Friday 30 December 2016


Back in 2012 Spacegoat, a four piece band from Monterrey, Mexico, released "Spacegoat EP", five tracks of delicious 70's inspired classic/hard rock grooves blended with aspects of lo-fi doom and occult rock coated in gloriously serene female vocals, an EP that garnered a lot of interest both in their Mexican homeland and that of the wider world. Unfortunately due to financial restraints and other more mundane reasons the band, Gina Ríos (Vocals & Guitar), Miguel Ríos -(Lead Guitar), Rigo Vigil -(Bass) and Rey Fraga (Drums), were unable to immediately follow up on this  interest with a full album and so the band decided to go down the "Kickstarter" route and ask the fans to help out with contributions, a move that has resulted in the release of this their debut album "Superstition".

From the classic rock toned guitar riff that introduces first track " Doomensional" to the Hawkwind-esque swirling outro of final track "Sleeping Hours" the listener can be assured that every penny/euro or dollar contributed to the bands Kickstarter campaign has not been wasted or misused in the pursuit of hedonistic pleasure but has instead gone to making the best damn album possible with the funds available. Songs like the native tongued "Transmuta", title track "Superstition" and the slow bluesy "Astral" have their roots buried way down deep in the classic/hard rock of yesterday but are infused with elements of today's doom, psych and stoner giving them a fresh contemporary "now" feel. Spacegoat's sonic attack is further enhanced by rhythm guitarist and vocalist Gina Rios, her strong clean vocals soar and swoop over the molten hot grooves Vigil, Fraga and brother M. Rios lay beneath her, giving the songs, at times, an almost "symphonic" feel and on the beautifully tranquil "The Wooden Path" a folk vibe.
All in all "Superstition" is an album of well written and executed songs made by a band of extremely talented musicians who know how to blend yesterday with today to create a sound for tomorrow.
Check 'em out .....

Wednesday 28 December 2016


Sweden has an uncanny knack for turning out quality underground music, especially that of the doom variety, whether your looking for something traditional (Candlemass, Count Raven), something with a touch of desert/stoner colouring (Witchcraft, Serpent) or something a little low-tuned and heavy (Monolord, Spelljammer), Sweden always seems to deliver.
Kinglord from Stockholm definitely fall into the latter category, playing downtuned, riff heavy atmospheric grooves coated in powerful clean vocals as can be heard on the bands brand new self-titled EP "Kinglord"

First track "Salmon And The Snake" opens with a droning synth and heavily effected guitar motif and is then joined by the bass and drums in a pulverising bottom heavy refrain that repeats for a few bars before morphing into chugging heavy stoner doom groove that lays the foundation for the vocals. Powerful and clean the vocals swoop and soar above the monolithic grooves beneath them and giving those already quite substantial grooves a whole extra sonic dimension.
"Judas Priest" follows and begins with foghorn-like synth effects, evoking an image of ships crossing mist shrouded waters, before segueing into a slow plodding heavy doom groove overlaid with a powerful slightly gothic vocals. Atmospheric and moody, with clever injections of synth and guitar colouring weaving in and out of the heaviness, the song slowly builds until finally exploding into an uptempo stoner doom groove in its last quarter and taking things to a gloriously noisy finale.
"Kim Bong II" lays down the fuzz heavy and hard over a backdrop of deeply distorted bass and thunderous pounding percussion interspersed with synthesiser/keyboard flourishes and deliciously dark clean vocals and brings to a close an EP that ticks all the boxes the listener expects to be ticked when dealing with quality Swedish doom.
Check it out .....

Friday 23 December 2016


One of the many highlights of 2015 was the release of an eleven minute track of bluesy psych and doom called "Far Away And Into Space Pt.2" released via Bandcamp by Australian band Elbrus. It's now been just under a year since that tracks release and a lot has happened in the meantime, firstly the Melbourne based band signed a deal with Bilocation Records and secondly the band have released their self titled debut album "Elbrus".

