Tuesday, 29 November 2016


Dead Otter hail from Glasgow, Scotland and are Scott Falconer (drums), Gav Riddell (bass), John Riddell (guitar/vocals) and Omar Aborida (guitar), four guys with a penchant for playing fuzzy stoner grooves enhanced by large elements of psychedelic colouring and proggish complexity all of which can be found on their brand new EP "Pathfinder".

The appropriately titled "Stoner Devil" opens "Pathfinder" with the band jamming a heavy dark doom-ish instrumental groove before fragmenting that groove with touches of prog -ish metal colouring and then spinning things in a completely different direction by going off into a heavy stoner blues jam overlaid with searing guitar pyrotechnics. "Open My Eyes...seen enough now" follows and continues the journeys into lysergic blues territory that informed the last half of the previous track but this time at a more sedate tempo and with the addition of vocals. John Riddell's vocals are clean, slightly hazy and sit perfectly within the psychedelic tinted grooves surrounding them. his voice sitting a little back in the mix allowing his guitar and that of his six-string partner, Aborida, to be the focus of attention, the two trading off solo's, licks and riffs over Gav Riddell's big funky bass lines and Falconer's dexterous percussion. "The Whangy" is another flight of instrumental fancy that once again sees the two guitarist up front and centre laying down swathes of fretboard fury around the differing foundations of rhythmic groove laid down by Falconer and G. Riddell. Title track "Pathfinder", another instrumental, brings the EP to a conclusion on a wave eastern  themed motifs wrapped around a core of desert rock rhythms that slowly shifts through the gears building in intensity and depth and that during its journey touches on elements of bluesy psych and swaggering spacey hard rock before ending in a swirling dark sustained effect.
If your a devotee of heavily psyched blues and your partial to swirling, swooping guitar interplay then Dead Otter have released an EP you just have to check out ......

Saturday, 26 November 2016


Seems to have been a while since Desert Psychlist was last extolling the virtues of the Greek stoner rock scene and the bands that populate it, maybe it's a result of the uncertainty of the Greek economy or the shock of  Greek heavyweights Planet of Zeus moving in a more mellower crossover direction but there has definitely been a lull in raucous sludgey stoner rock coming out from that country of late.

Livadeia's Beyond This Earth redress the balance with the release of their debut album, an eight track riff fest crammed full of swampy southern sludge and swaggering bluesy hard rock flying under the banner of "Universal Fury"

First track "Showdown" does not so much explode out of the speakers as rip them to pieces with it's gritty fuzz drenched stoner refrain before proceeding to stomp them to splinters with its gnarly pounding rhythms. If the listener is not already dazed and confused by this sonic onslaught then Akris Daskalos compounds the felony by coating the resulting grooves with a vocal that starts somewhere deep in his chest before erupting from his mouth in a deep grizzled throaty roar.
"Rock'n'Riot" is up next and begins with Paris Gatsios laying down a solid drum pattern before screeching feedback introduces the guitars and the song moves into a chugging hard rock groove.
Daskalos pitches his voice slightly lower here, his tone a touch less abrasive and warmer and sitting perfectly between the twin guitar attack provided by Chris Soad and Vagelis Katsampekis and just above Vfur Valantis' big booming bass lines. "Dizzy Stow" follows, its mix of stuttering stoner riffage and classic rock structuring underpinned by deft bass and drum work is further enhanced by a superb Daskalos vocal, the front man mixing it up between raw stoner bellow and throaty southern melodic. "Burn" is a retrospective heavy blues drenched lament that lyrically looks back on a life filled with guilt and regret and musically is a tour-de-force of emotionally charged rock swathed in a heavy cloak of dark southern groove. "Liberty" is next and sees Soad and Katsampekis trading off tasteful arpeggios and chordal colourings before taking off on a Cult-like guitar motif that leads into a crunch packed stoner chug. The song swings back and forth between both dynamics beneath a strongly delivered melodic vocal before finishing in a hazy psych drenched  mix of spacey ambience and bluesy hard rocking riffage. "The Martyr" has Beyond This Earth climbing back on the heavy stoner/sludge train they arrived on with a blistering mid tempo tune tempered with touches of swampy southern swagger. "The Fool" rocks a fuzz soaked atmospheric doom-lite groove that sees the band playing with elements of light and shade, Daskalos switching vocals dynamics over an atmospheric blend of chugging heavy riffage and ringing arpeggios driven by the excellent rhythms of Valantis and Gatsios's. The mood changes as the song approaches its conclusion with the band shifting through the gears and closing on a raucous wave of  hi-octane rock'n'roll. Title track "Universal Fury" is a glorious blend of punkish sludge and psych drenched doom and is almost two different songs stitched cleverly together, the first half an up-tempo and in your face stoner/sludge romp that has Daskalos bellowing punkishly over a strident fuzz heavy groove, the second a hazy heavy psych wigout that sees Soad and Katsampekis laying a swathe of lysergic guitar colouring over a hazy rhythmic backdrop.
Beyond This Earth have, with "Universal Fury", not only created an absolutely essential slice of heavy southern tinged, sludge tinted stoner/hard rock but have proved that Greece is still an important stopping off point for those looking for good "underground" rock.
Check 'em out.....

