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Using the Useless

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Album Review

A band housing three out of four musicians who briefly made Unida such a promising threat to take over the stoner rock universe, before being broken by the most heinous major-label machinations, Palm Desert's aptly named House of Broken Promises attempt to go Garcia-less (as in without missing former colleague, singer John Garcia) on their 2009 debut, Using the Useless. And after just a few songs, it's pretty safe to say that the first question most listeners will be asking is, "Garcia who?" Not only does bassist/vocalist Eddie Plasciencia step up to the plate with an impressively soulful snarl, reminiscent at times of the band's former frontman, as well as Corrosion of Conformity's Pepper Keenan, but his rhythm section partner, Mike Cancino, and guitarist extraordinaire Arthur Seay respectively pummel and shred their instruments, as though channeling a half-decade's worth of bitter frustration. For his part, Seay also seems motivated to revive the guitar hero role in stoner rock after years of virtuosic scarcity on a level with Monster Magnet's Ed Mundell or Solace's Tommy Southard; this while churning out the thickest, chunkiest six-string tone from his rig this side of Zakk Wylde (wailing harmonics included). The really good news is that, unlike Wylde's Black Label Society, thunderous House of Broken Promises songs like "Blister" and "Buried Away" don't suck! And along with additional riff monuments such as the groovy "Obey the Snake," the jerky "Highway Grit," and the Spanish-sung "Ladron," they bulge at the seams with a level of aggression, desire, imagination, and — how's this for a shocker — good hooks and choruses that may actually be strong enough to finally dredge the stoner rock scene out of its widespread new millennium morass. Just like Unida was supposed to, come to think of it, so take heeds, long-suffering fans of the genre; Using the Useless finally gets that sadly doomed band's mission accomplished, by hook or by crook!

Customer Reviews

Unida, without the master, John Garcia!

This has to be the finest stoner rock offering since the mighty Unidas Coping With The Urban Coyote! Awesome, just think Unida without Gsrcia(currently still jamming with Hermano!)
Invest, sit back, rock out, smile, do it all over again!
U will not be dissapointed, trust me!
Paid my dues, worth the price alone.


Genre: Rock

Years Active:

House of Broken Promises arose from the ashes of Unida -- the once highly touted stoner rock powerhouse led by vocalist John Garcia, post-Kyuss -- whose would-be second album became entangled in major-label intrigue and red tape, and never (officially) saw the light of day. So when the journeyman singer took his golden pipes elsewhere in 2007, the remaining trio of guitarist Arthur Seay, bassist Eddie Plasciencia (who had recently taken over for another departed Kyuss alum, Scott Reeder), and drummer...
Full bio

Top Albums and Songs by House Of Broken Promises

Using the Useless, House Of Broken Promises
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