Review: Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band – Black Power Flower (2014)


Vista Chino man turns up the heat on new release.


The opening minute of this album, courtesy of “Controllers Destroyer”, takes you right back to the early 1970’s and the prophetic doom of Midlands masters of metal Black Sabbath. Once the 60 seconds are up though we are thrown right into the familiar world of the Stoner Rocker and inparticular, one of the finest purveyours of said genre, Mr Brant Bjork.

The man’s credentials are not in question. From Kyuss through to Vista Chino, via a labyrinth of solo albums and projects, he has consistently driven the movement forward. Not on his own, of course, but he has been a consistent presence in the scene from the “glory days” of the 1990’s through to it’s most current revival.

The key character and inspiration on this album would be the Nevada heat. It permeates through every track. The psychedelic effects that Bjork employs keep the temperature high. It could almost be a soundtrack to a man’s isolation in a desert. Perhaps it is.

Take, for example, the track entitled “Boogie Woogie On Your Brain”. If ever there was a track to sum up a wander through the desert then this might well be it.

Other tracks such as “Ain’t No Runnin’” veer from the footprints marked in the sand and head for a slightly experimental road. The sound differs even if the pace remains consistent with the other tracks. The twin-guitar sound is a welcome change and displays one of the added touches that make Brant the leader he is rather than a follower.

With nothing to prove he can really do whatever he wants with his music and you can clearly hear that freedom here. If “Buddha Time (Everything Fine)” fuses the Blues, Stoner and good old Rock n Roll, then “That’s A Fact jack” ramps up the pyschedelia . He has all colours of the spectrum covered. Seemlessly fusing them all together to create a Stoner template that harks back to the early days whilst simultaneously pushing into the future.

Backing up Brant on this release are the talented Low Desert Punk Band, which consists of bassist Dave Dinsmore, guitarist Bubba Dupree, and Tony Tornay on drums. All three are vastly experienced in the art of rhythm and chunky riffage and seem more than willing and able to join Brant on his sojourn back to the plains.

Grab a beer or two. Put this album on your turntable. Turn off the lights and put off this long cold winter that’s about to begin for an hour or so and bask in an old school stoner summer.

Donnie’s Rating: 8/10

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