Thursday, 24 November 2016


Always pleasing when a new UK band appears on the "underground" rock scene especially when said band serve up the sort of kick-ass mix of hard rock and stoner/sludge that, London, based Purple Kong do on their self titled debut EP "Purple Kong"

Only three tracks long but with more power and grit than some bands pack into ten "Purple Kong" is an EP that demands attention and is one that promises much for the future,
First track "Village On Fire" begins with a thundering storm soundbyte that then segues into an even more thunderous heavy doom/sludge groove populated by deeply, and we are talking extremely deeply, distorted bass and titanic drumming over which howling guitar and powerful, cleanly delivered vocals are laid. Heavy as a truck load of hippo's wearing lead boots the track pins the listener to the wall with its sheer force and swaggering intensity.
"Cocaine Pentagram" begins with another movie sounbyte before screeching feedback leads into a rolling guitar riff  that is then joined by the bass and drums. This time the band hit a groove more akin to the proto-metal of the early to mid 70's ,albeit a lot harder and heavier, built around the recurring vocal mantra of  the songs title. As the song approaches its nadir the song moves into jam territory with scorching wah drenched guitar quacking and squawking over a wall of tumultuous rhythm .
"Getting Away With Murder" brings things to a close with a track that sees Purple Kong blending the sludgey riffage of the first track with the proto- metal leanings of the second. Vocals are pitched a little lower here giving the song a slightly classic/hard rock feel in places. Around the three quarters mark the song suddenly drops down a gear and moves into a drone -like groove with heavily effected vocals before exploding back into its Montrose-like initial refrain and then fading on a sustained and droning guitar note.
Like a whirlwind, "Purple Kong" is an EP that picks the listener up spinning him/her around until finally placing him/her down battered, disorientated, miles from the starting point but grateful for the ride.
Check it out .....

Monday, 21 November 2016


Time to return to Brazil and visit a band who have graced these pages before.... Black Witch.
Black Witch,  Lorena Rocha (vocals/guitar), Rafaum Costa (guitar/vocals), Amilton Jr.(bass/vocals) and Fred Nunes (drums), wowed both Desert Psychlist  and the patrons of the doom/stoner/psych world with the release of their debut EP "Aware" (September 2015). The band pricked up many an interested ear with their mix of occult/doom and stoner fuzz, fronted by quite unique female vocals, so it is good to see the band return to assail our senses once again , this time with a full album flying under the banner of "Solve et Coagula"

