Saturday 26 December 2020


 Sabbath worship is an international commodity these days with bands from all over the globe chancing their respective arms to capture an essence of that sound once forged by four working class lads from Birmingham. UK's backstreets. Today we are reviewing an album by one of those bands for whom Sabbath's sound is somewhat of the golden chalice, a band hailing from Tokyo, Japan who although obviously inspired by the Birmingham four are not strictly tied hard and fast to that sound preferring instead to bring into that sound aspects from the full gamut of 70's and 80's rock. The band are called Hebi Katana and their album shares the same name.

Opening track "Directions For Human Hearts" is the perfect example of Hebi Katana's penchant for melding their proto-doom with elements gleaned from the full spectrum of the rock cannon, the songs Sabbathesque riff is decorated in Ozzy(ish) vocal tones, with just the right levels of nasal delivery, but those tones are then placed into a grunge-like vocal melody, part of which is an obvious lift from Nirvana's "In Bloom". If you are not confused by now you will be when the song then takes a sudden detour into straight down the line anthemic instrumental hard rock territory in its last quarter. The confusion doesn't stop there either, on songs like "Reptile Machine", Inu Song" "Struggle With a Lie" and "Don't Know My Name" the listener is presented with aspects gleaned from greasy glam metal, hazy doomic psych, grungy alt-rock, hard rock and old school metal and that's without mentioning the acoustic interludes offered up on "Witch's Dance" and "Zephyr Phobia". Sabbath fans will lap up Hebi Katana's proto-doomic flavoured grooves but so will fans of  Dope Smoker, Soundgarden, Nirvana and even Guns'n'Roses, there is a little something here for everyone. 

It could be said that what Hebi Katana are doing on their self-titled album is much like that which those scavengers found in the Star Wars movies do, constantly deconstructing something in order to construct something new. There is nothing here that you would not have heard elements of on a thousand albums by a thousand other bands working in a similar proto-doom/metal field but it is the way Hebi Katana put those elements together that makes this album work and sound so fresh to ears that may have thought they had it all before. 
Check it out ....

© 2020 Frazer Jones

Wednesday 23 December 2020



What a year this has been and mainly for all the wrong reasons, Presidential elections getting nasty, Governments making endless u-turns, Hollywood sex scandals, Royal Princes in disgrace, armed militia marching through streets, police brutality, racial tensions and a potentially lethal virus spreading like wildfire around the globe, however musically 2020 has been, what we call in Britain, an absolute corker! Musicians whether because of or despite of the virus have really stepped up to the plate this year and delivered killer albums/EP's with an almost factory line regularity, and its not just been the usual suspects who have delivered the goods, many of this years best releases have been debuts.

Here are 30 of Desert Psychlist's 2020 favorites, we could have easily stretched this out to 100 but time and space dictated that we kept things to a bite size portion. Of course you will have your own favorites from this strangest of years and your list may be completely different from ours but that is the beauty of music, one persons golden goose could well be another persons turkey, anyway here we go... 

#30:   El Rojo ~ El Diablo Rojo

When rocking on a heavy groove El Rojo attack like a phalanx of Roman Infantry, their raucous riffs and rhythms coming at you in waves of overwhelmingly punkish ferocity, however when they momentarily step off the gas and allow their Jekyll to overide their Hyde you find they are also a band who can surprise you with their subtlety and lightness of touch.


#29:   Temple ~ Funeral Planet

If your a fan of bands like Windhand, Haunted (Italy) and Electric Wizard then Temple's "Funeral Planet" is an album that will tick all of your relevant boxes, it is an album that trades on treacle thick doomic riffage and ponderous thundering rhythms but also one that has a few unexpected surprises concealed within its black clad sleeves.


#28:   Planet of the Dead ~ Fear of a Dead Planet

Big sounding stoner metal from the land of the Maori, heavier and scarier than an All Black's front row dancing a Haka!


#27;   Elder Druid ~ Golgotha

Elder Druid's mix of blackened sludge and doomic stoner metal is harsh , heavy and relentless which is three reasons why we love what they do...


 #26Superlord ~ Vs. Gargantuan

Solidly packed with everything that makes a great album, "Vs. Gargantuan" could well be considered one of the best albums to come out of the UK this year of our Lord 2020!


 #25Slomosa ~ Slomosa

Desert rock from a band hailing from a country with no deserts, don't that let you be put off however because this is an album that captures the essence of sandy dunes and cactus better than some albums made by bands born into that environment.

