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Vista Chino: Peace

A welcome return for some familiar faces

Assuming the name Vista Chino doesn’t instantly ring a bell, there’s still every chance you’ll be familiar with the past of at least three-quarters of this California-based four-piece, with Messrs John Garcia, Nick Oliveri and Brant Bjork being better known as alumni of Kyuss.

Denied use of their former monicker Kyuss Lives! by a lawsuit instigated by old comrades Josh Homme and Scott Reeder, Vista Chino’s songs retain the stain, drinking deep from the acid-infused waters that nourished fellow travellers Sabbath, Hawkind and Blue Cheer.

If anything, the luxuriantly filthy, immersive riffs that underpin Peace are a little too cosily familiar, with Belgian guitarist Bruno Fevery incautiously biting Homme’s trademark guitar tones; excellent though they are, the fervid Dargona Dragona and the hypnotical swirl of Adara are just a little too safe for their own good. And then you reach the album’s closing track, the gloriously sprawling, three-minute Acidize The Gambling Moose, and suddenly Vista Chino’s true potential blossoms, as they dip and weave and shimmer beyond the edge of the horizon.

More of this fearless extravagance and these grizzled lifers can start assembling their own devoted cult.