Riffipedia - The Stoner Rock Wiki
Studio album by Kyuss
Released September 23 1991
Recorded 1989 - 1991 at Master Control Recording Studios in Burbank, California (Except Tracks 4 & 6)
Genre Stoner rock, heavy metal, desert rock
Length 48:49
Label Dali
Producer Kyuss, Catherine Enny, Ron Krown
Kyuss chronology
Sons of Kyuss
Blues for the Red Sun

Wretch is the debut studio album by Kyuss, released in September 1991 via Dali Records. Notably it's the only studio album to feature original bassist Chris Cockrell via two songs from Sons of Kyuss while the remaining tracks would feature his replacement in Nick Oliveri. "Black Widow" and "Deadly Kiss" were taken directly from the Sons of Kyuss EP while "Love Has Passed Me By", "Katzenjammer" and "Isolation" were re-recorded for the album.

Retroactive perception of Wretch range from it being cited as an underrated album[1][2] to a relatively weak debut,[3] often criticized for it's production.[4] In a ranked list via Diffuser for their top Kyuss albums Wretch made the bottom spot, with the site stating: "Except for the already somewhat recognizable vocals of frontman John Garcia, Kyuss’ debut album literally sounds like the work of another band. Its production (or lack thereof) resembles that of a demo tape, flattening most all of the dynamics and giving no indication of the uniqueness that would soon follow. Instead, blazing tunes like “(Beginning of What's About to Happen) Hwy 74,” “Love Has Passed Me By” and “Katzenjammer” split the difference between thrash and hardcore without properly satisfying either description, and slower jams like “Son of a Bitch” and “Big Bikes” lack the power of the ‘70s rock that inspired them.".[5]

Stereogum would do their own ranking, this time with all of Homme's studio albums between his various bands. "Wretch" was ranked 11 and overall last, citing it as "a mixed bag" and a "jagged listening experience".[6] On 27 September 2016 The Quietus would publish an article celebrating the 25th anniversary of Wretch. praise Brant Bjork as the real star of the band through the early days and especially his drum performance throughout the record. The article closes with the following:

"Wretch will never be considered a masterpiece by either Kyuss or their fans. After all, back in 1991 none of the band had ever even been in a studio. They were used to playing their music under the open sky, surrounded by the same limitless desert that inspired them to reach ever further and delve ever deeper in their pursuit of a truly elemental sound. The fact that much of their debut record sounds like a band midway through the process of shedding its skin makes the brief glimpses of the band that they would become all the more jawdropping. Wretch is far more than just a curio for diehard Kyuss fans. It’s an immortal documentation of self-discovery, a testament to what can happen when the infinite parameters of true freedom are pushed to the limit.

At the heart of this process lies Brant Bjork, the band’s true ringleader and possibly the greatest backseat innovator since Ginger Baker. It was through Brant that Kyuss was born, burned fiercely and died young, returning to the same dust from which it had been formed. The man kept true to something bigger than himself and has been rewarded with a legacy that is unimpeachable."[7]


NOTE: Tracks marked with an asterisk also appear on Sons of Kyuss.

  • 1. (Beginning of What's About to Happen) Hwy 74 (Josh Homme) (4:43)
  • 2. Love Has Passed Me By (Homme, Brant Bjork) (3:12)
  • 3. Son of a Bitch (Homme, John Garcia, Nick Oliveri) (6:03)
  • 4. Black Widow (Homme) (2:44)*
  • 5. Katzenjammer (Homme, Chris Cockrell) (2:23)
  • 6. Deadly Kiss (Homme) (5:05)*
  • 7. The Law (Homme, Oliveri) (7:53)
  • 8. Isolation (Homme) (2:48)
  • 9. I'm Not (Homme, Garcia) (4:39)
  • 10. Big Bikes (Bjork) (5:01)
  • 11. Stage III (Bjork) (4:14)



Other Personnel[]

  • Catherine Enny - Producer
  • Ron Krown - Producer
  • J.B. Lawrence - Recording
  • Chris Fuhrman - Mixing (All tracks 4 & 6)
  • Michael Mikulka - Mixing (4 & 6)
  • Carol Hibbs - Mastering
  • Harlan Williams - Layout, Design
  • NTS - Art Direction
  • Mark Cieslikowski - Back Cover Photograph

External Links[]


  1. SputnikMusic
  2. Metal Reviews
  3. Sputnik Music
  4. 96.3 The BlazeHow Kyuss Got Off To A False Start With "Wretch", Accessed 14 April 2020]
  5. DiffuserKyuss Albums Ranked in Order of Awesomeness, accessed 14 April 2020]
  6. StereogumJosh Homme Albums From Worst To Best, accessed 14 April 2020]
  7. The QuietusIn Praise Of Brant Bjork: Kyuss' Wretch 25 Years On, accessed 14 April 2020]
V·T·E Kyuss
Past Members Josh HommeJohn GarciaBrant BjorkNick OliveriChris CockrellScott ReederAlfredo Hernández
Albums WretchBlues for the Red SunWelcome to Sky Valley...And The Circus Leaves Town
Compilations Muchas Gracias: The Best of Kyuss
Extended Plays Sons of Kyuss
Splits Kyuss/Queens of The Stone Age
Associated Bands Vista ChinoPeaceThe Desert SessionsQueens of the Stone AgeMondo GeneratorHermanoFu ManchuUnidaSlo BurnChéStonerChris GossMasters of Reality