Sunday, 15 January 2017

DSW ~ TALES FROM THE COSMONAUT ..... review


DSW hail from Leece, Italy, a four piece band consisting of Stefano "Wolf" Lombardi (vocals), Marco Papadia (guitar), Stefano Butelli  (bass) and Marco Mari (drums). DSW formed back in 2010 and in 2011 released their debut EP "Dawn Storm Watchers", the EP was warmly received by the stoner/rock underground but soon after  the EP's release the bands original singer Mattia Marchello left to be replaced by Stefano "Wolf" Lombardi. With a new singer in place the band soon recorded and released their first full length album "Dust Storm Warning" causing the trickle of recognition and admiration the band garnered with their first EP to suddenly turn into a virtual wave. Since the release of "Dust Storm Warning" the band have been honing their chops on Europe's live circuit, gaining new friends and fans with their delicious brand of heavy and psych drenched rock'n'roll, as well as writing and recording new material for their forthcoming and long awaited second album "Tales From The Cosmonaut" (Acid Cosmonaut Records) due for release January 2017.


From the spacey desert refrains of opener "Vermillion Witch" ,with its spacey hard rock groove, to the Kyuss-like closer "Acid Cosmonaut" the listener is treated to a virtual smorgasbord of assorted grooves that range from  jazzy fusion blended with heavy riffage ("The Well"), through torch -like heavy blues ("Mother In Black") to heavy and complex rhythmic stoner ("Crash Site"), all drenched in layers of warmly fuzzed guitar, massive bass and pounding percussion and all overlaid by strong powerful vocals. Lombardi's gritty clean tones dominate every track on "Tales from The Cosmonaut" having an almost "classic rock" quality to them, his throaty bluesy roars soaring over and around Papadia's  crunching, fuzz drenched riffs and scorching solo's. Beneath this tour de force of vocal excellence and fretboard wizardry Butelli's thrumming bass and Mari's thundering drums keep everything solid and tight, the pair laying down thick layers of delicious rhythmic groove for the singer and guitarist to strut their respective stuff over, the heartbeat of both the band and the album.
DSW with "Tales From The Cosmonaut" have made and album that not only delivers on the promise shown on previous releases but exceeds that promise.
Check it out .....

Saturday, 14 January 2017

WHITE LIGHT CEMETERY ~ CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR .... review


White Light Cemetery are, in their own words, "a heavy assed blues rock band" from Lafayette, Lousiana influenced by artists ranging from Motorhead through to Hank Williams III. The band,
Shea Bearden (vocals/guitar), Thomas Colley (drums),  Tara Miller (bass) and Ryan Robin "Cletus" (guitar), have since their 2008 formation built up a formidable reputation  as a live band as well as releasing one EP "Crow Sessions" and one album "White Light Cemetery".  The band have recently signed with Todd Severin's Ripple Music.and are about to release their second full length album "Careful What You Wish For".


 "Careful What You Wish For" is an album of fuzzed out metallic southern groove driven by powerhouse drumming and big gnarly bass lines. Over these tumultuous waves of rhythmic groove guitars  deliver crunching riffage and searing lead work into which powerful slightly drawled, slightly throaty clean vocals are delivered.
With every track on "Careful What You Wish For" deserving of commendation it seems churlish to pick out highlights but if a gun was held to Desert Psychlist's head then the Bad Company-esque " On A Dime" and the hard rocking "Waiting" would be top of the list.


The underground rock scene has long been populated by bands employing a southern rock edge to their fuzzed out and distorted grooves, Down, Crowbar and Corrosion of Conformity to name but three, however not many have managed to also shoehorn into those grooves the elements of classic rock and blues that first popularised the southern rock genre and made Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers Band household names, except maybe NYC's Raging Slab and now White Light Cemetery.
Check 'em out.....

