Jana Miqdad. Offer Nissim Feat. Jonathan Slatter. Mary PopKids Feat. Punnany Massif. Sandford Clark. Marius Milani. Sylt Comfort Remaster Version. Miguel Lando. Even the band themselves admit this. While bad production can sometimes be a good thing if your playing a genre like black metal or punk, it is certainly not the case here. The sound is very muddy and dull. The guitar is the worse offender; it plods along with really mediocre distortion.
This lasts the whole album, so it can make it a bit hard to finish. While much of this album is not very exiting, there are some breaks in the mediocrity. Sure, the riffs are extremely simple, but that doesn't mean they're no good. Some of the best riffs of all time are dead easy to play. The vocal performance on this song is the best thing Wretch has to offer. The chorus, which repeats the song title, is irresistible.
The guitar, while sometimes hard to make out, is a classic example of the right way to play rock'n'roll. The vocals are even better; if the production was not as shitty, this song could have become a classic in Kyuss's discography.
After they realized they had released a painfully average debut with Wretch, they got their shit together and went on to create truly spectacular music.
What we have here is an average rock album with some punk and metal influences. It is nothing like the desert rock sound they later developed that proved to be so important to the stoner metal genre.
While this album isn't bad, its by no means good. It would be wise to skip this one and go straight to their sophomore album.
Kyuss are well known for being one of the initial bands in the burgeoning stoner rock scene; however their debut album 'Wretch' is anything but. Whilst there are certainly traces of 'Master of Reality' being channelled into their riffs, the hardcore punk influence that has always stirred beneath the surface of their sound rears it's ugly head in a far less subtle manner. The result being that 'Wretch' is more of a rough and dirty rock 'n' roll album that brings to mind 'Raw Power' and 'Kick Out the Jams'.
Unlike those previously mentioned albums however, 'Wretch' is inconsistent to an almost schizophrenic degree with songs varying in structure, length and style. Songs like "Katzenjammer" and "The Law" are worlds apart in their construction and sound; the former being based around a simple palm-muted riff for two minutes whilst the latter is an excellent example of the kinds of songs that Kyuss would go on to write; bizarrely up-beat, fuzzed-out doomy riffs with some faster sections and a psychedelic overtone that is particularly pronounced in the lead work.
The remaining songs on 'Wretch' are easily categorised depending on which of the two songs they happen to emulate, although admittedly the former crowd is the less creative and varied of the two with "Katzenjammer", "Isolation" and "Love Has Passed Me By" all being suspiciously similar due to being boiled down to the most basic elements of a song.
From the more evolved tracks "The Law" is easily the most well defined and thought out, but shorter tracks like "Black Widow" and "Deadly Kiss" are just as good with the same style of song writing employed. Of course there are some awful tracks here, and not even Kyuss is exempt from my disdain over their extremely amateur song writing. The solo is a nice touch but making it that far through the song is far too taxing on my patience.
Despite thinking "Katzenjammer" is very fun and catchy, it's obvious that the song lacks any depth and the lack of development makes it feel hollow and shameless. Even "Isolation" and to a lesser degree "Love Has Passed Me By", suffer from this problem of poor song writing and lack of progression not the superfluous wank kind mind you.
Really though, despite the overwhelming lack of homogeneity in the track listing, after about a million listens the album flows in a bizarre fashion that works almost too well. The whole tone of the album, thanks to the god-awful production and the mediocre song writing, instils an aura of reckless and uninhibited behaviour. I know that I'm always the one to shoot down pretentious cockwits who spout bland prose on why recording some bloke throwing toasters at a washing machine is deep and meaningful, that it is somehow more than the sum of it's parts.
It's the wind rushing past you as you fly down the freeway at in a car with the music turned up so loud you can't hear the suspicious noises the back left suspension makes.
I was confused; I was amazed. Kyuss proved me all wrong. Kyuss was a dream land of crazy, awesome guitar riffs, laden with psychedelic touches and intense grooves. The song is much different than later Kyuss and Queens songs; it gives a clearer example of the roots of the band. The song runs through a marathon workout of riffs before coming to a close and continuing to the rest of the album.
With upbeat, fast songs like 'Hwy 74' and 'Katzenjammer' the latter being the original name of the band , we can see a totally different side of Kyuss.
Songs like 'Katzenjammer' show the influence of punk on Homme and Bjork, who still add a Kyuss touch with a slower riff-based bridge in the center of the song. Unfortunately, though, the album does have quite a few flaws.
One immediately recognizable flaw is the production. The bass has incredibly high treble and is inaudible throughout most of the songs. In addition to production, some of the tracks are also subpar. That may be the albums biggest flaw. Kyuss Wretch 4. Rank: 59 for Big Baby Jesus 4. Although just a hard rock band traveling across California, mouth-watering at every opportunity to play a live set and lucky enough to land a cheap studio job for "Wretch", the album proves to be a solid prelude to what would be the legendary Kyuss.
The album contains a few tracks featured on the Sons of Kyuss EP, and the others are finished projects of their late 80's demos. Songwriting duties are handled by both drummer Brant Bjork who brings some boisterous jams to the table and guitarist Josh Homme. With husky vocalist John Garcia and bassists Nick Oliveri and Chris Cockrell to round out the lineup, Kyuss contains in and of itself future desert rock all stars.
Pure musicianship does not always equate to an epic record, though.INTRO TAB by Kyuss.