#24 Gaupa ~ Feberdröm

These off the wall and unconventional Swedes deliver once again with Bjork-like vocals swooping and soaring over a mix of hard rock, psychedelic folk and heavy prog.
Absolutely essential listening!!!!!

#23:   Malsten ~ The Haunting Of Silvakra Mill

Malsten take the listener on a tour of Silvakra Mill a place where the spirits don't come in a bottle and wheat is not the only thing that gets ground to dust!

#22:   Vitskar Suden ~ Vitskar Suden

Don't try placing Vitskär Süden into a any genre, category or neat little labelled box because they don't fit into any, they are what they are and what they are is a very talented group of musicians creating music that is moving, meditative and beautiful. 

#21 Hammada ~ Atmos

"Atmos" is not one of those albums that smacks you around the head and demands you immediately fall in love with it, it is instead an album that uses stealth to achieve its goals, an album that slowly creeps up on you, song by song, gradually breaking you down with its mix of undulating grooves and thundering riffs until it finally becomes that go to album you never want to be without.

#20 Rollin' Dice ~ Reroll

Dio-esque vocal pyrotecnics roared over crunching riffs and screaming guitar solos, driven from beneath by a tight and adaptable rhythm section give this album a truly "authentic" 70's hard rock feel.

#19: Forming The Void ~ Reverie

"Reverie" finds Forming the Void fully embracing their prog/psych side yet doing so without compromising on their signature sludgy heaviness.

#18:   Tortuga ~ Deities

Tortuga use atmosphere as if it were an instrument in its own right and they play the fuck out of it!

#17:   Gypsybyrd ~ Eye Of The Sun

Burn Ritual's Jake Lewis comes at you with a hazy, lysergic collection of spaced out grooves that will blow your mind to smithereens.
This is a trip!

#16:   Queen Marsa ~ Queen Marsa 

A vocalist with a voice that has a blend of AC/DC's Bon Scott and Budgie's Burke Shelley and grooves that sit at the more 70's end of stoner rock, how could i pass this up!

#15:   Sleepwulf ~ Sleepwulf

There are no meandering twenty minute guitar solo's to be found here, no overly complex arrangements that confuse and confound nor are there an endless array of constantly shifting time signatures to deal with, instead we get a dazzling collection of superbly crafted rock songs built around that age old blueprint of intro, middle and outro, simple, basic and wholly effective.

#14:   Arcadian Child ~ Protopsycho

Cyprus' jewel in the stone(r) Arcadian Child return with their best yet, the band tapping into both their European and Middle- Eastern heritages to amaze and delight us with their lysergic laced grooviness.

#13:   10 Code ~ Ride

10 Code hail from Athens and jam a groove that takes a little classic/hard rock, sprinkles it with a pinch of grungy alt-rock and then tops it all off with with some nicely warmed stoner fuzz, a recipe that makes their latest release "Ride" a very tasty dish indeed.

#12:   Acid Mammoth ~ Under Acid Hoof

"Under Acid Hoof" is a superb follow up to the bands debut "Acid Mammoth" and should go a long way to cementing their place as one of the leading lights on Athens burgeoning doom scene, now go tell the Spartans!

#11Swamp Thief ~ I

Two man stoner unit from Swansea, Wales cranking out filthy toned guitar riffs and thundering rhythms over which are poured gritty clean vocals.


#10:   Somnus Throne ~ Somnus Throne

Somnus Throne do not write three minute ditties, neither will you find this band penning lyrics detailing the vagaries of unrequited love, this is a trio that have travelled down the dark highways of life and those experiences are reflected in the music they make and the lyrics that decorate that music.

#9:   Rosy Finch ~ Scarlet

Mireia Porto promised, in press releases, that the new sound of the band would be "very visceral and heavy" and Desert Psychlist can confirm that, with "Scarlet", Rosy Finch more than delivers on that promise.


#8 Sound of Origin ~ The All Seeing Eye

Sound of Origin return with a new album, a new singer and a new sound. Harder, edgier and heavier than their debut "The All Seeing Eye" floats like a shark and stings like a scorpion!

#7:   Dixie Goat ~ There's No Light Without Darkness

If your not familiar with Chile's  Dixie Goat and are wondering why you should be bothering listening to music from a band situated at the ass end of the Southern Hemisphere well then wrapping your ears around the bands new album "There's No Light Without Darkness" will explain all!

