Sunday, 19 February 2017

SUPER SNAKE ~ LEAP OF LOVE ... review


"Four tracks of the sleaziest,dirtiest in your face rock'n'roll since Axl & co reared their dirty faces.Wonderful! "...These were the words Desert Psychlist wrote on the bands profile page back in 2012 after hearing the bands debut EP "Summer Girls", a raucous, almost glam metal, brand of  grind and sleaze that recalled those heady late 80's/early 90's days of big hair, spandex and eyeliner. Five years have passed since the release of that EP and although there are still elements of that Sunset Strip sound to be found within Super Snake's grooves the bands latest release "Leap of Love" proves to be a whole different animal.


Whether the band have been mixing with musicians from the more extreme edges of the music scene or its just a natural progression but there is a darker edge to the grooves that make up "Leap of Love" and its an edge that sits easily on the ears. The swagger and cock-sure arrogance that was the staple of the bands previous releases still rears its head on songs like "Hot Pavement", "Get Lost, Be Mine","Dreamcoated" and "Big Seize" but are tempered by elements of psychedelic texturing and hazy vocal melodies. Where Super Snake really show a new found  maturity though is on those songs where the band step slightly outside of themselves and take a leap into newer more experimental territories such as on the reggae tinted "Spirit Cave" the occult-lite " Lavish Sum of Dread" and the psych drenched and slightly doom-ish "Take My Breath" pulling elements of other genres into their gritty sleaze drenched grooves and stamping their own identity on them.


There is always room for a bit sleaze and glamour in  rock music and Super Snake deliver that in spades on "Leap of Love" but they also show they are more than just a raucous rock'n'roll band ...they are also intelligent and an innovative one too.
Check 'em out ....

Friday, 17 February 2017

STONERROR ~ STONERROR ... review


Stonerror pushed all the right buttons with the release of their debut EP "Rattlesnake Moan" prompting Desert Psychlist to describe it, within these very pages, as "an exciting debut that although a little raw in places nevertheless promises great things for the future". The band, Jarosław Daniel - guitar , Jacek Malczewski - bass, (voice on "Misbegotten"), Łukasz Mazur - vocals and Maciej Ołownia - drums, with a little help from Maciej Cieślak - guitars, keyboards, and percussion and Marcin Lisak - guitar on "Blues for the Red Sea"
have now delivered on the potential shown on that EP with the release of their first full length album "Stonerror".


Those raw edges found on "Rattlesnake Moan" have on "Stonerror" been sanded down a touch but have been done so without compromising any of the edgy grittiness that made that EP such joyous and essential listen for those fans of the stoner/desert persuasion. The Kyuss/QOTSA - like grooves, that were an integral part of the bands sound on the debut EP, are still there in abundance but are tempered with elements of psych, blues, alt/grunge and old school hard rock textures. combining to give the album a far more interesting and diverse feel. Songs like "Red Track", "Misbegotten" and "The Wolf" continue the bands tradition of jamming dusty desert grooves coated in clean melodic vocals over hard driven rhythms but it is when the band step outside of the restraints of their desert/stoner roots that things start to get really interesting. On   "Los Hermanos" the band experiment with elements of mood and atmosphere utilising a slow burning Colour Haze-esque groove over which hushed ,almost whispered, vocals are delivered, the song undulating between quiet passages of eerie otherworldliness and heavy stoner groove before finally finishing on a lone guitar motif and fading to silence.Not content with this the band even throw a little folky colouring into the mix with the delightfully sublime and eclectic "The Ride" pouring Wishbone Ash -like vocal melodies over a mix of acoustic and electric grooviness The psych drenched final track "Blues for the Red Sea" sees Stonerror exploring their lysergic side, the bands initial stoner/desert groove, populated with driving rhythms and reverb soaked vocals, suddenly taking off into full on instrumental mode with swirling Hawkwind-esque keyboard effects swooping back and forth over a  backdrop of tumultuous drumming, boneshaking bass and acid tainted guitar colouring before finishing on a wave of  glorious swirling, swooping noise.


"Rattlesnake Moan" was an EP made by a band trying to find their feet in a scene populated by giants, "Stonerror" sees that band standing on those feet and now staring those giants square in the eye
Check 'em out .....

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

WHEEL OF SMOKE ~ MINDLESS MASS ... review


Time to catch up on a release from a band Desert Psychlist has been following since the arrival of their debut "In Sense"(2011). The band in question are Wheel of Smoke Erik Heyns (guitar,/keys),  Filip Remans (guitar,/vocals,) Tristan Michiels (bass,?vocals) and  Jouk Op De Beeck (drums? percussion), four guys from Belgium with a penchant for 70's hard rock grooves spliced with elements of psych, prog and grungy stoner grit. The release is the bands third full length album and flies under the banner of  "Mindless Mass".


From the opening hard rock salvo of "Degeneration", with it's stoneresque grooves coated in throaty garage/punk style vocals interspersed with moments of prog-like colouring and textures, through to the grungy psychedelic journey that is "Feral" Wheel of Smoke deliver a tour-de-force of groove that has the potential to take off in any given direction at any given time. Gifted musicians of the highest calibre Wheel of Smoke are not a band to be confined to one genre or one time signature filling songs like "Bad Shepherd", "Unnamed" and "Synchronicity" with a myriad of differing grooves and textures that at times can leave the listener slack jawed and in a state of awe inspired wundernent
Check 'em out ....