When "Aware" was reviewed on these pages back in 2015 Desert Psychlist brought to listeners attention some reservations concerning Rocha's vocal delivery, reservations that probably did not endear Rocha or the rest of the band towards Desert Psychlist but then that is the nature of the humble review, you don't always read what you want to be written, thankfully on "Solve et Coagula" these vocals issues have been resolved. Rocha's vocals, here, are tighter, more controlled without losing any of their latent menace, her voice prowling around the dark downtuned heaviness Costa, Amilton Jr. and Nunes lay beneath her like a panther stalking its prey.
Two of the songs featured on "Solve et Coagula" "Necromancer"  and "Salem" first found their home on the bands debut EP "Aware" and are here given a crisper treatment with the heavy distortion of the original recordings just slightly toned down giving them a fresher, cleaner feel without compromising their intensity. Of the albums newer tunes "Solve", "Eyes Inside","Summerian Tongues" and the excellent "The Serpent And The Dove" stand out as highlights, the latter built around a scorching and darkly dissonant guitar motif . This is not to say that the rest of the album should be ignored, songs like the metallically manic "Chapter XIII-"Necromancy", the stonerized chugging doom of "Tzolkin" and "Sitra Ahara"  and the atmospherically demented "Coagula"are all equally enjoyable slabs of dark stoner doom peppered with elements of psych and occult rock colouring.
"Solve et Coagula" is an album of songs that sees Black Witch take the dissonant slurred riffs of Alice In Chains and blend them into the deeply downtuned and distorted doom grooves of today, resulting in a sound that is unique and all their own.
Check 'em out .....

Friday, 18 November 2016


Social media can be many things hurtful, controversial even threatening but it can also be damn useful too. Roberto Fuentes, contributing editor at La Habitaciòn 235 and admin at Stoner Rock Manifiesto recently contacted me via Facebook's messenger service to tell me about a band he was friendly with and thought Desert Psychlist might dig. The band Roberto was referring to are a three piece band from Santiago, Chile going by the name dejalosangrar and who recently released their second EP "Vol.2.. Habach/Polanco/Robles"

Eclectic is a word often banded about in the music world, usually when referring to bands who don't play by the rules, bands who criss-cross across genres picking up something from here something from there, bands hard to pin down. Jorge Habach (drums), Herman Polanco (guitar) and Rodrigo Robles (bass) play "eclectic" instrumental rock that although finds them floating in the riff heavy waters of the stoner rock scene are also a band unafraid to occasionally steer their ship into uncharted deeper seas.
"#22" begins our journey with Habach's crashing cymbals counting in a deep rumbling refrain dominated by Robles heavily distorted bass, his titanic tones akin to a Boeing 747 testing its engines next to your head. Polanco then enters, his guitar pitched lower in the mix, supporting Robles bass rather than trying to outshine it, colouring the groove with deft brushstrokes of  six string magic. The band together take the groove through a series of shifting dynamics and moods that at times roams into Colour Haze territory only a lot heavier.
"#23" is next and takes the listener on a rollercoaster ride through a series of differing soundscapes, one minute laying down a barrage of earthy, guitar and bass heavy groove, pushed by tumultuous drumming, the next delicately meandering through psychedelic skies on a carpet of shimmering guitar arpeggios, liquid low end and tinkling percussion.
Final piece(s), "#28/#27" , sees dejalosangrar drafting in two friends to help out on what is essentially two different songs seamlessly stitched together. The addition of Ayelén Berríos (piano) and Inti Berrios (saxophone) sees the band filling out there groove with  fusion type jazzy undertones that at times stray into the arena of the freer side of that genre but are reined back by Habach, Polanco and Robles commitment to the groove, steering their ship where they want it to go, not where it wants to take them.
Only three tracks but each one has the ability to soothe, brutalise and confuse, sometimes separately, sometimes all at the same time
Check 'em out .....

Thursday, 17 November 2016


Well we all knew it would not be long before the pages of Desert Psychlist was once again featuring a band from the land of Vikings, saunas and fuzz drenched guitars, quality Swedish "underground" rock just seems to be one of life's constants.
Moon Coven are a five piece band with  a penchant for down tuned heavy riffage who hail from Malmo and Stocholm,Sweden and are a band untypical of the usual blues based Swedish stoner groups that seem to appear every other week, in that they come at the genre from a more doom/heavy metal angle, as can be witnessed on the bands full length, self-tiled debut "Moon Coven".