"Tall Shadows" opens proceedings, its scintillating hazy psych blues groove enhanced by Ollie Bradley-Smith's fragile vocal tones The guitarist/organist/vocalist's smooth, laid back, yet deceivingly powerful, tones float within the songs groove rather than over it and are  perfectly complimented by bassist Mafi Watson's counter vocal, her slightly fragile sweeter tones the perfect foil for Bradley-Smith's mellower bluesy moan.
"Break The Machine" follows next and jams a slightly more straight forward and traditional heavy blues groove that sees guitarist Ringo Camilleri laying down cool jazzy chords over a slow blues shuffle, provided by Watson and drummer Tom Todorovic, then explodes Zeppelin -like into a blustering heavy blues rock refrain before falling back into its initial mellow groove. The song swings back and forth between these two dynamics with Bradley-Smith's vocal following suite, the singer switching between hazy blues moaner to full on rock roar as an when the groove dictates as well as also supplying some nice keyboard flourishes around Camilleri's scorching lead work. Special mention should go here to guest musician Christi Hodgkins whose superb wailing blues drenched harmonica takes the song to whole different level.
"Eyes Of The Mammal" begins with Elbrus briefly introducing a little bluesy funkiness into their hazy delta grooves before taking off into a fuzz and distortion drenched flight of riff heavy stoner doom ably driven by Todorovic's pulverising percussion and Watson's throbbing bass.  Camilleri and Bradley-Smith fill out the groove with a superb mix of heavily fuzzed guitar and keyboards over which the singer/organist applies another great vocal.
"Far Away And Into Space Pt.1" is a short and highly entertaining instrumental that sees the band showcasing the more lysergic aspects of their sound as well as serving as the perfect intro into the gloriously acid-rock/proto-doom monster that is ....
"Far Away And Into Space Pt.2"... Bradley-Smith's keyboards, having played more of a supporting role on previous tracks, are here pushed closer to the front sitting on an even keel with Camilleri's gnarly distortion soaked guitar and giving the song an almost progressive feel albeit one that has a heavy element of psychedelic bluesy doom in its makeup. Musically the band are on fire throughout the songs 10;52 duration with Watson holding down the bottom end superbly, her big bold bass lines locking in tight with Todorovic's  powerful and dexterous drumming as well as supporting and complimenting Camileri's huge riffs and swirling note perfect solo's. Bradley-Smith delivers over this tumultuous barrage of gloriously addictive noise a truly stunning vocal, crooning with feeling one minute wailing like a madman at the top end of his vocal range the next, his vocals distinctive and controlled are the icing on a very tasty musical cake.
"Three Walls" closes the album with a slightly more downtempo, but no less intense, song that wends its way slowly ,via a slow burning lo-fi doom groove replete with moodily delivered  vocals, to a stratospheric guitar screaming finale.
Elbrus set the bar high when back in 2015 they released "Far Away And Into Space Pt.2" as a teaser for their forthcoming album, so the question that must be asked is have they lived up to that expectation? Well on the evidence presented on "Elbrus" the answer would have to be a most resounding YES!
Check it out .....

Tuesday 20 December 2016


Glauco Fantini (bass and vocals),Nicola Girella  (guitar) and Francesco Angiolini (drums).are Lord Woland a three piece stoner/hard rock band hailing from the Italian town of Bolsena.
Formed in December 2014, the band have been gigging around Italy sharing stages with such underground luminaries as Gorilla Pulp, Banquet and Electric Taurus, among others. The band recently signed a deal with Irish record company Mother Fuzzer Records and are about to release their debut EP "Below"

"Abra Cabala" opens "Below" with a dark doom drenched refrain , all plodding heaviness and pounding rhythm, then suddenly morphs into a straight ahead stoner/hard rock groove that sees Girella laying down a gloriously catchy guitar riff over Angiolini and Fantini's thunderous wall of rhythm. Fantini as well as laying down gnarly bass also supplies vocals his ,voice strong and distinctive, leaning more towards the classic/hard rock spectrum than many of his stoner contemporaries giving the song (and the rest of the EP) an authentic late 70's heavy rock vibe.
"Woland's Hall" is up next and sees Lord Woland injecting a little bluesy swagger into their fuzz drenched stoner/desert grooves albeit mixing in a little lo-fi doominess into proceedings along the way. Girella delivers a thick crunchy fuzz drenched riff interspersed with scorching bluesy solo's superbly backed up by Angiolini's dexterous percussion work and Fantini's big booming bass and vocals.
"Rotten Apple" ramps up the 70's feel to eleven with a storming groovathon of blues drenched hard rock riffage replete with wailing, wah drenched lead guitar breaks underpinned by a gnarly bass lines and thundering drums and filled out with a strong vocal.
"Gloominade" throws the listener a curveball by moving away,  but only slightly, from the bluesy, late 70's. hard rock shock and awe of the previous tracks and taking on a more late 60's early 70's psychedelic rock groove. Fantini's vocals, slightly laid back and mellow, are backed up by his deep thrumming bass lines, combining with Angiolini's thundering percussion to create a deliciously dark lysergic groove that is further enhanced by Girella's sharded guitar chords and lysergic solo's.
Whether your a devotee of fuzzed to the max heavy stoner riffage delivered with attitude over hard driving rhythmic muscle or your an old rocker with a penchant for crunching 70's hard rock with psychedelic colouring then "Below" is an EP that will tick all your relevant boxes.
Check it out ......

