Brant Bjork and the Bros - Mike Peffer on drums, Dylan Roche on bass, and Cortez on guitar - rolled into Babylon (and that's not all they're rollin' if you catch my drift) for some lowdown groove and the emission of hip vibrations to a decent-sized Monday crowd. No opening act, but who needs one when the headliner steps on stage at 10:45 and steps off at 1 a.m. with only a 15-minute break?

Their sound reminds me of a bunch of bands from the Chicano rock scene of the early 1970s: Sapo, Azteca and early Santana. Between Bjork and Cortez’s extra-wide bandannas and Roche’s fly shades and short-brim fedora, the band wouldn't have looked out of place at a West Coast free festival circa 1972. Add some of the desert rock vibe of Kyuss and Queens of The Stone Age and Bjork's past in Nebula and you've got some primo stoner rock.

The band revved through several tunes from Bjork’s post-Nebula albums. The riffs were strong, but the band’s laid-back approach and low-key stage performance made for a mellow rather than driving set.

The action did pick up a little when Bjork started working some feedback by jamming his guitar headstock into his cab; and his Hendrixian facial expressions definitely added to the retro air. This was followed hrough in a a reinterpretation of Cream’s 'Sunshine of Your Love' and it was 1969 all over again.

The band quit the stage for a drink and to use the facilities; then Bjork returned to the stage with Peffer to begin a slow build for another 45 minutes of music.

Heavy, man.

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Commenting On: Babylon, Ottawa, 30/5/2005 - Brant Bjork and the Bros

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