#6:   Thammuz ~ Into The Great Unknown

Thammuz deliver a sound that runs the whole gamut of "underground rock" from dusty sand blasted desert rock through to dank doomic stoner metal, touching on blues. psych, punk and classic/hard rock along the way!

#5:   Ethereal Sea ~ Forgotten Memories of Tomorrow

Swinging, soulful, a touch psychedelic and with just the merest hint of country rock edginess and blusesy swagger "Forgotten Memories of Tomorrow" is an album that marks a huge leap in Ethereal Sea's development.

#4:   Sun of Grey ~ Outerworld

It has been three years since Sun of Grey blasted our brains with their self titled doomic two tracker but its been worth the wait, awesome is too small a word!

#3 Iglesia Atomica ~ La Guerra del Fin del Mundo

Absolutely mind-blowing instrumental jams from the masters of the art! Our personnel opinion is this is their best yet!

#2:   Troll Teeth ~ Goes Nowhere, Does Nothing

Concept albums are always a little hit or miss but Troll Teeth's "Goes Nowhere, Does Nothing" is all hit! This is a concept that tells its story just how you might read it from a book, easy to follow, full of the requisite villains and monsters that you would expect from a good tale but also with just the right amount of mystery and ambiguity to keep you guessing right up to the end.

#1:    REZN ~ Chaotic Divine

What is it that makes bands like Tool, Elder and All Them Witches stand out from the crowd when that crowd is made up of very adept bands full of equally adept and skilled musicians? The answer is risk! The bands mentioned at the top of this piece possess a fearlessness that sets them apart from the following herd simply because they are willing to experiment, to take chances and steer their music down unexpected avenues that may take them down cul-de-sac's but could equally open up whole new musical horizons. Chicago's REZN are not quite yet in the same league as those bands mentioned above but the quartet of Rob McWilliams (guitar/vocals/oud); Phil Cangelosi (bass/vocals/bağlama/rainstick); Patrick Dunn (drums /percussion/ sitar) and Spencer Ouellette (synthesizer /saxophone/flute/percussion) are certainly heading in the right direction if the bands latest album "Chaotic Divine" is anything to go by.


Well that's it folks Desert Psychlist's list of our favourites from 2020, it's been a a hell of a year but one set to a fantastic soundtrack!

So now it's time to thank all those that have played their parts this year, Michele for her endless support, hugs. kisses and transport duties, Vikki, Billy and Sian for being the best kids a Dad could ever hope for, grandchildren Ethan, Austin, Rowan and Amber for filling my heart with a new kind of love, Sreve Howe (of Outlaws Of The Sun) and Reek of Stoom (of Howls From The Hollows podcast) for constantly pointing us in the direction of new grooves and for late night chats, Joop Konraad (of Stoner Hive) for support and shout-outs, all the members at Retro Rockets for reminding us of our roots, Leanne Ridgeway (of Riff Relevant) for support and laughter., Bucky Brown ( of The Doom Charts/ The Ripple Effect) for all his hard work and cooking posts, all the contributors at The Doom Charts who monthly go that extra mile, all the record labels and PR companies for the promos and updates and last and but not least all the musicians and artists who constantly provide the grooves that shine a much needed light into our often drab lives. THANK YOU ALL!!!!

© 2020 Frazer Jones

Tuesday 22 December 2020


First let's start with a confession and that confession regards harsh vocals that border on the extreme and demonic, you see here at Desert Psychlist we are really not big fans of that type of delivery, however there are exceptions where they do work for us and Italian trio Three Eyes Left's latest release "Legione", and for that matter their two previous releases, fall into that category. 

Brutality is a tool that Three Eyes Left wield with deft skill and talent but that is not all that this band are about ,there are subtleties to be found among these dense guitar riffs and thunderous rhythms. Take opening song "Sulfur" for instance with its creepy movie referencing narrative that leads into an heavily effected bass motif, ok the song does not take long before it erupts into an onslaught of thick crunching blackened riffage and pounding percussion but listen a little harder and you can just about detect beneath the surface the odd blues lick and the occasional Iommi -like vibrato making their presences felt, and let's not gloss over those momentary lapses into an almost clean, if slightly warped, vocal dynamic that are almost grungy in tone. As the album progresses through songs like "Satanauta", "We Are Legion", "Master Of Beyond" through to the albums finale "Procession With Spectre In The Wood" it soon becomes clear that those subtleties found in the albums opening track are not just a one off and are present throughout the albums nine tracks and are a huge and important part of the bands overall sound