Friday, 13 January 2017

SODA YELLS ~ SODA YELLS EP ..... review


Italy has, over the years, built a solid reputation within the subterranean music scene for turning out exciting and innovative doom music often influenced by Italy's horror movie genre,  not so much however is spoken about the countries hard rock, stoner/desert scene.
Soda Yells are here to redress that balance, the five piece band from Cagliari,, consisting of  Claudio Murru - Guitar, voice, Paolo Angelo Loi - Bass, Mauro Spanu - Drums, Stefano Pisano - Guitar, synth, Lap Steel and Matteo Urru - Keyboard, synth, play a quirky mix of blustering hard rock and sandy desert grooves heavily influenced by the likes of QOTSA and Kyuss, all of which can be heard on the bands debut release "Soda Yells EP"


First track "Pocos, locus y Malunidos" an instrumental, opens with a lone fractured, deeply distorted guitar motif that is then joined by the rest of the band in a bluesy desert refrain injected with touches of curly guitar lick dressing. Short, sharp but totally delicious it leads almost immediately into the next track.....
"Desert On The Sun" begins all Arabic and mystical then segues into a series of dusty desert grooves replete with keyboard and synth colouring underpinned by stuttering rhythmic drum and bass patterns over which fuzz drenched guitars and clean slightly indie/new wave-ish vocals are laid.
"16:9" jams a diverse groove that journey's through a series of differing soundscapes crossing genres as it goes, one minute touching base with the kind of country and western played on old spaghetti cowboy movies, the next toying with grooves usually reserved for those bands of the British indie movement. Eclectic and quirky the song has a QOTSA meets Artic Momkeys feel that is disarming yet quite intriguing.
"You've Got Gasoline In Your Throat" sees Soda Yell hitting a slightly more "traditional" desert groove with the band swapping back and forth between two time signatures, over which clean distinctive vocals are sung  and around which the drums and bass deliver another stuttering rhythmic tour-de force, before finishing, grand style, with guitars wailing in a blaze of hard rocking glory.
"Black Rubber Baloons" brings the EP to a finish with another slice of hard rocking, sand blasted quirky desert groove which again employs the bands signature of shifting seamlessly through tempo's and dynamics before fading to the close on a wave of gently tranquil classical feeling keyboard texturing.
Italians seem to like to do things a bit differently when it comes to underground rock music and Soda Yells EP's mix of stoner fuzz and hard rock blended with British "indie" colouring is just that "different"
Check it out .....

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

SWEET LICH ~ NEVER SATISFIED ...... review


New wave of heavy metal grooves peppered with stoner fuzz and punky attitude.... from Sweden!


If you were in England in the late 70's you would have found it hard not to spot among the armies of spikey haired, safety pin wearing punks the occasional long haired denim clad youth with Iron Maiden or Judas Priest emblazoned across his back, The British New Wave of British Heavy Metal grew up alongside that of the punk movement and apart from the differing dress codes and hair styles both movements managed to co-exist side by side quite amicably.
Sweden's Sweet Lich recreate those heady days of galloping bass lines and twin guitar harmonies but bring them up to date by sprinkling them with a little stoner grittiness, and even a hint of punk-ish attitude. The bands new album "Never Satisfied" blends early Maiden-esque metal grooves with the hard rock bluster of fellow Swedes Graveyard, Witchcraft etc. but dispenses with those bands penchant for bluesy swagger and instead opts for a more traditional metal direction. Vocals are delivered with sneeringly maniacal glee over backdrops of driving hard metal leaning nearer to early Iron Maiden front man Paul Di'anno's  throaty howl. than  Bruce Dickenson's later air raid siren style,  music and vocals combining to give the band's sound a rawer, grittier "stoner" edge.
Sweet Lich serve up an album that boasts a plethora of seriously good tunes, with "Aim", "Never Satisfied" and "Fight" standing out for Desert Psychlist, but i'm sure listeners will have no problem in finding their own personal favourites among the eight songs that make up "Never Satisfied"
Check it out ....

Saturday, 7 January 2017

ROADKILLSODA ~ SPACE ECHO & TIME .... review


RoadkillSoda are, Mircea Petrescu (vocals and rhythm guitar), Mihnea Ferezan  ( guitar), Victor Ferezan (bass) and  Mihai Nicolau (drums),  the four Buchares based musicians have previously released three studio albums and are currently promoting their fourth album "Space Echo & Time"
RoadkillSoda's "Space Echo & Time" manages to achieve a duo of firsts for Desert Psychlist, firstly RoadkillSoda are the first Romanian band to have graced these pages and secondly the band new album "Space Echo & Time" is the sites first 'acoustic' album review.