"Storm", the albums first track, begins with drones, tinkling bells and reverb soaked arpeggios before bursting, like an alien from John Hurt's chest, into a titanic stonerized doom refrain coated in Gregorian-like vocals supported by thunderous drumming and titanic spine crumbling bass, all combining to create a sound that is as atmospheric as it is heavy and thereby setting the tone for the rest of the album."Old Ground" rears its gnarly head next and wastes no time in getting down and dirty by exploding straight off of the starting blocks into a monumental mid tempo. head noddingly addictive groove replete with scorching solo's and superbly haunting vocals."Conspiracy" and "New Season" see the vocals shift from the monk-like chanting's of the previous tracks to a slightly more "shoegaze" delivery with a more melodic meter albeit still wrapped around those Sleep/Spelljammer-like grooves the band have made their home, and with the former containing a two guitar trade off that is just sublime. "Haramukh High" sees Moon Coven return to the vocal deliveries of the first two tracks but this time around a slower more doom orientated groove.while "Winter" has the band almost, but not quite, moving into  more occult rock territory. "The Third Eye" comes as quite a surprise after all that has gone before it's softer, laid back groove enhanced by mellow vocals and chiming guitars is probably the nearest Moon Coven will ever get to a ballad. "The Ice Temple"is an atmospheric noise piece that is so short (one minute forty seconds) it hardly seems to register before we are into the doomy depths of closer "White Sun", a blazing return to heavy-assed riffage, pounding percussion and ethereal vocals that concludes on a wave of droning sustain.
Heavy, dripping with atmosphere and boasting an excellent and quite unique vocal approach Moon Coven are a band you should most definitely check out .....

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

BORRACHO ~ ATACAMA ...... review

In 2011, Washington DC stonernauts Borracho released their debut album "Splitting Sky" a kick-ass album packed solid with fuzzy stoner rock grooves laced with scorching guitar solos, massive bass lines, gnarly vocals and thunderous percussion. The underground rock music scene, almost as one, immediately fell under the bands spell with journalists, bloggers and podcasters eager to heap praise upon their t-shirt clad shoulders. The band followed this up with "Oculus"(2013) and once again the undergrounds movers and shakers were all over it with one reviewer calling it "essential" and another "super addictive". Now three years later and after a couple of moderately well received split EP's,with Eggnog and Cortez and three songs on Ripple Music's "The Second Coming of Heavy: Chapter One"  the band are on the cusp of releasing their third full length album "Atacama"(2nd December 2016).

Any thoughts Borracho may be going through the notorious "difficult third album" syndrome are quickly dispelled when the blues tinted, fuzz drenched grooves of first track "Gold From Sand" come roaring like a steam train out of the speakers. Gritty whiskey soaked vocals roared over hard edged riffage supported by thunderous drumming, pummel the listener with the sheer ferocity of their deliverance. "Overload" follows, at over ten minutes it's the longest track on the album , and sees the band injecting into their gnarly mix of bluesy hard rock and dusty desert grooves, brief snatches of lysergic colouring, "Lost In Time" struts its stuff with a southern stoner swagger and ends in a wash of  feedback and noise that segues immediately into "Descent" an atmospheric doom laden instrumental replete with howling guitar solos, thundering bass, big, big drums and tolling bell. "Drifted Away From The Sun" begin with an array of effects backed by sympathetic percussion and is then joined by a liquid loose bass line and echo laden guitar arpeggios. This laid back and loose groove sits beneath the songs low mellow sung verses, moving to a harder stoner refrain in the songs catchy chorus with the vocal following suite, a refrain that is reprised for the songs final quarter and takes things to the close on a wave of gritty stoner groove. "Flower" is next up and sees Borracho showing glimpses of  their softer side with clean toned arpeggios and strings trading off with big fuzzed out riffage in a charming but slightly schizophrenic instrumental. Things return to normal with "Shot Down, Banged Up, Fade Away" an absolute belter of a track laced with gnarly heavily fuzzed guitar and bass riffage underpinned by massive pounding drums and coated in distinctive throaty vocals with a groove so grin inducing it should be on prescription. Borracho bring proceedings to a close with a delightful acoustic based "farewell/end times" song dominated by big sentimental and melancholic vocals conveniently titled "Last Song".

Have Borracho managed to avoid the curse of the "difficult third album"?...You betch'a "Atacama" is their best yet!
Check it out ...

Tuesday, 15 November 2016


Massive seems such a small word when faced with the overpowering strength and might of down tuned and heavy riffage, Italian doomeisters, Megatherium unleash on their new opus, monolithic might be a better word but "mono" conjures up images of something one dimensional and being on an even level with no light or shade and that is something you would be hard pushed to accuse "Superbeast" of.

