Monday, 31 May 2021
DR. COLOSSUS ~ I'M A STUPID MORON WITH AN UGLY FACE AND A BIG BUTT AND MY BUTT SMELLS AND I LIKE TO KISS MY OWN BUTT ... review
Sunday, 23 May 2021
DREADNOUGHT IN THE POND ~ 0=1 .... review
The best way to describe DITP's sound is to say it is a constructed noise, a complex noise, a sometimes unsettling noise, an often confused noise but for all that .. a beautiful noise, the nearest comparisons anyone could probably make to the bands sound would be that of The Mars Volta or possibly Tool but even then your arrows of comparison would be falling wide of their mark. DITP squeeze into their dissonant ditties elements of everything from punk to krautrock, their songs are sometimes loud and jarring, sometimes smooth and free-flowing, their vocals range from angsty screams through to clipped gothic croons and their grooves incorporate an astounding array of weird and wonderful instrumental tricks and effects, all of these elements combining together to create something that is totally unique and exciting if sometimes a little eclectic. What about the songs we hear you ask, well as we said in our opening piece DITP's sound is not something that lends itself to easy description and that goes for their songs too so we will just pick out what for us are a few highlights to be found on "0=1" like the wonderfully mind-blowing "Like Butterflies" with its grungy industrial groove and recurring guitar motifs and the epic centerpiece "When You Pass Away" with its ever shifting dynamics and dissonant lead work, but in all honesty there is not one song on "0=1" that you will wish to skip or scan over, each is a masterpiece in its own right even though each teeters precariously on the edge of falling into a glorious chaos.
© 2021 Frazer Jones
Saturday, 22 May 2021
HIPPIE DEATH CULT ~ CIRCLE OF DAYS ..... review
Friday, 21 May 2021
MIST TOWER ~ OBSESSION .... review
Ukraine's Mist Tower, Artyom Matiienko (vocals); Alexandr Hodosevych (guitar); Andrew "djentle.man" (guitar); Yaroslav Starovich (drums) and Simon Buzzkeeper (bass) describe themselves as a band who gathered together to "smoke and play music", well we are not close enough to the band to comment on their smoking claim (although we suspect its true) but given that Desert Psychlist has just given the bands debut EP "Obsession" a very satisfying and enjoyable spin we can verify that the playing music part of that statement definitely holds water.
"4th of July" kicks things off with big swirling riffs interspersed with cleverly placed spaced out guitar textures and is decorated with a sneering vocal that for split second had Desert Psychlist wondering if Brit-rock stalwarts Oasis' front man Liam Gallagher had changed his name and moved to the Ukraine, such is the similarity in tone. There is nothing Oasis like about the music behind that voice though as Mist Tower are probably closer on this song to an early Elder than they are the Manchester Brit-rockers albeit with a little more doomic spatial awareness. "Pandemic" follows and poses a bit of a question as here we find Mist Tower ramping up the doom quotient as well as the heavy psych but twinning those elements with a vocal totally different in tone and execution to the albums other tracks which beggars the question was this song recorded separately from the rest of the album and added as an after thought or had the singer just not smoked enough prior to laying down his vocals, either way its a damn good song. Those slightly sneered vocal tones return for "Devil's Knife" and are combined with a groove that is a little less intense than what has gone before, still heavy but just not as dark while "Vibrations" finds the band bringing a little lysergic haziness into play and building up the atmospherics, the two different and heavily effected guitar tones playing off against each other just before the close of this song is mind-blowing. The EP closes with "Kolodyaz" a scintillating instrumental that builds its part up slowly layer by glorious layer until reaching a peak of psychedelic doomic splendor and then slowly making its way down again.