The first thing to initially hit the listener is how damn good these songs sound, even without the help of a stack of amps behind them, the strong grooves the band are renowned for still  remain but are infused with an almost laid back campfire quality (not surprising  seeing as the album was recorded in a mountain shack) that is both refreshing and delightful.
The album mixes up old favourites with new material and "new boy" Petrescu tackles both magnificently bringing a down home bluesier southern feel to the proceedings with his gritty stoner raw tones. Of the newer songs it is probably "Aural Lake" that shines the brightest, it's mix of psych ambience and  unplugged stoner groove perfectly suited to its "semi" acoustic setting.
An acoustic album might not be what RoadkillSoda fans were expecting for a fourth album so it has taken quite a bit of courage on the bands behalf to have released "Space Echo & Time"  but is a move  that Desert Psychlist, on the strength of this album, wholly endorses.
Check it out .....

Friday, 6 January 2017

SÔTANO ~ EL REY MÁQUINA .... review


First a history lesson....
Back in the 70's Chile's notorious dictator General Augusto Pinochet imposed a ban on all forms of rock music pushing what was already a rather subterranean culture even further underground. Thankfully things took a turn for the better (musically at least) after the deposal of Pinochet and his military dictatorship allowing Chilean musicians and in particular Chilean rock to once again flourish.
Today Chile boasts a broad spectrum of rock ranging from the extreme to the experimental and covering everything in-between. Whether this sponge like absorption of styles and genres is a direct result of the restrictions of the past is something you would have to ask Chile's musicians about but one thing is certain the country's rock scene is thriving under these new freedoms.


Santiago's Sötano, Ivan Villanueva (guitar & vocals), Víctor Silva (bass & vocals) and Alejandro Sanhueza (drums), a band from that scene, are a trio specialising in hard hitting, riff fuelled stonerized metal, and have just released their debut album "" via Bandcamp.


Some albums are described as "growers" needing repeated plays before listeners begin to appreciate their subtle nuances and  musical shades,"El Rey Máquina" is not one of those albums, instead of sneaking stealthily into your psyche this album slaps you hard and demands your attention from the vey start. All lyrics on "El Rey Máquina" are sung in the bands native Spanish tongue but this in no way detracts from the enjoyment non-Spanish speaking listeners will derive from hearing this album as the sheer power and tone of the vocals carry the songs and sit perfectly within the molten hot grooves laid around them Songs like "Perro", "Piedra Negra" and the excellent closer "Solo a Golpes" are all driven by tumultuous percussion, booming bass lines and coated in varying degrees of  fuzzed and distorted guitar colouring creating delicious stoner metal grooves that are old school  heavy but never brutal.
If Pinochet was alive today he would certainly not have approved of Sôtano and most certainly would not have been found headbanging along to "El Rey Müquina". oh well his loss is our gain!
Check it out .......

Thursday, 5 January 2017

CARNAVAL ~ MISS UNIVERSE....review


Carnaval are, Ažo - guitars & vocals,  Vičo - guitars,  Mato - drums and Sacco - bass, four guys from  Ljubljana, Slovenia who take their influences from the classic/hard rock of the 70's and sandy desert grooves of the 80's, blending those influences with elements of alt/grunge, space/psych and the blues creating an intriguing and unique sound  that is totally their own, as can be heard on the bands fourth album "Miss Universe" (KAPA Records)


One of the things that hits you when listening to "Miss Universe" is the depth of musical diversity that presents itself across the albums nine tracks, heavy stoner riffage sits side by side with grunge-like quiet/loud/quiet dynamics, bluesy guitar solos next to neo-classical shredding and on "Round Nose Cat"  even a little improvised free jazz just to keep things interesting. The band also mix it up vocally with gritty stoner, melodic shoegaze and 60's pop harmonies all making regular appearances sometimes separately, sometimes all in the same song. What really sets "Miss Universe" apart though is the strength of songwriting and arrangement that has gone in to this album, songs ebb and flow effortlessly through differing dynamics and time signatures going off on tangents but never losing their focus, this combined with the excellent production makes this an album that should be savoured and enjoyed for years to come.





Slovenia is not a country high on many peoples lists when it comes to quality "underground" rock music, those positions are usually reserved for the likes of Sweden, Greece and the USA but if there are other Slovenian bands churning out albums like Carnaval's "Miss Universe" then it might be well time we re-thought those lists.
Check 'em out.....