Brant Bjork and the Bros
Somera Sól

Brant Bjork has always exhibited a trademark laidback attitude about rock music, having first cut his teeth in the mega-influential stoner-rock icons Kyuss, then departing that success to join the looser but no less phenomenal Fu Manchu. With a slew of formidable solo records, Bjork now gathers Kyuss alum Alfredo Hernández on drums, Cortez on second guitar, and Dylan Roche on bass for the BBB’s third outing, Somera Sól.

Bjork’s modus operandi to rock hasn’t necessarily changed, though it’s slightly more urgent in tracks like “Turn Yourself On,” the slower “Love Is Revolution,” “The Native Tongue,” and the Queens of the Stone Age-laden “Shrine Communications” and “Chinarosa.” Wellwater Conspiracy’s tonal quality is referenced in “Oblivion,” yet it’s Bjork’s massive wah-wah that completely rules “Ultimate Kickback.”

One of the best cuts, “Blood in the Gallery,” is not sung by Bjork but Mario Lalli of desert-rock godfathers Fatso Jeston (and with whom Bjork played formally in the late ’90s). “Freaks of Nature” features Throw Rag’s Sean Wheeler on lead vox, sounding a bit like Monster Magnet’s Dave Wyndorf. Jazzy sax and flute are added to “Lion Wings” for a ’70s funk soundtrack twist, and the aforementioned “Blood in the Gallery” also uses these wind instruments to great effect, bolstering Lalli’s bass voice and Bjork’s Hendrix-styled guitar psychedelia.

With the recent demise of his own label Duna, it’s now evolved to Low Desert Punk Recordings (the name taken from a song from his 1999 solo debut, Jalamanta). Until the release of his new album, entitled Punk Rock Guilt (a term reportedly coined by former Kyuss bandmate Josh Homme and used to describe the breakup of Kyuss) on LDP, the warm tones of Somera Sól will suffice as yet another of Bjork’s many soundtracks of summer.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chris Ayers
April 17th, 2008

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