Brant Bjork – The Kings Arms June 6, 2014

Thursday night at The Kings Arms it was all about the riff as former Kyuss member Brant Bjork brought his Low Desert Punk tour to Auckland and rocked the house relentlessly.

There are times when you just need to be overwhelmed by the power of two guitars, a bass and drums, and fortunately, this was one of them as Brant Bjork and his recently-formed band…Bubba Dupree (guitar), Dave Dinsmore (bass) and Tony Tornay (drums)…created a mighty sound that fell somewhere between The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Black Sabbath.

Bjork himself is no slouch on the guitar himself, tossing of riffs that would have made Tony Iommi drool.

The set began, appropriately enough, with Low Desert Punk, a track from Bjork’s 2006 album Jalamanta. The band was on fire from the get-go, each member contributing to the sonic assault.

And, God, did it feel good. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the sound at a Kings Arms show sound like this…sure there was plenty of volume, but not too much…but there was also power to back it up, both in the playing and the amplification.

Bjork’s music is often described as “stoner rock” and he fed right into that label with Let The Truth Be Known, adding a bit of humour to the mix as he paused, and sometimes stuttered, before singing “And Get Stoned!”. The crowd was right with him, loving every minute.

With this new band came some new songs. The first offered up was We Don’t Serve Their Kind and it was another burner. This was followed by another…possibly named Requiem…that featured a big, sludgy riff.

The band proved they could jam as well. I Miss My Chick Went on for 10 minutes, while set-closer Freaks Of Nature clocked in at 12. Neither ever dragged…there were plenty of dynamics throughout, with drummer Tony Tornay really giving his all on Freaks Of Nature.

As it turned out, Bjork saved his heaviest riff for last. The band returned for an encore and performed another new song. Nude Bowl Nights was written about skateboarding, according to Brant. It served to send the blissed-out crowd back out into the Auckland streets with their ears buzzing. Hopefully these guys will get the opportunity to record an album soon. If Thursday’s show was any indication, it will be something special.

Marty Duda

Click on any image to view a gallery of concert photos shot by Michael Jeong:

Brant Bjork set list:

  1. Low Desert Punk
  2. Lazy Bones/Automatic Fantastic
  3. Let The Truth Be Known
  4. Too Many Chiefs…Not Enough Indians
  5. We Don’t Serve Their Kind
  6. Requiem
  7. I Miss My Chick
  8. ‘73
  9. The Future Rock (We Got It)
  10. Freaks Of Nature
  11. Nude Bowl Nights