Sunday, 12 February 2017

STINKING LIZAVETA ~ JOURNEY TO THE UNDERWORLD ... review




Yanni Papadopoulos (guitar), Alexi Papadopoulos (bass) and Cheshire Agusta (drums) are Stinking Lizaveta an instrumental band from Philadelphia who have been plying their trade around the venues of the world since their formation in 1994 gaining a reputation as a solid live unit as well as during that time releasing seven well received albums. The band have been described as playing a form of stonerized heavy instrumental rock  that some have referred to as "doom jazz", the trio laying down heavy grooves of intense metallic rhythmic bluster coated in a mix of complex and prog-like guitar pyrotechnics. This year (2017) the trio release their eighth album "Journey To The Underworld" (Translation Loss Records)




The first thing that hits the listener when listening to "Journey To The Underworld "is the high levels of musicianship that Stinking Lizaveta bring to the table, Cheshire Agusta's incredible drumming is the base on which Stinking Lizaveta build their grooves, jazzy and intricate with the lightest of touches one minute a whirling dervish of crushing percussive might the next shifting seamlessly between the two dynamics without missing a beat. Alexi Papadopoulus meanwhile holds down the bottom end with some stunningly deep and intricate bass playing, whether locking in with Agusta, to lay down swathes of complex rhythm or filling in the spaces left by the guitarist with exquisite booming liquid bass lines the bassist is never less than brilliant. Guitarist Yanni Papadopoulus pours into this heady rhythmic brew a mixture of finger blurring neo-classical shredding, gently picked arpeggios, crunching powerchords, djent -like riffage and jazzy chord progressions managing to avoid the trap of overindulgent noodling by playing inside the songs rather than over them. It's  hard to pick favourites from "Journey To The Underworld" as each of the nine songs that make up the album have something about them to savour and enjoy but if pushed Desert Psychlist would have to plump for either the schizophrenic "Witches and Pigs" or the prog metal-ish "Six Fangs" but others will have their own opinions.
Check it out ......

Friday, 10 February 2017

3 WHEELER BAND ~ SPACE TRIBE .... review


Sometimes no matter how diligent and finger-on- the- pulse Desert Psychlist tries to be some albums and EP's still manage to wriggle past unnoticed. "Space Tribe" by Mexican riff warriors 3Wheeler Band is one such release to dodge the net (the album was released at the ass end of December 2016) but thanks to an email from the band themselves this oversight has now been rectified.


Beginning with a brief intro of various effects cleverly called "Intro" "Space Tribe" then erupts into a series of gnarly stoner grooves populated by crunching guitar riffage and hard driving stonerized rock rhythms coated in larynx tearing vocals. Adrian G (vocals/ guitars), Davo C (bass) and Jose M (drums) lay down incendiary grooves  that although being informed by a love of classic rock bands like Deep Purple, Cream and Zeppelin are just as heavily salted with the more recent desert/stoner sounds of the likes of Atomic BitchWax, Clutch and Red Fang. Songs like, the wah drenched title track "Space Tribe", "I Ride", with it's NWOBHM galloping bass line and the Captain  Beefheart -ish "The Last Heavy Blues", borrow heavily from both the early and late 70's but are tempered with modern stoner/psych textures and colouring giving them a contemporary yet still very underground feel.
Check 'em out .....

Thursday, 9 February 2017

DDENT ~ آكتئاب


DDENT, an instrumental quartet from the "City of Love" Paris, France have been together as a working unit since their formation in 2013. The band, Louis (guitar, Marc (drums), Nico (bass) and Vinz (guitar), jam a groove that takes in elements of doom, prog and post-metal, blending these elements into a sound that is totally unique and totally their own and is one that can be witnessed on bands brand new album "آكتئاب"


Whether laying down grooves populated by post-rock texture and brutal doom-like riffage ("Arzel", "Kohol"), serving up huge ambient soundscapes ("Harbouz", "Julep") or just getting damn right proggish ( "Ghazel", "Azahar") DDENT do so with a confidence and musical skill that some bands don't achieve after a lifetime together. Each song on " آكتئاب" is layered with swathes of colour and texture, their grooves opening slowly like flowers to reveal a heart of fragile beauty then gradually closing as the darker edges of the bands sound draw in around them like a cold hard frost. Heavy, tender and intelligent in equal measure "آكتئاب" is an album that those toying with the idea of trying something from the cupboard of post-rock delights for the very first time should really check out.......

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

DOUBLE HORSE ~ DOUBLE HORSE ... review


Double Horse a three piece doom metal band from Valencia, Spain may not be high on the radars of many stoner/doom and psych devotees right now but the trio of Indio ( lead guitar and backing vocals), Pablosky (bass guitar and backing vocals) and Guille (lead vocals and drums) could soon be changing  all that if the raw doom drenched grooves found on their self-titled debut " Double Horse" are anything to go by.


Uncompromising grooves of doom in their rawest form are the order of the day for Double Horse, the Spanish bands sonic attack of low/slow untamed riffage driven by thundering percussion and salted with elements of space and psych, are further enhanced by the addition of low monotonic vocals giving the bands overall sound an eerie occult feel. Songs like "The Seventh Seal", "Feudalism"  and "The Other Side" although having a traditional stoner doom root probably veer nearer to the cosmic doom grooves of Ufomammut than they do that of  Sabbath or Electric Wizard owing to the swirling spacey undercurrents laying beneath each songs surface.
Raw and a little naïve in places "Double Horse" is nonetheless a fine debut from a band we should all be keeping our eyes and ears on for the future.
Check 'em out ......