Hermano –…Only a suggestion
Every time I listen to John Garcia’s latest project, Hermano, I am reminded of the first time I punched someone in the face. The hair on my neck stands up, the adrenaline rushes, and everything flashes to red. For a short time, I am lost. I am running on a volitile mixture of instinct, anger, pleasure, and fear.
Torn from the carcass of the deceased rock gods, Kyuss in the early 90′s, emerged two distinct entities: Those who were born John Garcia, and those who were not. The second group went on to form Queens of the Stone Age, and represent the introspective, internal struggle of the dichotomy. They are Kyuss’s more melodic pop metal underbelly, now comprised completely of ex-Kyuss members. It’s the introspective, cool side you bring out to meet the ladies.
On the other side, there stands the lone wolf: angry, powerful, violent, and unpredicatable. If the Queens of the Stone Age is the hand, Garcia is the middle finger. After the split, Garcia went on to form the short lived Slo Burn (who put out a single, phenomenal EP), Unida, and then on to his latest project, Hermano.
This is the side of the dichotomy that calls the hottest, slinkiest woman at the bar a bitch, punches out her boyfriend, and has her and her best friend making him breakfast the next morning. It’s not logical. It’s not nice. It’s devoid of femininity. It’s the Freudian Id. It’s punching the boss (yours or Springsteen, take your pick…) in the face, lighting a cigarette, and jumping into a ’72 Challenger and lighting them up. It’s a winning fistfight. It’s fucking for your ears.
But like a fistfight, it’s adrenaline packed, and ends all to quickly. The album is early Van Halen in length, sporting a mere 8 tracks and 28 minutes in length. The final sound heard is Garcia unexpectedly screaming, "Motherfucker!" so loud that it actually distorts the recording. The ensuing silence leaves you with the same lost, guilty pleasure of standing over your tormentor after punching him in the face, and wondering if you went too far.
…and then hitting him one last time.
©Jonathan E. Dyer