Words Ian Hawkins.
He’s had Bro’s, he’s had Operators, and now Brant Bjork has enlisted the services of his Low Desert Punks to create ‘Black Power Flower’, 50 minutes of Bluesy stoner rock from the mind of one of the godfathers of heavy.
Laying down some Fu Manchu style fuzzed out guitar sounds, Bjork sings like a man of many experiences, using his guitar to preach the sound of the desert, telling us in the opening track Controllers Destroyed that “radical love is our destination”.
With the Low Desert Punks, Bjork has assembled a gang of seasoned desert muso’s, comprising Dave Dinsmore of Unida & Che on bass, Bobby Dupree of Void on guitar and Tony Tornay of Fatso Jetson on drums. The Low Desert Punks lay down some classic stoner rock, whilst Brant Bjork dishes out wisdom served with fuzz.
With some Thin Lizzy style twin guitars on Stokely Up Now, the band delivers the ’70s sound beefed up with the mondo of the desert. Hustler’s Blues sees some great drum / bass interplay in the intro, developing into a smooth boogie before taking things up a notch with a solo.
My personal highlight is Where You From Man, which laces some lazy desert jams with drops of Monster Magnet style vocal lucidity, creating a hypnotic daze to bring the album to a close. Dave Dinsmore’s bass playing throughout the album is pretty straight forward, allowing the positive space of the occasional lick and fill to contrast significantly with the negative space of the riff. With the characteristic low mid Rickenbacker snarl to complement a thick, smooth, rolled off fuzz tone of the guitars, we get a familiar Kyuss-y tone, whilst the drums are much drier and tighter.
Bjork’s vocal melodies are often pretty similar, and there isn’t a whole lot of variation across the album, which to my ears makes this album hard to distinguish from a lot of stoner rock over the past few years.
If you are a fan of the Desert Scene, Fu Manchu and old school ’70s rock, this is an album worth a spin and a dig..
Brant Bjork And The Low Desert Punk Band – Black Power Flower is available HERE NOW!