Saturday 30 September 2023


Having been to Mallorca on a number of occasions Desert Psychlist can honestly say that it is a place close to our hearts. Relaxation and recouperation were the reason for our visits then and we have to say that searching out the island's underground rock scene was not high on our agenda of things to do, however having had our eyes and ears opened up by labels like Spinda Records and Discos Macarras Records our next visit might well be for that very purpose. Queen Marsa, are one such Mallorcan band that would definitely be on out list for checking out, if only to see if their live shows live up to the promise shown on their studio output. Queen Marsa, Manuel Pintos (vocals)· Xavi Cárceles (guitar); Jaume Rado (guitar); Juan Bonet (drums) and Toni Coronado (bass)  first came to Desert Psychlist's attention when Dani Audi, head honcho at Discos Macarras Records and drummer for heavy rock band Memest, messaged Desert Psychlist suggesting we should to check out the bands self-titled debut EP "Queen Marsa",which given Dani's impeccable taste in music we immediately did, what we heard was a band with a real feel and understanding of 70's hard rock but also knew how to mould that sound to appeal to a modern day audience. That was three years ago and things went a little quiet for a while causing Desert Psychlist to fear that Queen Marsa was another of those bands that had not come out of the other side of the worlds Covid crisis. Those fears were allayed however when Dani once again got in touch to inform us the band were releasing a full length album entitled "I Am The Land" (Discos Macarras Records), so it looks like that Mallorcan trip could still be on the cards.

"Guagameia" kicks things off, an old school hard rocker packed solid with everything you loved about rock before the the size of a bands hair become more important than the quality of their music, grinding crunchy guitar tones, bass lines played on more than one string, drumming that swings as much as it thunders and vocals that combine power with melody. "Made For Lovers" follows, a song with a title that suggests balladry but is in fact a swaggering stuttering tour-de-force with more hooks than a cloakroom. Three songs in and you might be thinking its time for a change in tempo and that is exactly what you don't get, unless you count the songs slightly bluesy middle section but even that hits harder than a heavyweight boxer. "The Trick Is You Don't Mind" is a driving rocker with an element of psychedelic headiness sitting in its centre and leads into title track "I Am The Land" a song with a groove that routinely shifts between a restrained chug and a sudden explosion and boasts a vocal melody so infectious it demands the wearing of a face mask. If you are a fan of Australian rockers Electric Mary then you cannot fail to enjoy "Stop Dry" as it has that same dirty bluesiness and thunderous drive that has become that bands trademark. A touch of southern bluesy swagger and wah pedal drenched funkiness informs "Treat Me Like You Do" combined with excellent guitar solos and another of those superb throaty vocal performances while "The Truth (You Don't Want To Know)" throws a little proggish texturing into ring just to show this is a band with more than one string to their collective bow. "Outlaw On The Run" brings things to a close in furious style, circular twin guitar motifs and palm muted riffs swirling and crunching respectively over a tight, tight rhythmic groove decorated with a gritty but uber melodic and powerful vocal.

Stoner rock fans  and hard rock fans share a love of riffs, driving rhythms and searing solos but whereas it is the riff that is often the deal breaker for stoner rock fans, and any furnishings around that riff are a bonus, your hard rock fan is a much more discerning listener who demands catchy choruses and hooks big enough to hang a sky on. Queen Marsa's "I Am The Land" is an album that WILL appeal to the stoner rockers but is first and foremost aimed at the latter group. 
Check it out ...  

© 2023 Frazer Jones

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