"Prayer to The Ox" a short piece with an almost orchestral strings effect, opens proceedings then fades to silence before all hell breaks loose and second track "Refuse to Shine" rips through the air, a huge wall of  bass heavy distorted groove hitting the listener like a sledgehammer pulverising the senses. In the middle of this arena of riffage and rhythm vocalist Manuele "Manu" stands bellowing the songs lyrics, his voice a mix of full on sludge roar and clean, melodic stoner wail.
This deliciously dark blend of sludge. doom and heavy stoner rock crammed full of powerful vocals, scorching guitar solos and riffs, bone crushing bass and tumultuous drumming flows like a river throughout the eleven tracks that make up "Superbeast" with highlights being the excellent " Fly High" with its catchy string bending motif superbly executed by Davide "Borto", the epic "Twiceman" with it's clever use of effects, atmospherics and vocal stylings and " Slow Down" with it's chugging Sabbath-esque riff coated in grunge/alt-like vocals.In truth there is not a track on the album that does not deserve attention, each and every one has something within it to drool and slaver over.

Megatherium are Manuele "Manu"(vocals and FX), Davide "Borto" (guitar), Fabio‘Zekimmortal’(bass, vocals) and Stefano ‘Torre’(drums). remember their names because Desert Psychlist  predicts you will be hearing a hell of a lot more about these guys in the future.
Check 'em out.....

Monday, 14 November 2016


Demo recordings were, back in the day, a means by which a band could get their music out to the big record companies and influential radio stations, hoping that what they had put down on tape would maybe get them noticed and procure them a record deal, the demo was something that would very rarely land in those grubby hands of the general public. These days, with the big record companies not being the power they once were, bands have had to find other ways to get their grooves "out there" and so the humble demo is more and more finding itself  given away at gigs or being posted on sites like Bandcamp and Reverbnation giving us all the chance to hear them.

"A Reptiles Rising" is a three track demo from a German four piece hailing from Tostedt comprising of Anni (vocals), Oelki (drums), Mischa (bass) and Christian (guitar), a band collectively going by the name Stoned Lizard.

So what do Stoned Lizard bring to the table with "A Reptile Rising (Demo 2016)" that might have you drooling in anticipation for a full release?
Title track "A Reptile Rising" starts off all moody and eastern before erupting into a down tuned, bass heavy and doom laden riff accompanied by simple but effective percussion. The song goes through a number of subtle time changes interspersed with "Moorish" guitar motifs that act like musical grappling hooks pulling you further into the songs massive and addictive groove. An instrumental is an odd choice for a vocally led group to open their account with but one that gives a good indication of the levels of instrumental skill and musical ability the band have in their locker..
"Running Slow" begins with jazzy cymbal work and a walking bass line that is then joined by a heavy distorted guitar riff increasing both the volume and the atmosphere. Things settle back into a jazzy doom groove when the vocals come in and what a treat for the ears those vocals are. Front woman Anni's vocals are clean, strong and distinctive, her smokey  slightly cracked tones not dissimilar to UK trip-hoppers Portishead's Beth Gibbon, albeit with a darker, doomier edge, she not so much soars over the heavy stoner doom backdrops beneath her as hovers menacingly above them.
"Illuminated" closes the demo, a moody piece built around recurring eastern guitar motifs and ringing arpeggios underpinned by intricate percussion and  huge rumbling bass, the perfect vehicle for the dark velvet vocal tones poured over them by the lead singer.

This is a demo so it's very likely that the songs showcased on "A Reptile Rising (Demo 2016)" will undergo some levels of re-imagining and re-arrangement before the band settle on definitive versions but even so there is no denying the quality oozing out of these initial recordings. Stoned Lizard are a band who, if all things align and there's any justice in this world, are one that's going to have a bright and promising future,
Check 'em out.....

Saturday, 12 November 2016


Soul, is not something one usually associates with the underground rock scene so it is refreshing to come across a band who not only can lay down a gnarly barrage of riffage but can lift your spirit too.
Indighost, Dan Fehr (guitar), Cody Gilmer (guitar), Randi Denton (vocals), Quentin Garrett (bass) and Taylor Cogdill (drums) are from Johnson City, Tennessee and are quintet with soul in abundance. The band released their debut EP "Treeline" in 2015 and have just recently followed this up with the release of their first full length album "Hierophant" (2016).