Desert Psychlist really cannot put our finger on the reasons why we are left cold by bands of a similar vocal dynamic and musical attack yet warm to what Three Eyes Left bring to the table, maybe its the sheer force of the bands attack that hits our soft spot or maybe its the musicality framing those feral vocals that stops us hitting the eject button when we listen to this band, all we can really say is that we dig what they do and leave it at that.
Check 'em out

© 2020 Frazer Jones

Monday 21 December 2020


The three D's of trio Cosmic Marauder, Daniel (guitars/vocals); Daney (drums) and Dominik (bass), hail from another D,.Düsseldorf, Germany, and jam grooves that are unashamedly "stoner" in structure, in other words raucous riffs and thundering rhythms played hard, played heavy and played fuzzy. The band, made up of two old schoolfriends and a mutual acquaintance, only recently came together but have been rehearsing and practicing like madmen to hone their musical chops and with a few well received gigs under their respective belts the band decided it was time to put some grooves down on tape the result of which is the bands debut EP "Venus Ryder"

We at Desert Psychlist are very partial to a fuzz drenched grainy guitar riff and "Venus Ryder" is an EP absolutely packed with that particular commodity, however it is "Venus Ryder" the instrumental track that opens and lends its name to this EP that is probably the least grainy and the least fuzzy to be found here, its intro of strange noises and effects leading into a Floydian guitar motif that has sparse but effective single notes ringing out over liquid bass and restrained percussion, the songs laid back lysergic vibe only fractured when it sporadically erupts into crunching powerchords and thunderous rhythms. Those grainy guitar tones are given full rein on next song "Dynamite" a heavy stoner blues workout with a stop/start dynamic that is decorated in clean powerful vocal tones that sound at times like they are being sung through a loudhailer. "Green Ether" follows and finds the band still loitering in blues territory but this time surrounding themselves with a denser more doomic sound and levelling up the vocals with a more grizzled, harsher attack. The lysergic elements that informed the EP's title track are revisited again for instrumental "Too Close To The Sun" but are twinned with the more stoner doomic aspects explored on "Green Ether" resulting in a nice balance of the two. The band bring things to a close with "Cosmonaut" a furiously paced rocker with a strident desert feel, clean vocals roared with gritty passion over chugging palm muted guitar riffs, grizzled bass and solid industrious percussion.

As debut EP's go "Venus Ryder" is up there with some of the best in its genre, but we at Desert Psychlist are guessing that this is a band who can and will do even better in the future. We predict that those snatches of lysergic experimentation, that sneak their way into the bands raucous doom tinted grooves, may well become a much more prominent part of the bands sound and if that is the case .....well watch out world!
Check 'em out .... 

© 2020 Frazer Jones

Sunday 20 December 2020

WORMHOG ~ YELLOW SEA .... review

Often accused of being over-indulgent and over complex progressive rock has not always had the easiest of rides since the punks almost beat it into submission in the late 70's, however , in the late 80's/early 90's, with the emergence of bands like Porcupine Tree and Dream Theater prog rock/metal started to see somewhat of a revival. That revival has rolled merrily on unabated but unlike its previous 70's incarnation which brought rock together with aspects of highbrow classical music the prog of the 90's, and up until the present day, has been a many headed beast utilizing elements from everything from jazz through to black metal.
Today we are reviewing an album from a Greek band who approach their prog from a more stoner/desert/hard rock angle, the band are called Wormhog and the album goes by the name "Yellow Sea"

Coming from a country that has given us such great stoner/hard rock bands as Nightstalker, Planet of Zeus, 1000 Mods and Dope Default it is not surprising that Wormhog's take on prog is delivered with its fair share of fuzz drenched crunch and thrumming distortion. Desert Psychlist is not sure if "stoner prog" is a thing but if it isn't then it should be and if it is then Wormhog should be considered its flagbearers, the band bringing complexities and intricacies to the table that have all the hallmarks of "classic" prog but cleverly infusing those elements with  enough grunt and growl to fill a small zoo. Songs like "Beneath The Yellow Sea", "Inertia", "One Man" and "Planet Egg" are multi-layered tomes that are constantly shifting and evolving, the band always finding new directions  and dimensions in which to take their songs into. Instrumentally and vocally these guys are right on the top of their game, the albums soaring vocals are blessed with impressive clarity and power and sit atop scorching well thought out guitar solo's, convoluted chord progressions, jazzy percussion and booming intricate bass lines as well as a very pleasing element of old school heavy metal growl. 

