Wednesday 12 October 2022

Brant Bjork - Bougainvillea Suite (Album Review)

Date Released: October 28th 2022. Record Label: Heavy Psych Sounds. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Bougainvillea Suite: Tracklisting

Trip On The Wine

Good Bones

So They Say

Broke That Spell

Bread For Butter

Ya Dig

Let's Forget

Who Do You Love


The King Of Californian Desert/Stoner Rock Cool Brant Bjork returns with his fourteenth album Bougainvillea Suite. An album that sees Brant opt for a more laid-back sound that is more driven by Soul Music, Jazzy Beats and Sixties Hard Rock attitude. Maybe not as heavy as his recent solo efforts and with STONER. This album is carefree and free-spirited Brant that matches the vibe and mood from his Jacoozzi album.

Opening song Trip On The Wine is an upbeat funk, solo and jazzy offering with a lush Psychedelic Desert/Stoner Rock sound. Brant feels like he's channelling his love for all things Sixties Psych Rock with a slight Hard Rock vibe. The music is slow-paced but always with a fresh swinging attitude that has a slight Sly & The Family Stone influence. 

Second song Good Bones follows a similar pattern but with Brant's legendary Desert Rock sound having an almighty SWINGING style of Rock for the first few moments of the song. Things soon speed up with faster grooves that have echoes of the classic Desert/Stoner Rock sound. The lyrics and vocals have a playful attitude towards them .The song does become more confident when the slightly heavier grooves appear. The music is sublime with a wide array of different sounds and instruments on this track.

Third song So They Say feels inspired by bands such as CREAM and The Doors with the funky Sixties Psychedelic sounds that work brilliantly well with the Desert/Stoner Rock attitude of the whole song. The vocals and lyrical content are mostly within the Psychedelic Rock arena with fantastic organ keys being quite lovingly seedy with attitude to match. There is still a sense of WEEDIAN ATTITUDE and REBELLION on this album but with the BITTERSWEET atmospherics allowing Brant to try something different we haven't heard from him in such a long time.

The next two tracks on the album Broke That Spell and Bread For Butter are the standout tracks on the album. As it's a more seedier Blues Rock based Stoner Rock adventure. Brant is joined by Ryan Gut (STONER) on percussion and keys on the whole album whilst Nick Oliveri appears on Bread For Butter could have easily been included on the most recent STONER album. These two tracks perhaps include the heaviest and most Psychedelic grooves on the album. Brant feels more comfortable or more at home on these tracks.

The final three songs Ya Dig, Let's Forget and Who Do You Love allows Brant the perfect opportunity to mix and match the heavier and quieter sounds of the album with a more Heavy Rock presence appearing on Ya Dig and Who Do You Love. 

Bougainvillea Suite is another wonderfully passionate album from Brant Bjork. This shows why he's one of the most important figures within the Desert/Stoner Rock scene. The album is brilliantly produced and one that has a refreshingly modern sound even with Brant's intentions to release a more subdued and classic sounding record.

Heavy Psych Sounds are once again releasing this album and that is another reason why this is a first rate musical package.

Bougainvillea Suite is a must have album that will appeal to all fans of the Desert/Stoner Rock scene.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo.

Bougainvillea Suite will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Heavy Psych Sounds from October 28th 2022.


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