Hierophant is an eclectic mix of stoner fuzz, heady psych and soulful hard rock all crammed into eleven tracks of totally essential and diverse music. From the soulful country blues of "Black Mountain" through the off-kilter desert grooves of "Hexensohn" and "Sleepwalker", the jazzy indie rock of "Mystery Is The Best Kind Of Magic" to the stonerized Appalachian grunge of "Rainkid", every song has something within it to relish and adore. Denton's vocals dominate proceedings, soaring above the excellent warm fuzzy backdrops the rest of the band provide with soulful abandon, her tones powerful and assured with just a hint of bluesy holler. Fehr, as well as providing a vocal foil to Denton, does a wonderful job on laying down the fuzz with fellow guitarist Gilmer, the pair combining to deliver swathes of scintillating guitar colouring over and around Codgill and Garrett's solid and impressive drum and bass work.
Heirophant is a little different from the usual heavy riffed, doom laden,70's hard rock inspired fare found among the pages of Desert Psychlist but that is no reason to skip over it and move on to something else, this is an album full of strong songs ,well written and superbly performed and one that deserves to be heard!
Check it out .......

Friday, 11 November 2016


Split albums can be awkward affairs especially if the artists concerned are musically poles apart, Desert Psychlist has witnessed splits where trippy psych has been paired with brutal death metal and while this is all well and good for getting the artists music "out there" it is not necessarily so good for the buyer/listener who may not want his/her lysergic journeys paired with raucous riffage or vice-versa. Luckily Grimoire Records release "Vortex 6" does not suffer from this problem coming as it does from two bands, more or less, reading from the same page.

Thought Eater take up place of residence on the first half of "Vortex 6", the combined force of Douglas Griffith (guitar), Darin Tambascio (12 string bass, 12 string guitar on "Gift of Death") and Bobby Murray (drums) creating grooves of down tuned instrumental heaviness as if born to it. The trio inject into their grooves elements of metallic prog-like imtensity and structure but rein back from the overindulgences that ,can sometimes mar that particular genre by keeping things short and to the point, only once going over the four and a half minute mark with the excellent played, and named, "Crushing Metaphysical Crisis". The band also show they have more than one gear with the beautiful "Gift Of Death" a gentle walk through the clouds performed on acoustic guitars.

Iron Jawed Guru, Mike Lorenzen (guitar, octave pedal), Roy Douglas Brewer (drums) attack their instrumental grooves from a slightly different angle from Thought Eater, coming in from a far more stoner, but no less complex, direction. The lack of a bass player does not seem to effect the levels of intensity and depth these two musicians conjure up between them, filling songs like "Emerald Seer" and "Widow of the Web" with startlingly angular arrangements that sees Lorenzen shredding his guitar like a madman over Brewer's incredibly complex percussive patterns.

Heavy, intense and breathtaking, "Vortex 6" goes a long way to showing that instrumental rock music does not have to be overlong jams that can go on forever it can also be short, sharp, exciting.. and in your face.
Check it out....

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

ROAST ~ ROAST ...review

It's always good to hear from old friends especially when those old friends are armed with exciting new music for you to hear. Tsweat Tyler Dingvall, vocalist with, San Diego riffmeisters, The Great Electric Quest recently got in touch with Desert Psychlist and was literally salivating over a new band he was planning to sign to the bands new label Glory Or Death Records, a quartet. going by the name of Roast.
Roast, originally from New Jersey and now working out of Los Angeles, are Connor Barrett (bass), Bill O'Niell (drums), Jon Bolino ( guitar/vocals), and Nico Magalhaes (guitar), four guys whose influences run the gamut of rock history from Hendrix to Motorhead and beyond, influences that colour but do not dictate the four tracks of the bands soon to be released debut EP "Roast"( Glory Or Death Records recorded and mixed by James Page at Emerald Age Studio)