Saturday 17 December 2016


2016 has seen the world we live in at war with itself over Syria, ISIS, Brexit and Trump, it has also been a year when many of our musical heroes unplugged their earthly instrument cables and shuffled off  to that "great gig in the sky".
 Its not all been  grief and strife however 2016 has been a bumper year for the underground music scene with both established and brand new artists releasing some truly stunning albums, EP's and singles.
Here's Desert Psychlist's pick of 2016.....

What do you need to know about this other than its Geezer and its on Ripple, those two things on their own scream QUALITY!

It would be too easy to write Kingsnake off as just a bunch of Clutch sound-a-likes trying to follow in the footsteps of their heroes, that would be doing these Philly bluesters a disservice. It cannot be denied that there are similarities between the two bands but there are also marked differences and in this "underground" scene dominated by Sabbath worship a band influenced by Neil Fallon and Co is not a bad thing.

23. SOON ~ VOL.1
Stylistic blend of doom, sludge and psychedelics will have you drooling for a VOL 2!

Rocks like a cradle in a hurricane

A touch of maturity has crept into Elder Druids heavy down tuned sonic attack and I for one fuckin' love it!

20.ORS ~ ORS
Awesome heavy prog/psych album with a "green" theme running all the way through its veins. A mix of Spanish and English vocals adds an extra level of charm to an album full to the rafters with musical excellence.

Sabbathian grooves of molten gold!
If you dig Freedom Hawk, Orchid and early Sheavy you will love this!

What can you say about a man with such a great pedigree, whether solo or as part of a band the drummer/guitarist, bassist and vocalist's name has always been associated with good music.

LDDSM have come a long way from the desert/stoner grooves of their first album, gradually moving forward via their second album to finally arrive here at "Human Collapse" a scintillating and at times disturbing listen.

Rifftastic doom infused stoner grooves from Germany

Wizzerd take you on a musical train ride that stops at stations doom, psych, stoner and desert along the way.

A 9 track adventure through space, magic, fantasy and time.
Psychedelic, stoned, groovaceous, doomed and heavy:

Head spinning stoner doom that finds a nice middle ground between the proto-doom of Black Sabbath and the retro stoner blues/hard rock grooves of Graveyard

Gritty whiskey soaked vocals roared over hard edged riffage supported by thunderous drumming, pummel the listener with the sheer ferocity of their deliverance

"Mill Street Blues" is one of those albums you will never get tired of hearing, one of those albums that you will come back to time after time, hearing it fresh, as if it was your first listen all over again

Heavy and at times hazy blues drenched psych/acid rock. Touches of doomy atmospherics twisted around gritty stonerized blues grooves and coated in mellow but effective clean vocals.

Heavy psych/doom crammed to the roof with gnarly dark riffs, pounding rhythms and excellent throaty vocals

Over sonic grooves of substantial heaviness sit the haunting tones of vocalist/bassist Jessica Ball her haunting voice the polar opposite of the heavyweight grooves surrounding her, sweet and fragile they sit atop the doom laden metallic bluster beneath them like cream on a razor blades edge giving the album a balance of beauty and brutality that is truly startling.

Stonerized hard rock fronted by excellent vocal melodies, salted with elements of space and psych, driven by heavy riffs and rhythmic grooves.
If this is only Part 1 then put my name down NOW for Part 2!

Absolutely fantastic collection of psyched out rock'n'roll. Listen once to dig the grooves then listen again for all the things going on in and around those grooves

With Graveyard and Ponamero Sundown calling it a day it's time for a new band to step up to the bluesy retro/hard rock/stoner plate.