Prog is often associated with weighty subject matter and overbearing unfathomable concepts but this is not so much the case with Wormhog's "Yellow Sea" yes there is a loose theme tying all these songs together but overbearing and unfathomable are not words you would place in a sentence with this excellent and highly enjoyable album.
Check it out ..... 

© 2020 Frazer Jones

Tuesday 15 December 2020


There was a time when Orange Goblin were the UK's only real recognized stoner rock/metal combo however slowly but surely things started to change and over the last ten or so years what started as a trickle has gradually turned into a deluge, to the point where the UK, although not quite on a par with Greece and Sweden, has become a significant hub for good underground rock music. 
Superlord, a band hailing from the English counties of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire, are the latest group to throw their hat into the increasingly growing ring of British underground rock, the trio of Aaron Brennan (guitar/vocals); Tom Humphrey (bass) and Mike Whittle (drums) have caused quite a stir with their debut EP "Vs. Gargantuan" with many of the scenes movers and shakers, with only days to go, already deciding to include it into their end of year "best of" lists for 2020. 

You kind of know from just looking at the excellent sci-fi themed artwork that adorns "Vs. Gargantuan" that something special lies beneath, and believe us something special does. Superlord jam a groove that takes all the best bits of desert rock and then puts them through the unholy blender of stoner doom adding a little Sabbathesque proto flavoring along the way. If Desert Psychlist were to play the comparison game then we guess The Sword would have to be mentioned as of course would the mighty Kyuss and also possibly, at a stretch, Sasquatch and Monster Magnet but in truth Superlord are their own entity with their own unique sound. There are only four songs to be sampled on "Vs, Gargantuan" but each of them is its very own animal, "Weight" is a stonking riff monster with classic rock ambitions, "Desert Ruins" is a dune hopping desert rocker with an infectious circular groove, title track "Vs. Gargantuan" is a complex beast with proggish overtones while epic closing number "Alice Olive" is headlong dive into the dark waters of stoner doom. Each song is delivered with an unbelievable level of musicianship, crunching powerchords, swirling solos, growling bass lines and thunderous percussion, and each song is decorated in clean, melodic and powerful vocals that sit perfectly in that Goldilocks zone midway in the mix. 

Heavy, yet not to the point of being brutal, and with a groove that gets under your skin and stays there "Vs. Gargantuan" is a superb debut EP from a band who if they continue on  the path they are now following will win many new friends both here in the UK and further afield.
Check 'em out ..... 

© 2020 Frazer Jones

Monday 14 December 2020


Desert Psychlist makes no apologies for once again featuring a Greek band on these pages, especially a band like King Mountain whose blend of stoner fuzz, soulful southern swagger and bluesy hard rock bluster is like manna from heaven to our riff battered ears. King Mountain, much like their fellow Greek contemporaries Honeybadger, take their influences from a more "classic rock" perspective than some of their more raucous countrymen , their sound having more in common with the more melodic hard rock of Bad Company and Free and the more southern rock sound of  Lynyrd Skynyrd and Blackfoot than it does the more abrasive attack of their Greek contemporaries Planet of Zeus and Dope Default. Having said that there is no dearth of crunch and bite to the grooves King Mountain serve up for our listening pleasure on their latest release "Days of Redemption", as hopefully, after reading this review, you will soon realise.

Things begin well with first track "Rise Above the Ashes", a strident mixture of hard rocking riff rock and soulful southern melancholy, and get progressively better as the album goes on. King Mountain have a knack of knowing how to structure a good rock song, a band who can write songs that will rock your socks off with their raucous riffs one minute then touch your heart with their soulful melodies the next, and they do this over and over again, often all in the course of just one song. Let's not pretend King Mountain are some punk rock inspired stoner rock band brought up on tales of generator parties beneath the moonlit skies of Palm Desert, California, no this is a band who have been brought up on 70's classic rock, that time when melody went hand in hand with raunch and a band was not looked down upon if they got a little mellow and retrospective from time to time, in fact it was expected. Soulful is a good way to describe the vocals that inhabit each and every one of the nine songs that make up "Days of Redemption", as they contain a lived in weariness that adds a certain amount of gravitas to the tales they tell with songs like "Justice & Salvation", "Obsessed" and "Evil Dust". These vocals are backed by musicians that can shift through dynamics like a racing driver might shift through gears, heart wrenching guitar solos' being replaced by crunching chord progressions, growling bass motifs making way for liquid lines, pounded drum skins stepping aside for shimmering cymbals, the band combining together to create a sound that although harks back to the golden age of rock is very much still in the here and now.

