Kyuss

Muchas Gracias: The Best of Kyuss

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Leave it to Kyuss -- a sorely underappreciated band whose music was so ahead of its time that its huge influence became apparent only after its demise -- to put out a best-of set that really isn't any such thing. In fact, Muchas Gracias: The Best of Kyuss is more of a collector's item, combining nine of the band's would-be hits (four of them in previously unreleased live versions) with no less than six album leftovers and B-sides. Predominantly instrumentals, few of these rarities actually approach the caliber of the band's incredible studio albums (the ultra-heavy "Shine," the frenetic "Flip the Phrase," and the epic "Sandpiper" come close) but Kyuss fanatics are bound to consider them a long-lost treasure nonetheless. For the first-time listener, however, Muchas Gracias paints an incomplete portrait that omits some of the cult heroes' best-known material, including the bludgeoning riffage of "Green Machine" and the space rock thrashing of "Odyssey." Neophytes are therefore advised to pick up either of the band's two best albums Blues for the Red Sun or Sky Valley instead.

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