Part proto-metal, part bluesy stoner, part heavy psych and coated with super smooth vocals this is a must have for anyone who loves good intelligent rock music.

The Beggars return with another platter full of superb classic/hard rock played hard and extremely well.

Atmospheric tomes driven by Barrysmith's Bonham-esque pounding drum patterns and dominated by Tung's heavily distorted Rickenbacker bass and haunting vocals

Absolutely essential listening for those that love their stoner a little bluesy and cerebral

Well that's it for this year let's hope the next is even better!

Festive greetings to all the musicians/PR's/ record labels/ fellow bloggers/podcasters and my fellow revolutionaries at HRR  who have helped Desert Psychlist so much throughout this year and to the readers whose feedback constantly amazes me and keeps me doing what i'm doing, thank you all!

Friday 16 December 2016


Brooklyn, New York's Heavy Traffic are no strangers to those with their fingers placed firmly on the pulse of underground rock scene, the band originally  formed by friends Ian Caddick, (lead guitar) and  Tav Palumbo (drums/vocals)  have, since deciding to work together, released a steady stream of albums .EP's and singles to much critical praise. Caddick and Palumbo decided in 2015 that it was time to get serious and make things a little sonically larger  both on record and live and so recruited David Grzedzinski (bass) and Dan Bradica (drums) to fill the bands sound out, this line up are now about to release their first album, "Plastic Surgery" on Twin Earth Records. (December 17 2016)

"Plastic Surgery" takes its listeners on lysergic journeys through kaleidoscope soundscapes of sonic excellence populated by heavy guitar riffage and hazy psychedelic solo's that swirl and swoop over  heavy and intricate rhythmic drum and bass patterns and are overlaid by gloriously hazy shoegaze-like vocal melodies. From the first fuzz drenched bars of "Rule of Nines" to the occult-ish/doom-lite outro of title track, and album closer, "Plastic Surgery" the listener is bathed in a wash of seemingly unending warm psychedelic groove that, in places, recalls the hazy heavy psych of Canada's Quest for Fire but then mixes that vibe with the acid blues guitar pyrotechnics of  USA's Dead Meadow.
Heavy Traffic call "Plastic Surgery" their "most polished recording to date" and on the evidence found here it's  damn hard to disagree with that statement!
Check it out........

Tuesday 13 December 2016


Desert Psychlist returns once again to Greece the birthplace of philosophy and home of the legendary Spartans, this time for a band going by the name Cyanna Mercury, a quintet comprising of Spyreas Sid - vocals & percussion, Nick Sid - keyboard, Diamond Pr - guitars, Dennis Panagiotidis - drums and Dimitri Georgopoulos - bass.
Cyanna Mercury hail from the Greek capital Athens and were formed in 2014, after releasing a series of tantalising singles and one EP  the band have just released their first full length album "Archetypes".

"Archetypes" is an album that revels in it's diversity from the torch like opener  "Horse Dark As Night" with it's Morrison-esque vocal crooning, through the lo-fi doom of "The Lunatic" with it's eerie use of keyboards and bouzouki past the gothic tinted paean " Ode To The Absent Father" and the Doors-like "Snake" onto the quite surreal and utterly beguiling closer "There Will Be A Time"  Cyanna Mercury leave nothing that the listener can find to hang a convenient tag on to.
Wonderfully left of centre and defying any type of genre categorization "Archetypes" is an album that dazzles and disturbs in equal measure.
Check it out .....

Monday 12 December 2016


Ripple Records have been doing a fine job of pairing together bands for their "Second Coming of Heavy" series of split releases and latest offering "Second Coming of Heavy: Chapter Four" is no exception putting together two of the undergrounds hottest bands, Albuquerque, New Mexico's Red Mesa and Ann Arbor, Michigan's Blue Snaggletooth.

Red Mesa kick "Chapter Four" off with four songs of spine tingling desert/stoner rock blended with touches of psych and classic/hard rock crunch. First tracks, "Cactus Highway" and "Low And Slow", are two fuzz drenched rockers tinged with bluesy hard rock swagger and psychedelic colouring coated in superb vocals. The following two tracks "Goin' To The Desert" and "Utopia" follow a more lysergic path with the former having an almost heavy stonerized Doors-like vibe and the latter  jamming a schizophrenic mix of heavy riffage, Captain Beefheart like mushroom fuelled acid blues and gentle acoustic passages. All four tracks are superbly executed, written and arranged and showcase a band totally on top of their game.