Thursday, 20 May 2021
A BETTER TOMORROW ~ SPIRITUAL CROSSING ...... review
Tuesday, 18 May 2021
MOON COVEN ~ SLUMBER WOOD ..... review
If you like your doom stonerized and with a ritualistic spiritual vibe then you can't go far wrong by tapping into the grooves brought to sacrificial altar by Malmo based Swedish doomsters Moon Coven. The band will be no strangers to those of you out there with your fingers on the pulse of the underground scene as the band have impressed us before, first with their three song EP, "Amanita Kingdom" and then again with their full length self-titled debut "Moon Coven". Its been a while since "Moon Coven" was released but good things are worth waiting for and the bands new release "Slumber Wood" (Ripple Music) is definitely something you would class as a "good thing"
Opening track "Further" harks back to an earlier period in Moon Coven's development in that it employs those classic stoner doom dynamics of slow low and heavy bass and guitar refrains bolstered by pummeling, pounding percussion and monotonic, but nevertheless melodic, vocals that have become Moon Coven's trademark. It is second song "Ceremony" that first starts to show us a glimpses of why those six years of hard work have not been wasted. The song does not deviate too far from the bands usual stoner doom blueprint, those riffs are still a dominant force and those drums still pound and pummel, but there is a more melodic and harmonious feel to everything going on here, a feel that is further enhanced by the totally unexpected blues drenched guitar solo that erupts out of the heaviness at around the songs half way mark. "Potbelly Hill" is up next and again it is a song driven by big resounding riffs but again Moon Coven don't let things become a relentless dirge the band cleverly injecting little snippets of post rock texturing and psych like colorings into the proceedings to lighten things up. "Eye of the Night" is probably the nearest Moon Coven will ever get to writing an all out hard rock song while "A Tower of Silence" shows the bands more experimental side. "Bahgsu Nag" follows and is somewhat of a departure for the band in that it has a more indie/alternative feel, it is also a song that forces Desert Psychlist into confessing that there have been times, up to and including this song, where we have been hearing shades of "Faith" and "Seventeen Seconds" era The Cure in both the albums vocal tones and musical execution, ok the delivery is a lot more intense and heavier but we still hear it all the same. Confession over we move on to next track "Seagull" a song that finds Moon Coven taking the bare bones of stoner doom and hanging on those bones bright musical trinkets that glisten and sparkle amidst the gloom. Things are then brought to close with "My Melting Mind" a song that once again harks back to Moon Coven's past endeavors of big doomic riffs and big thunderous rhythms, however the bands new found musicality is never far away and has now become part of the bands DNA and so its not long before a series of ringing arpeggios and circular guitar motifs make their presence felt to bring a touch of much called for respite to the songs low heavy and relentless sonic attack.
Sunday, 16 May 2021
SANTA PLANTA ~ SANTA PLANTA ...... review
Light one up and relax yourselves into the arms Spanish trio Santa Planta and allow them to carry you on clouds of sweet smelling smoke through a world where riffs are king and rhythms rumble with thunderous intent. Santa Planta, Lorena "Lowla Blaze" Zamora (drums/additional vocals); Alex "Sticky fingers" Reduello (bass/additional vocals) and Dani "Goat Whisperer" Roldán-Cuartero (guitar/vocals), hail from Madrid, Spain and jam a groove that blends eclectic stoner doom with elements of heavy psych and post-rock while at the same time utilizing samples and soundbytes to give their sound an almost Floydian flavour, and if you like the sound of that then you'll just adore their self-titled debut EP "Santa Planta" (Loneravn Records)
Stoner Doom as a genre can sometimes be somewhat one-dimensional but Santa Planta have managed to avoid that particular pitfall by adding a few interesting curveballs and quirks to their sound. As a new(ish) band they are not quite the finished article yet but this EP shows a band full of promise and one to keep our eyes and ears on in the future.
Check 'em out .....
Wednesday, 12 May 2021
BLEND OF STONES ~ CABINET OF CURIOSITIES ....... review
There is nothing that floats Desert Psychlist's boat more than some raucous hard rock spliced with a decent amount of stoner fuzz and distortion which is probably why French quintet Blend of Stones, Mat (drums); Nico and Dav (guitars); Lilian (bass) and Dadou (vocals), debut EP "Cabinet of Curiosities" has made such an impression on us and hopefully will have the same effect others too.
If you are a fan of Clutch or Mississippi Bones then there is a lot about Blend of Stones that will appeal here, there is a similar feel to the grooves the band deliver on "Cabinet of Curiosities" that carries a flavor of both those bands yet does so without sounding like a copy or a pastiche. Ok vocalist Dadou does not possess the tongue in cheek drawl of Mississippi Bones Jared Collins or the fire and brimstone delivery of Clutch's Neil Fallon but his gruff, powerful tones nevertheless have a similar level of grittiness and fury that is perfectly suited to the slightly southern tinted stoner rock that surrounds them. Things kick of gnarly and raucous with "Headbreaker" an all out assault on the senses driven by growling bass and furious drumming, courtesy of Lilian and Mat, and given all the necessary crunch and crackle thanks to the guitars of Nico and Dav, Dadou waxing lyrical over the top in a voice unshackled by restraint, full on strong and loud. With hardly anytime allowed for the listener to catch his/her breath the band slam into "Crazy" a testosterone fueled romp that doesn't let up for even a second and finds Dadou trading vocal licks with the rest of the band in a sort of call and response scenario, if this song doesn't have you jumping out of your seat and dancing around your living room/bedroom like a possessed lunatic then there is something seriously wrong with you. "Candle" eases off the accelerator but only slightly, it's bluesy undercurrent is enhanced with clever little guitar motifs and licks and finds Dadou tailoring his vocals to include a little soulful melancholy. The superbly titled "Prophet Asshole" sees Blend of Stones getting a little adventurous and adding touches of doomic texturing to their bluesy hard/stoner rock attack, nothing too low and slow but enough to add an air of dankness to proceedings.
