ALBUM REVIEW: High Priestess – Casting the Circle – Ripple Music

When LA trio High Priestess‘s eponymous debut High Priestess (Ripple Music) landed in 2018, it took my breath away with its mesmeric, Doomy hypnosis and occasional brutality. Waxing lyrical about it then, I was already eager and anxious to see if they could follow it. I needn’t have worried: sophomore set Casting the Circle (Ripple Music) maintains the impossibly high standards of that first album while enhancing the entrancing elements of their sound. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Barishi – Old Smoke

You remember the first time you heard Leviathan (Relapse Records) by Mastodon? I do. It was as if my world had shifted on its axis: a relentless display of monumental, complex power that left me unsure how to feel…except that it felt exciting, enlivening. I never thought that Vermont quartet Barishi would recreate those emotions: a great band yes, but its Harsh Stoner grooves had the intricacies without such immediate power. Suddenly, out goes vocalist Sascha Simms, being replaced by guitarist Graham Brooks and reducing the band to a three-piece. Third album Old Smoke (Season of Mist) follows. Fuck… Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: The Earth Below – Nothing Works Vol 2: Hymns for Useless Gods

Deepak Raghu is an extremely diverse, creative entity. His previous forays into Rock and Metal have embraced many outlying elements such as Americana, Folk, and Soul: on Nothing Works Vol 2: Hymns for Useless Gods (Unheard Music), his latest outing with solo project The Earth Below, he melds those traditional sounds with melodic weight, in turn baffling and eventually ensnaring the senses. Continue reading

Brant Bjork to Release New Self-Titled Album Next Month

Prolific Desert-Rock legend Brant Bjork (Kyuss, Vista Chino, Fu Manchu, Brant Bjork’s Low Desert Punk Band) is releasing a new studio album. The self-titled affair will release via Heavy Psych Sounds label on April 10th and is said to be more straight forward rock, and that Brant sang and played every instrument. He also worked closely with guitarist Bubba DuPree (Void), and both 2016’s Tao of the Devil and 2014’s Black Power Flower were constructed around the Bjork-led Low Desert Punk Band. The album was recorded and mixed by Yosef Sanb Yosef Sanborn in Joshua Tree and mastered by John McBain (ex-Monster Magnet). You can hear the first single, ‘Jungle In The Sound’ right now and pre-order the album at the link below. 

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Vandals Tried To Steal The“Welcome to Sky Valley” Sign Made Famous by Kyuss

The infamous Welcome To Sky Valley highway sign, from the classic Kyuss album of the same name from 1994, was almost stolen this week. The sign is located on Dillon Road in Desert Hot Springs, California and frequently sees fans drive by to visit the place that birthed Kyuss and really the entire Palm Desert scene movement. In a post to Facebook, Kyuss member Scott Reeder shared about how vandals tried to steal the sign this week and added a photo of him repairing the sign. Crazy. Continue reading

Rama – Everything Is One

Turin visionaries Rama are often described as Desert Rock, but right from their self-titled 2015 EP (Self-Released) there was evidence of a deeper, simmering destiny. Debut album Everything Is One (Today/Brigante Records) furthers this cause, with elements of earthen fire and melodic sweetness enlivening that Stoner background. Continue reading

Cracked Machine – The Call Of The Void

The West Country, the South East corner of England famed for its history and beauty, is also renowned for producing devastating heaviness with a soupçon of versatility. Step forward Cracked Machine who, since emerging from Wiltshire in 2015, have surfed both cosmos and deserts out of the reach of radar. Continue reading

Pharlee – Pharlee

There’s somethin’ incestuous a-brewin’ in San Diego: a fluid drift from band to band and back again, like the returning wisps of smoke from that latest joint exhalation. This is Zach Oakley’s second journey through my cans in as many months, while more of his friends in Psych outfits JOY and Harsh Toke make yet another union in the form of the drenched riffage of Pharlee. Continue reading

Static Tension – Ashes To Animation

There are some great ideas and passages on Static Tension’s Ashes To Animation (Buried By Sky). A marriage of Grunge, Alternative Rock, elements of Prog and a smattering of Stoner and Trouble’d Doom, the bands’ first full-length is an interesting proposition; a hotchpotch of ideas pulled in from The Doors to Metallica, but mainly operating a Progressive Grunge arena. Continue reading

John Garcia And The Band Of Gold – John Garcia And The Band Of Gold

Reckon we can get through a John Garcia album review without mentioning Kyuss? Since the breakup of that genre-defining band, Garcia has regular delivered satisfying slabs of desert rock goodness. And in his latest effort, John Garcia And The Band Of Gold (Napalm Records) he’s just delivered a belter of a dirty Rock record. Continue reading