Blue Snaggletooth hit a more traditional stoner groove with their three offerings albeit spliced with a touch of bluesy proto-metal grittiness. "Sand Master" is first up and employs a deliciously addictive guitar motif over a hard driving rhythmic groove that is then enhanced by strong powerful vocals. At the halfway mark the song segues into laid back psychedelic passage before taking off into the stratosphere on a wave of howling guitars and pulsating rhythms then returns to earth with the songs initial groove to take things to the close. "Crystal Gaze" is a WAH pedal drenched journey into proto-metal madness replete with big vocals, big booming bass lines and tumultuous drumming that kicks more ass than is healthy. "Mystic Waters" brings Blue Snaggletooth's contribution to a close with a rousing hard rocking number that has at least one, if not both of the bands well heeled boots set squarely and firmly in the golden era of 70's classic/hard rock.

Two bands, similar in some respects, different in others but both with a one mission.... to melt your face off with the power of their grooves
Check 'em out ....

Sunday 11 December 2016


Desert Psychlist has said it before and will probably say it again, music coming out of Norway has an edgy slightly twisted feel that no other country seems to be able to replicate.
Sunface are no exception to this rule, the three piece, Martin Horn Sørlie (drums), Jon Haugnes Karlsen (guitar/vocals/lap steel) and Kyrre Sundt (bass), from Akershus, Norway jam a groove that although taking in elements of doom, stoner, psych and post-rock finds itself sitting a little to the left of centre to all of them, as can be witnessed on the bands new album "Observatory".

The dark distorted powerchords that introduce opening track "Tower Of The Sun" are an early indication of the dark destinations Sunface wish to take their listeners to with their brand of down tuned doom'n'roll. Songs like "title track "Observatory" with it's spacey doom groove, the instrumental "The Meteor pt 01" and the atmospheric and moody "Ancient Astronaut" weave elements of doom and psych into sonic tapestries of post-rock/space fabric, creating vast and intriguing soundscapes that are sometimes a little bleak and disturbing but always interesting.

Sunface fill every nook and cranny of "Observatory" with dark swirling swathes of doom-tinted refrains, supported by complex rhythmic patterns and gnarly bass lines, that are then coated in gloriously gothic type vocal melodies that although are not always an easy listen are nonetheless a rewarding one.
Check 'em out ....

Friday 9 December 2016


Maryland's Pearly Goats describe what they do as " A heathy mix of riffs, doom. punk and hippie shit all blended together for some good old sonic escapism" and that just about sums up the bands fourth and brand new release "Death and Reckoning".

"The Hole" opens proceedings with a fuzzy mid tempo tune that has a touch of Drive By Truckers alt. country rockiness in its vibe, a vibe that is further enhanced by guitarist/vocalist Jay Schlosberg's excellent blend of indie/country tinted vocal tones.
"Paw Paw" is up next and sees drummer Wilmer Earl Berry Jr. and bassist Paul Kelley laying down a slightly alt./grunge groove around which  Schlosberg  provides a deliriously effective guitar motif and a vocal melody that listeners will be singing long after the track finishes.
"Sweeper" follows and has Pearly Goats drifting hazily into the realms of the lysergic and jazzy with a stunningly beautiful slow burning psychedelic tome that builds layer by glorious layer and sees Schlosberg laying down a swathe of shimmering guitar colouring over and around Kelley and Berry Jr's sympathetic backing.
"Be Them" ramps up the grungier elements of the bands sound but salts those elements with a touch of doom-like atmospherics giving the whole groove a sort of  Seattle alt. heroes Nirvana meets, Finnish doomsters, Vinum Sabbatum  feel, a strange blend but perfectly palatable.
"Slow Tomb" closes "Dead and Reckoning" with a riff fuelled instrumental groovathon of guitar led pyrotechnics that sees Schlosberg referencing everyone from The Byrds Jim McGuinn to Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page in his excellent choice of notes and sonic delivery all superbly held up by Kelley's liquid bass lines and Berry Jr's jazzy drumming chops.
Pearly Goats "Dead and Reckoning" sits a little left of field to much of the doom and stoner rock coming out of the Baltimore, Maryland scene but do not let that for one minute stop you giving this little beauty a spin, it rocks...a little differently but rocks nonetheless
Check it out.......

