Kylesa – From the Vaults Vol.1 (Season of Mist Records)

Wednesday, 27th March 2013
Rating: 8/10

Simply stating “Vol.1” for anything gives off an inflated sense of ego. Cue dumb band-dude voice: “This is our first best-of collection, ‘Vol.1,’ ‘Vol.2’ should be on its way in a few years.” Sure it will. Most bands aren’t stupid enough to make such bold proclamations, and by no means is Georgia’s Kylesa a lacking-for-brain-cells bunch, so they get a free pass with From the Vaults Vol.1, a collection of leftovers, b-sides, and covers. Even if they did call this a “best-of” or something similar, methinks no one would make a fuss. Pretension is nowhere to be found with this gang.

Common sense with Kylesa dictates that this collection makes good sense, for the five-piece (don’t forget they have two drummers!) has been grinding it out on the international touring circuit for nearly a decade. The band’s jumpstart came via 2005’s stellar Time Will Fuse Its Worth, one of the more cohesive and accessible stoner rock joints (get it?) put out in recent memory. Nevertheless,From the Vaults does score one for variety, as heard on the punk-inspired “Bottom Line II,” a song that gives the band’s preserved Sabbath riffs some muscle, while “Inverse” and “Paranoid Tempo” are interestingly, more hardcore in their delivery.

Longtime set staple “Set the Controls For the Heart of the Sun” (originally performed by Pink Floyd) is a fitting companion to “Between Silence and Sound Part II,” another coy atmospheric number. Actually, this is where Kylesa is at their best – in the margins between Sabbath and Floyd, and when Laura Parsons does more singing (she has more personality than main singer Phillip Cope). A cover of Buzz*ven’s “Drained,” coupled with a drum jam help close out the set, which totals 12 songs in all.

A nice segue between 2010’s slightly underwhelming Spiral ShadowsFrom the Vaults Vol. 1 gives Kylesa some time to regroup and clean out the ‘ole closet. No doubt they’ll be back at it with a new album in 2013.

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