals in Low Desert Punk that sparked the slip to the dark side, but right from the get-go this record seems a bit more punk rock that anything I’ve heard him do in the past.  I mean, it’s still Brant Bjork and all his fuzznastic genius, but it just seems he is using the semitones a bit more and that gives it a heavier feel for sure.  Don’t fret though, that Thin Lizzy feel still rings true throughout.

The production is spot on too.  There are a pile of those little doodlydoos, all fuzzed out and fat, bouncing nicely in the mix, and, as usual, the drums sound is really big and round. I quite enjoy how he is using more than one principle sound for his guitar mix on this record.  It may have something to do with the ‘band’ dynamic he has with Low Desert Punk.  Even his records with The Bros felt to be Brant records played by a band of sidemen.  This record feels like it had multiple voices in the writing process.  I have no idea their process, but it feels like others have brought their ideas to the table with this one, and that is refreshing; it also makes the record different enough to keep me coming back for more.  I’ve listened to this record at least 5 times this week, and I still want more.

IMG_4294With all the recent hype of the Vista Chino project and the reissues of Brant-era Fu Manchu LPs, it is impressive that he can come at us with this album and somewhat nullify that hype.  It was when Brant Bjork picked up a guitar and used his fuzz wizardry to lull me into submission that I knew where my loyalty stood with all the desert dudes.  Plus, you can’t fuck with that Thin Lizzy thing; if you can pull that vibe out in your tunes, you will always win me over.  Great record.  Get over to Vertigo Records and get your copy today!  Fuck’n Eh Right!