Thursday, 6 May 2021
JUKE COVE ~ REMEDY ..... review
Wednesday, 5 May 2021
SHOGUN ~ TETRA ...... review
We don't know if it has something to do with the ancient laws of Bushido but this is the second time Wisconsin quartet Shogun has taken everyone by surprise by releasing an album without anyone having any knowledge that they were about to do so, not that we are complaining mind. because the bands latest outing "Tetra" is an ass kicking little gem.
Shogun have always described what they do as "riffs upon riffs, upon riffs, upon more riffs" but we at Desert Psychlist feel the band are doing themselves a disservice with such a description, there is more to what Shogun bring to the table than just the an endless array of guitar refrains, these guys have a groove and they are not afraid to use it. That groove presents itself right from the word go with first track "Gravitas" a solid mid-tempo rocker decorated in cool clean melodic vocals sung over a desert rock groove that probably leans more towards hard rock than it does metal. Following track "Buddah's Palm/Aviary" is a song in two parts, the first part is heralded in by drummer Alvin Vega banging out a solid four to the floor drum tattoo which is then joined by bassist Max Muenchow and guitarist Sam Wallman in a stuttering metallic groove that is further enhanced by Wallman's clever solo insertions and ear catching licks and taken to another level by Joe Widen's distinctive vocals while the songs second part finds the band dabbling with a more lysergic sound, that includes ringing arpeggios shimmering percussion and fractured chord voicings. "Disintergrate" opens with Vega and Muenchow locking into an old school hard rock groove with Wallman adding the fire with some sterling lead work, it is almost a whole two minutes before Widen's vocals join the fray but it's worth the wait, his clean, powerful voice bringing bright melody where other singers might have brought dark dissonant harshness. Up next is "Delta" which starts off with a sample of Blind Willie Johnson performing "Nobody's Fault But Mine" but then segues into a low slow doomic riff monster driven by low booming bass and thundering percussion that showcases Widen's vocal prowess as a blues singer, that however is not the end of the story as the song then shifts again this time into a laid back psychedelic groove that allows Wallman to step into the spotlight and pin our ears back with an achingly beautiful and emotive guitar solo. "Gone Forever" finds Shogun throwing their hat into the folk/Americana arena with a stunning laid back ballad that gives Wallman the opportunity to show us that what he can do with an electric guitar he is more than capable of doing with an acoustic also. We already know that these guys can do stoner and hard rock standing on their heads but can they also turn their hands to a bit of old school "classic" rock, well "Axiom" says they can and as if to further prove it they do it again on another two part piece "Vertex/ Universal Pain Center", this time finishing it off with a weird but nevertheless wonderful experiment in sound. Shogun bring things to a close with "Maximum Play " a song that pulls everything the band has shown us up to now together in one song.
Sunday, 2 May 2021
GODHEAD LIZARD ~ V838 ..... review
"Climbing all this way up just to get this? If the sky is a king, chaos is my queen" sings vocalist Vince on opening track "Vertigo", his powerful vocal carrying a throaty soulful weariness totally suited to both the songs lyrical content and the music surrounding that content, those surrounding grooves being a mixture of Sabbathian proto-doom and bluesy hard rock awash with grainy fuzz and thrumming distortion that is driven hard by a battery of thundering percussion. As an opening track "Vertigo" is pretty impressive stuff but we've only just scratched the surface and what's to come is as equally impressive if not more so. Next track "Cracks & Mirror" kicks off with one of those recurring guitar motifs so beloved of bands like Sasquatch and Black Sabbath but then plummets into a juddering jarring stoner doom(ish) groove anchored by bassist Phil's growling bass and drummer Jo's pounding skins and cymbals over which guitarist Nic chops out fuzz soaked power chords and distortion saturated bluesy solos, Vince placing the cherry firmly on the musical cake with a powerful and emotive vocal. "Chiskar" follows and initially jams a hazy lysergic blues groove but then erupts into all out fuzzed out heaviness enhanced by some blistering guitar work from Nic and a superbly pitched vocal from Vince. "W?AT O.D." borrows a "Master of Reality" era type Sabbath riff and marries it with a vocal that carries a few characteristics usually associated with Clutch's Neil Fallon while "Momocerotis" finds Godhead Lizard dipping their toes into the waters of instrumental heavy psych. Its back to business as usual with "Bending Waters", Vince spouting cryptic lyrics about monkeys, knives and bookshelves against an undulating heavy blues tinted groove that is constantly erupting, quelling then erupting again. It's been a hell of a ride so far but all good things must come to an end eventually and so with sad hearts we finally arrive at final track "Gates of Kurnugi" a throat grabbing blend of lysergic ambience and full on pure rock fury that in its quieter moments carries a reflective soulfulness but in its louder, heavier moments hits with the force of a runaway train, if there was a world record for how much fuzz and distortion you could possibly cram into one song then "Gates of Kurnigi" would be in with a shout for that title, your speakers/headphones will be screaming for mercy.