First track "Leave Me Free" opens with a deliciously liquid smooth bass intro from Connor Barrett with the rest of the band laying down a jazzy fusion groove beneath him before the hammer goes down and the whole band segue into a crunchy hard rock groove bathed in warmly fuzzed guitar riffage and underpinned with hard driving rhythm.Bolino, swaps riffs and solo's with the excellent Magalhaes and also delivers vocals that are clean, powerful and perfectly matched to the retro grooves and rhythms Barrett and O'Neill lay beneath them.  The first thing that hits you is the authentic early 70's groove the band achieve, a groove that recalls the days when bands like Sir Lord Baltimore, Truth and Janey and Australia's Buffalo were making that transition from heavy psychedelic blues based hard rock to the harder, heavier metal of the 80's, a sound that some now call proto-metal.
Next up is "Serpent" a song that sits somewhere between the heavy blues of Led Zeppelin and the early doom of Birmingham's Black Sabbath, a place Welsh hard rockers Budgie used to call home.
O'Niell and Barrett combine to lay down a massive rhythmic platform for the two guitarists to launch their riffs and solo's from, the pair mixing it up between seering blues licks and dirty Iommi-like powerchords over which Bolino delivers a mix of Ozzy/Burke Shelley -like vocal tones.
"Gypsy Trip" takes the long route and sees the band jamming a twelve minutes plus mix of heavy psych and stoner/hard rock sprinkled with moments of early prog-like complexity and experimental psychedelic structuring. Magalhaes and Bolino channel the spirits of lesser known guitar duo's through their harmonic interplay bringing to Desert Psychlist's mind the fretboard trade offs of the late Micky Jones and Deke Leonard (Man) and Wishbone Ash's Andy Powell and Ted Turner. Special mention should go here to the drum chops of Bill O'Neill, the man swaps between heavy pounding bluster and gentle shimmering intricacy with incredible ease and skill, never missing a beat.
"Heavy Toll" brings things to a close, the songs initial dual guitar refrain comes on like The Allman Brothers on amphetamines before shifting down a gear into a fuzz drenched stoner groove. Heavy, in the old sense of the word, and with a great vocal and a wickedly addictive groove it closes the album the way it started with a BANG!

Roast create hazy hard rock grooves infused with elements of early 70's prog complexity and late 60's psychedelic colouring and stonerize it for an 00's audience
Check 'em out ....

"Roast" releases 1st December 2016 on Glory or Death Records

Sunday, 6 November 2016


The name,The Blue Sunshine Family Band, conjures up a picture of heavily bearded guys in brightly coloured kaftans wearing beads and bandanas incorporating native instrumentation into folky psychedelic grooves. The truth however is that TBSFB are a bunch of t-shirt wearing stoners with an alarming lack of facial hair who play gnarly instrumental jams with a large Sabbathian bias, some of which can be heard on the bands debut album "The Blue Sunshine Band"

"The Blue Sunshine Family Band" is more of an extended jam than an album of individual songs, albeit a jam that is broken up into six movements denoted by Roman numerals.
The albums first first three tracks "I","II"and "III" jam Iommi-esque riffage underpinned by a solid drum and bass foundation around which dark swirling guitar solo's are weaved. It has to be said that there are times when you expect an Ozzy-like vocal to suddenly appear but those moments are only fleeting and on the whole the tracks work well as instrumental pieces.
The second half of the album gets really interesting when the band start to shrug off the shackles a touch and start to really fly, and its almost as if the previous three tracks have been the intro's leading the listener by the hand to this point, preparing them for what comes next.
"IV" starts innocently enough with the guitarists laying down thick slabs of gnarly riffage over a thundering backdrop of rhythm but then there is a subtle shift with elements of heavily psyched doom starting to creep into things. The guitarists moves the song into a stuttering fragmented stoner doom riff that leaves spaces for the bassist and drummer to fill with funky bass runs and dexterous percussive fills, something they do with the utmost skill and ferocity.
"V" sees TBSFB showing off their experimental side to great effect with the two guitarist tearing from their fretboards Floydian guitar passages that flow like molten rock over and around a spacey backdrop of  laid back, but highly effective, percussion, shimmering cymbals and low liquid bass.
"VI" pulls together the two sides of the album with scintillating mix of both sides of the bands musical dynamic. Titanic bass and pounding percussion lay a foundation for the two guitarist to lay waste to everything around them with scorching guitar pyrotechnics that swoop and swirl like birds of prey over the mountains of groove beneath them and recalls, to Desert Psychlist's ears, the more out there moments of Kansa City's legendary JPT Scare Band.
It's hard to believe that."The Blue Sunshine Family Band" was recorded in one take, with no breaks but if that's what it takes to produce an album of this depth and quality then let's hope they use the same method for all their future releases.
Check 'em out.....