Lovers of Bad Company, Free, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Blackfoot will immediately get "Days of Redemption" as will those that have a soft spot for bands like Burning Tree, Cry of Love and Raging Slab, those that don't get what King Mountain bring to the table may just need to have their mojo's given a radical overhaul! 
Check 'em out .... 

© 2020 Frazer Jones

Sunday 13 December 2020


When punk first exploded onto the music scene back in the mid 70's one of the reasons given for its emergence was that the youth of the day could find no relevance in songs about wizards, warlocks and dragons and wanted something that spoke to them about the lives they were leading and the problems that they faced on a day to day basis. Lately, however, it seems that reality has started to get a little too real for comfort for some music fans and they have once again started to look around for a bit of escapism, those themes, be it horror space or fantasy, that were once laughed at as being fey and trite are now once again becoming common place. 
Lorekeeper, a two man groove unit from Minneapolis, Minnesota consisting of John Dowling (guitar/vocals) and Jacob Fulton (drums), do not try to disguise their love of a good fantasy lyric in fact they've filled a whole album with them, as you will find out for yourselves when taking their self-titled debut album "Lorekeeper" for a spin.

 "Tusk Rider", opens proceedings and is a graphic account of a hunt set in a time when wooly hided beasts and long toothed felines roamed the Earth, the song is written from the perspective of the hunter and tells of "hunting the mastodon, methodically tracking the herd" in grizzled vocal tones against a backdrop of crunching guitar chords and pounding percussion. "Obelisk Throne" follows and finds Dowling adopting a cleaner less abrasive vocal tone over a groove that has a slightly more doomic feel than its predecessor, There is Sabbath-ian feel to the  proto-metallish grooves of next track "Dragon Wagon", a feel that is reflected in its grooves but not so much within its vocals which are served up ear as catching and infectious. "Trilobyte" and "Crystal Nomad" follow in in quick succession, the former an ode to one of Earth's early inhabitants replete with stuttering guitar attack and industrious percussion, the latter a proto-doomic outing drenched in fuzz and distortion. For their next track, " Copper Colossus", Lorekeeper throw us a dark thrumming instrumental packed solid with multi-tracked guitar goodness and powerful drumming. The band bring things to a close with "Beyond The Shell" a superb heavy and  atmospheric tome that is built on crunching guitar refrains and solid busy drumming, its strident circling finale the perfect sign off on a very impressive album.

With tv/movie franchises like Game of Thrones and Witcher leading the way and fantasy themed concept albums appearing on the scene on an almost daily basis it seems that escapism is riding the crest of a wave right now so what better time to release an album steeped in the stuff. "Lorekeeper" is an album that ticks all right boxes, it sets scenes, it tells stories and it delivers musically so grab your club, don your loin cloths/robes or armour and let's join the band and go slay some beasties.
Check it out ...... 

© 2020 Frazer Jones

Monday 7 December 2020


Lock yourself in a darkened room with pot of herbal tea and some exotic smoking material, turn on your 70's retro lava lamp and press play on your listening device of choice and allow Satorinaut to take you, via the medium of their latest album "Exclusive All Inclusive", to a place where the skies are a multitude of colors and the sun is emblazoned with a permanently smiling face.

Satorinaut are Krisztián Megyeri (drums); Bence Ambrus (guitar); Róbert Kránitz (bass) and Dávid Nagy (vocals/narration), four Hungarians from the city of Budapest with a love of a lysergic laced groove. If Desert Psychlist were to make any comparisons to the sound Satorinaut create with their blend of heavy psych and proto-metal then the best we could probably come up with is that of cult American acid rockers The JPT Scare Band, the two bands sharing a similar penchant for endless (but never boring) guitar solos screaming and wailing over a mixed backdrop of sometimes insistent and strident, sometimes languid and laid back rhythms. Where Satorinaut differ from their North American cousins is that where The JPT Scare Band might have opted for an occasional wander into more traditional rock waters Satorinaut seem to prefer to spend their time basking in the haze of the psychedelic sunshine. To describe "Exclusive All Inclusive" as a "trip" seems a little lazy and a bit of a cliché but try as we might we cannot really come up with a better description for the four grooves Satorinaut present us with here, especially when those grooves are combined with occasional spoken vocals that go a long way in adding an extra dimension of cosmic spirituality and otherwordlyness to the bands overall sound and sonic impact.

"Ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to the truth, unity and love show" is the legend that adorns the lyrics of opening track "Sacred Superheroes" words that just about sum up Satorinaut's hippy-ish 60's ideals and 70's musical attack, who in their right mind could resist such a warm and inviting welcome.
Check 'em out .... 

© 2020 Frazer Jones

Monday 30 November 2020

TENCODE (10 Code) ~ RIDE .......

C'mon be honest , you knew it wouldn't be long before Desert Psychlist dragged you kicking and screaming back to Greece to check out yet another of the countries ever-growing roster of kick-ass bands but as the self-appointed ministers for Greek underground culture Desert Psychlist feels it is our duty. Today we introduce you to a quartet going by the name Tencode (also known as 10 Code), the band, Petros Potamianos (vocals, guitar), Apostolos Boules (guitar), Haris Anagnostou (drums) and George Paraskevopoulos (bass), hail from Athens and jam a groove that takes a little classic/hard rock, sprinkles it with a pinch of grungy alt-rock and then tops it all off with with some nicely warmed stoner fuzz,  a recipe that makes their latest release "Ride" a very tasty dish indeed.

There is a whiff of Audioslave's "Cochise" about "Let Go", the track that opens "Ride", not so much in its vocal delivery or overall sound but more in the manner of its attack, Audioslave were making a statement with their debut single, announcing their arrival with a full on metallic onslaught and "Let Go" has very much that same feel. Given this information it is not hard to come to the conclusion that 10 Code are a band who take their influences from the heavier end of the grunge/alt-rock scene, especially the aforementioned Audioslave and Soundgarden, but you will also hear elements garnered from the full spectrum of the rock canon scattered throughout the eight tracks that make up "Ride" with aspects of 70's hard rock and 90's stoner rock all making their presence felt on songs like "Be Nothing", "I Rule The World" and "Inside Your Head". 10 Code are not averse to wading into more mainstream waters either, title track "Ride" having the sort of crossover appeal that could easily see it gracing the playlists of commercial rock radio. Musically the band are as tight as a Boa Constrictors grip on its prey, guitarists Boules and Potamianos' trade off of crunching powerchords, tasty licks and searing solos are perfectly complimented by Paraskevopoulos' throbbing bass lines and Anagnostou's industrious and solid drumming, it is however Boules powerhouse vocals that the listener will probably come away remembering the most, the guitarist/vocalist does not quite have the range of a Chris Cornell or a Myles Kennedy but he does his damn best to come close.

10 Code have a sound that probably comes across a little more sophisticated and polished than many of the Greek bands Desert Psychlist has covered on these hallowed pages but do not mistake sophisticated and polished for lightweight and lame, 10 Code have the melodies and the hooks but they also have the might!
Check 'em out ....

© 2020 Frazer Jones

Sunday 29 November 2020


Troll Teeth, J.W. "Moe" Eccles (bass/vocals); Peter "Pretty Boy" Trafalski (guitar) and Kyle "Thuds" Applebaum (drums), hail from New Jersey, USA, the band have gone through numerous comings and goings since their formation but whatever the line up the onus has always been on delivering grooves of the very highest standard and that standard could not come any higher than the grooves delivered on the bands third album "Goes Nowhere, Does Nothing"(Electric Talon Records).