Tuesday 6 December 2016


A lot of great sounds coming out of South America lately, the continent is throwing up a diverse and exciting mix of  "underground"grooves for us lovers of fuzz drenched riffage to wrap our  groove battered ears around. One country that is cropping up on Desert Psychlist's radar more and more is Chile, that long strip of land running between Argentina and the Pacific Ocean is churning out some seriously good bands of late one of which are Concepcion based groove meisters Kayros.
Kayros  maybe new to us in the northern hemisphere but the band, Nacho (vocals/guitar), Seba (guitar/keyboards), Pancho (bass/guitar/brass/Vietnamese harp & backing vocals) & Leo Mantis (drums/percussion), have been laying down their brand of subterranean riff''n'roll since their inception in 2006 releasing three albums "Pozo Negro"( 2009), "Tierras Infertiles 1" (2012) and "Tierras Infertiles 2" (2012), This year (2016) the band released their fourth and arguably their best album to date "Hombre de Piedra"

Title track " Hombre de Piedra" arrives on wave of jazz tinted fusion with brass instrumentation, heavily effect laden guitar and keyboards over a backdrop of stunningly intricate percussion, before segueing into a heavily distorted desert-like riff  over which Nacho delivers clean, strong vocals sung in his native tongue. The groove twist and turns through differing dynamics going off on a tangent into the arenas of psych and space rock then returning to its starting point before going off in another direction, something that is a constant throughout the albums eight tracks.
The rest of the album follows a similar path of spacey riff fuelled journeys into the lysergic underpinned by complex rhythmic patterns and arrays of differing effects with highlights being "Crisis RH2" with its scorching guitar solo's and pulsating liquid bass lines,"Gaza" with its stoner doom-like refrain and the excellent "Caminos Maginales" a rumbling psych doom opus that sees Nachos joined by fellow Chilean singer David Velis.
In truth there is not a bad or poor track to be found on "Hombre de Piedra",  from the excellent arrangements, the high levels of musicianship right down to the excellent production everything about this release screams quality!
Check it out .....

Saturday 3 December 2016


Gabrielle Bègin (vocals), Frederic Fortier (bass), Jean-Francis Gascon (guitar) and Rejean Lacroix (drums) are collectively known as Bronco, a four piece blues based band, with a foot in the stoner rock camp, hailing from the Canadian province of Quebec. Regular perusers of the stoner rock pages of Bandcamp may recall the band's 2014 release "Hell Racers" a five track EP of scorching stonerized blues that prompted Doomed and Stoned contributor, and champion of female fronted bands, Paul Rote to write "Female fronted occultish blues rock band. A good one at that!".
Two years on from "Hell Racers" and with a prestigious inclusion on Doomed and Stoned compilation " The Enchanter's Ball" inbetween the band are about to embark on a new phase in their career with the release of their first full length album "Modern Mythology".

The underground rock music scene is awash with bands who incorporate the blues into their stoner hard rock grooves but Bronco come at the listener from the opposite direction by incorporating those grooves into their blues. "Modern Mythology" is essentially a blues rock album stonerized for a 00's audience with songs like "Falling Free", "Never Ending Dance" and the face melting "Starting Again" strutting and swaggering with a bluesy arrogance swathed in fuzz drenched riffage driven by thundering drum and bass and coated in strong female vocals. Things get really interesting though when the band introduce into their bluesy grooves a little occult-rock colouring  as on "122db","Hazy Lies" ,"Machine", and "The Other Side Of The Mirror". All four songs are still rooted in the blues but are infused with a mystique and edgy darkness that sees Bègins vocal taking on a sultrier edge to match the darker edged grooves the rest of the band are laying all around her.  "Invoking The Spirit", "" and "Trompe La Morte" complete the album and are both equally strong blues based songs infused with elements of hard stoner rock that will kick start the listeners dormant mojo into overdrive.
"Modern Mythology" is an album that shows the blues as a genre is not quite dead yet and is still as relevant today as it was when Robert Johnson stood at the crossroads waiting to do a deal with the devil, it just needed a little fuzz
Check it out ......

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 .....