(Small Stone Recordings)
Gary Arce is a name that is synonymous with the desert rock and stoner rock scenes around the world, scenes that are widely known for down tuned guitars played through bass amplifiers and riffs, riffs riffs! Fortunately for Gary, his trademark sound takes on a different direction and he has been able to forge it through a blend of finger picked echo – laden and reverb drenched polyphonic overtones that is able to transcend the stoner rock sound and touch on aspects of free jazz, psychedelic, surf and punk with his band, the legendary Yawning Man. Gary’s guitar work can best be described as an audio kaleidoscope of ambient colorful sounds and tones that has the potential (depending on substance ingested) to take the listener on an ethereal journey and he has expanded his catalog and his collaborative network with his newest venture called Zun. Zun is a joint collaboration between Gary Arce (Guitars, Bass, Lap Steel), Serra Timms (Vocals – Ides of Gemini, Black Math Horseman) John Garcia (Vocals – Kyuss, Unida, Slo Burn, Hermano, John Garcia) along with Gary Arce’s longtime musical partner Mario Lalli (Bass – Fatso Jetson, Yawning Man), Bill Stinson (Drums/Percussion – Yawning Man, Chuck Dukowski Sextet), Robby Krieger (Electric Scitar – The Doors) and Harper Hug (Drums and Synths) that has taken shape in the form of an album release entitled Burial Sunrise that is set to see a release by prominent heavy rock label Small Stone Recordings. To call Zun a band would be giving it an understatement, they are an experience and a trip and here is why:
Recorded in Palm Springs at Thunder Underground Studios, Burial Sunrise is a six track album where each track paints a vivid, textural and dream sequence landscape for the listener, beginning with the John Garcia backed “Nothing Farther” that showcases Gary’s signature reverb driven finger style playing that gives a warm tone and transcendental feel to accompany John’s vocals. What is interesting and noteworthy is that John departs from his signature croon style vocals and expresses his parts in more of a soft spoken singing vocal style. Segueing from there is “Into The Wasteland” which features Sera’s gloomy yet enchanting vocals accompanying Gary’s playing on both the guitar and lap steel and tribal-like percussion which gives off an otherworldly feel for the listener. “All For Nothing” is a bass groove heavy jam with Garcia’s soft style vocals making a second appearance while the brooding yet soothing voice of Sera Timms makes its second go about to accompany the church bell rhythms of Gary’s guitar in “Come Through The Water.” The final appearance of Mr. Garcia’s voice is featured on the “All That You Say I Am” track which contains plenty of polyrhythmic instrumentation consisting Gary Arce enacting slide and diving effects with accompaniment by soothing percussion and rhythm brought by desert scene veteran Dave Stinson. At the end of the journey, Burial Sunrise concludes with the bass driving Solar Incantation and the final appearance of Sera’s vocal stylings on the record, quite possibly the stand out track on the record do to the great blend of Serra’s voice with the overall mood, tone and setting of the song.
This album is quissential Gary Arce styling, no doubt about it. It is perfect for anyone who is a collector of the releases from the circle of bands and players in the desert scene or is looking for something new, different and relaxing in a scene that is known to be harsh and heavy. (Matthew Hutchison)