Brant Bjork - Europe ’16 album review

A live primer for novices, and a reaffirmation for the faithful

Cover art for Brant Bjork - Europe ’16 album

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Much like the effects of the marijuana leaf that adorns the cover of this live album, time becomes a relatively meaningless concept in the world of former Kyuss and Fu Manchu drummer, and multi-instrumentalist Brant Bjork. So while the album title tells us the music was recorded in 2016, the overall vibe is rooted deep in ’72.

In keeping with the weed-fuelled vibes of those far off days, this live album sees Bjork and his band stretch out those de-tuned and tar pit-thick riffs into extended and exploratory wig outs. So it is that Low End Punk becomes a head-nodding 10-minute groove while Lazy Bones-Automatic Fantastic floats away on multi-coloured psychedelic waters. Elsewhere, Buddha Time lurches forward, its guitars dragged through parched desert dust.

Alas, the album suffers from too many fade-outs, thus making it feel more like a ‘Best Of’ but these are still effective hits from the bong.

Julian Marszalek is the former Reviews Editor of The Blues Magazine. He has written about music for Music365, Yahoo! Music, The Quietus, The Guardian, NME and Shindig! among many others. As the Deputy Online News Editor at Xfm he revealed exclusively that Nick Cave’s second novel was on the way. During his two-decade career, he’s interviewed the likes of Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and Ozzy Osbourne, and has been ranted at by John Lydon. He’s also in the select group of music journalists to have actually got on with Lou Reed. Marszalek taught music journalism at Middlesex University and co-ran the genre-fluid Stow Festival in Walthamstow for six years.