Thursday, 3 November 2016


Stratus Nimbus are the brainchild of Arizonian brothers Doug and Dan Dowd who together with a loose collective of friends and associates have just released their first full length album "Stratus Nimbus" on Stone Groove Records.

The album break down of musical contributions is quite complicated with Doug Dowd handling the drums and vocals on tracks 1 & 6 and brother Dan holding down rhythm guitar on tracks 1,2,4,5 & 6 and lead on tracks 1 & 4 with the rest of the contributions going like this.. Tom Goddard: lead guitar (tracks 2 & 5), Fabrizio Monni: rhythm guitar (track 3), Colin Ragan: lead guitar (tracks 3 & 6), Tom Davies: bass (tracks 1, 2, 3, 5 & 6) and Luke "Canada" Shelley: bass (track 4) Chris BusKirk: vocals (tracks 2, 4 & 5) and Linda Rydelius of Baronen and Satan guesting on track 3.. With such a mix and match collection of musicians one might expect "Stratus Nimbus" to be a slightly disjointed affair but in fact the diversity of musical approaches within each song actually works in the bands favour.
"Equality" opens the album, its heavily phased riff sitting atop a strident desert groove creating a spacey Hawkwind like vibe over which Doug Dowd weaves equally heavily phased clean vocals . "Can't Break Free" and "A Walk In The Dark" muddies the waters somewhat by adding elements of doom and heavy psych into proceedings with the latter also sprinkling healthy doses of bluesy guitar colouring into the mix. "Galaxy Girl" ramps up the psych and has an almost 60's style vocal melody, albeit a heavily treated one, and leads into the dark swirling stoner/psych "You Take" a diatribe on a complicated relationship with very dark lyrical content. "Rain Jam" closes the album with a delightfully spacey, psych drenched groovathon sprinkled with Fu Manchu/Nebula type skate punk/garage vocals.
If your a fan of heavy psych who likes their grooves swathed in warm fuzz and distortion and have a penchant for phased, hazy vocals then you've just found your next favourite band.
Check 'em out

Wednesday, 2 November 2016


Val Tvoar is a man who knows that if you want something done and done well ..then the best thing is to do it yourself. The Soul Thrower guitarist not only plays every instrument on his solo album  "In Light You Believe..But In Darkness You Dwell" (Heliad Records) he produces and engineers it too.

From the instrumental opener "Mental Of Instu" through to the melodic and catchy final track "Home City", "In Light You Believe..But In Darkness You Dwell" is an album that does not pretend to be anything other than good old heads down, four to the floor  hard rock. So what does Tvoar bring to the table that makes this stand out from the herds of others ploughing similar furrows? Well for a start the man plays every damn instrument himself, not in a passable, that'll do manner but in wow he really nails those drums , bass, guitar etc. fashion. Those familiar with Tvoar's band Soul Thrower will already know of the man's virtuosity on six strings and his playing here is no exception, whether grooving on a riff or ripping out a scorching solo he delivers all with skill, tone and a truckload of good old fashioned feel and he brings that same level of skill and dexterity to each and every instrument he plays on the album, he also not a bad vocalist either.
All fourteen songs that make up the album are kept just under the four minute mark, ensuring that no song outstays its welcome or falls into the realms of overindulgence. Songs like "The Wizard Of Goodbad", "Three Shovels Of Dirt" and "Into The Unknown" are short, sharp and punchy with a hint of radio friendly commerciality that is refreshing and easy on the ear but not in a Nickleback, rock by numbers, way.
Val Tvoar has with "In Light You Believe..But In Darkness You Dwell" delivered an album of well written and superbly performed rock tunes that sit comfortably on the fence between the radio friendly mainstream and the fuzz drenched riffage of the underground without committing to either.
Check it out....