Troll Teeth have saved Desert Psychlist the job of describing what they do musically by writing on their Bandcamp page the legend "heavy, catchy riffs played for a while with some sweet, velvety lyrics". Now we could leave it at just that and move on to another review, especially as it is a very apt and fitting description, but us being us we feel we have to elaborate on that statement. 
Catchy is a term used in music to describe riffs, melodies and grooves that hit the ear and stay there, well placed hooks that grab a listeners attention and then reels them in like an angler playing a fish. "Goes Nowhere, Does Nothing" is packed solid with these hooks but doubles up their impact by tying them into a sci-fi themed concept that tells of a mission that descends into a nightmare. Unlike some concepts that tend to go off on tangents "Goes Nowhere, Does Nothing" tells its story much like a comic novel, each song being a chapter and each chapter/song following on from the previous one. "Sword of Progress" opens the story by describing our heroes beginning their journey full of hope and excitement, eager for adventure against a backdrop of chugging upbeat guitar riffage driven by a solid tight rhythm section around which clean, clear vocals tell of a trip that will take "us to whole new worlds". Following track " Trapped In a Bottle" comes in two distinctive parts, the first part tells of an untested commander, and the slight resentment of a crew being told what to do by a man unproven, and is backed by fractured, heavily effected, guitar chords reverberating over a spaced out lysergic groove, while the second part tells of a distress call that changes everything and finds the band falling into a stonerized bluesy groove replete with swirling guitar solos, growling bass and heavier more thunderous percussion. "All Hands On Deck" describes our crew apprehensive but excited by their new unexpected rescue mission and has a more stonier doomier musical vibe while following track "Reconnoiter" has a spacey hard rock groove and depicts some of the crew beamed down to the surface of an unexplored planet with apprehension being slowly replaced by fear as they get their first glimpses of something ominous afoot. "Turncoat" tells of betrayal and lies over a backdrop of strident percussion and grizzled bass that is decorated with screaming guitar solos that at times border on dissonant but are, at all times, totally mind-blowing, the last lines of the songs lyrics, "Not a word can be said If anyone asks they were already dead" telling you all you need to know, not only about the calibre of the man in charge of this mission, but also the fate of those men he leaves behind. "Running Out of Time" uses a mixture of Caribbean pulses, space-rock swirls and bluesy heavy psych to tell its tales of denial and accusation, its atmospheric, mournful meter boasting some of the best feel based guitar playing Desert Psychlist has heard in a long, long time. The prog(ish) "Emergency" follows and throws an interesting twist into the story, was the distress call that brought the crew here actually them and are they somehow caught in a ever revolving time loop cursed to relive their experiences over and over again. That question is somewhat answered by the songs final verse and the line " This loop - goes on - and on and on". The twelve minute plus epic "Kokabiel" closes proceedings and finds the so called monster of this piece, a huge space spider,  telling his side of the story to a soundtrack of some of the best blues based heavy psych you are likely to experience this side of this coming new year, or for that matter the next one.

Concept albums are always a little hit or miss but Troll Teeth's " Goes Nowhere, Does Nothing" is all hit! This is a concept that tells its story just how you might read it from a book, easy to follow, full of the requisite villains and monsters that you would expect from a good tale but also with just the right amount of mystery and ambiguity to keep you guessing. The fact that Troll Teeth back this concept with complex intricate music of, what can only be described as, the highest quality is testament to not only their ability to tell a story but also their skill as musicians and songwriters.
Check 'em out ..... 

© 2020 Frazer Jones

Monday 23 November 2020


 Desert Psychlist has struggled before with trying to describe music to our readers that doesn't quite fit into those neat little boxes we often use to compartmentalize the music we listen to but the album we are reviewing today has been our hardest challenge to date. "Royal Rum Board Night" is an album from Sin, a power trio from Rennes, France whose only rule is to not have any rules, they are a band who don't observe boundaries or borders, a band who are fearless and unwilling to compromise, a band who are unpredictable and above all exciting!

If there was any justice in this world then Gus Paulhan (guitar/lead vocals/keys/percussions/mandolin) Célestin Herault (bass/vocals/violin/assorted noises) and Flav Gouault (drums/vocals/percussion) would be carried shoulder high through our streets, lauded as saviors of intelligent rock music, heirs apparent to the crowns of Elder and All Them Witches, unfortunately that will probably not happen. Why this will not happen is because Sin are probably a little too eclectic, too angular and too diverse for their own good, the bands penchant for skipping across genres and styles with their music being probably a stretch too far for the casual rock fan to take in all at once. However for those with a broader musical palette Sin are like manna from heaven, a band who are a sum of their influences, influences that include such opposing elements as jazz, pop, prog and math rock as well as the usual suspects of stoner rock, psych and doom. Nothing is a given with "Royal Rum Board Night" songs like "Quintessence", "What If...", "Purpose" and "Watching" may start their journey's on one path but very rarely do they stay on that path, a brutal riff can at any moment make way for a ringing arpeggio, a section of post-rock ambience may suddenly morph into a swirling heavy psych freak-out, all of which are decorated in a mix of clean lead and harmonized vocals  It is this unpredictability of moods and the bands refusal to conform to a stereotypical rock blueprint that make listening to "Royal Rum Board Night" at times challenging but always exciting.

Someone once said "he who is without sin shall cast the first stone" well do yourselves a massive favor, put down your stones and get yourself some Sin, you won't regret it!
Check 'em out

© 2020 Frazer Jones