Since leaving Kyuss (the seminal stoner rock band he co-founded back in 1994), Brant Bjork may have not been in the limelight as much as his former band mates, but he has maintained a healthy and prolific career with groups such The Bro’s, Vista Chino, Fu Manchu, Mondo Generator as well as appearances on The Desert Sessions and many other releases. This latest effort, the first with his newly formed band, The Low Desert Punk Band, doesn’t stray too far from previous territory, but in some ways that works even better, because you know what you are going to get, and you know its going to be good.
The album begins with the sabbathy doom laden intro of ‘Controllers Destroyed’, before the familiar infectious stoner groove kicks in, and you are back following the well trodden path much of his previous work. ‘Stokely Up Now’ and ‘Buddha Time’ keep up the momentum with their raucous fuzzed up noise that puts most of Queens Of The Stone Age’s recent efforts to shame. ‘Buddha Time’ especially has an almost Allman Brothers vibe to it.
The second half of the album heads in a looser, more experimental direction than the earlier tracks. ‘That’s a Fact Jack’ sounds like a slowed down Clutch. ‘Hustler Blues’ is similar. A laid back, smoked out jam that explores more than the usual influences, but it fits in just as well with everything else. The closer ‘Where You From Man’ again heads back to a Southern Rock style, with its smooth flowing guitar work and sparse vocals, a perfect way to end a very good album.
One of the best albums I have heard this year easily, and maybe one of the best that Brant has released in his long and distinguished career. “Black Power Flower” is one of those albums that just seems to flow so well. By the second listen, a lot of the tracks already seem like old favourites, and that comfortable sound is one that is so difficult to find without becoming repetitive and dull. Its catchy but also at times challenging at times, new and different but also very familiar. One of those albums that doesn’t come off the iPod once it has been out on there. A rarity in 2014, in that is was one of the few albums that I could listen to again as soon as one play of it had finished.