HOUSE OF BROKEN PROMISES ‘Twisted’ EP Review.

Words El Jefe.

So here comes a new release from House Of Broken Promises. Those who know would know. Guitarist / vocalist Arthur Seay and drummer Mike Cancino have done time with Unida, one of John Garcia’s post Kyuss projects. Their debut LP, Using The Useless was a stoner beast. Raw, wild and unstoppable. Just the way I like it! They have been joined in recent years by Joe Mora on bass / vocals (replacing Eddie Placencia), and they have just rolled the Twisted EP off the production line. Four new tracks (two covers) plus some bonus tracks. I think I heard rumours of a new full-length in the pipeline too. But that’s a different story!

‘Twisted’ is the first of the new material, a classic HOBP tune, kicked off with a carnivale-esque drum roll before the vibe-y bass assault and Seay’s blasting stoner-metal guitar leap into the fray. Great bass tone on this too. For all you bassists out there! Catchy chorus too. Continue reading

KING PARROT ‘Ugly Produce’ Album Review.

Words El Jefe.
Band photo Rod Hunt.

Melbourne grind core / yobcore legends King Parrot have unleashed their third LP, a character building behemoth called Ugly Produce. The moniker suits the album to a T! It’s a bruising and relentless collection of blast-beats from drummer Todd Hansen, searing guitars and guttural, tortured vocal mayhem.

‘Entrapment’ is used as the launchpad for the sonic time bomb that follows. The two jackhammers fucking rhythmic attack delivers a powerful impetus for the blaze of guitars and Matt Young’s crazed vocal “styling’s”.

Who but an Aussie band could write a tune called ‘Piss Wreck’. Spell check won’t even recognize it as English, but we all know someone who should embrace this song as a personal anthem. It’s a cool song too. Continue reading

DEVIL ELECTRIC Self-Titled Album Review.

Words El Jefe.

Doom. The name says it all. From the opening riff to Black Sabbath, to the heavier than heavy tones of bands like Electric Wizard and Monolord, it’s a genre defined by dark sounds, and heavy lyrical themes. The breadth of styles within the genre is also as extreme as the sounds. The vocals can range from upper register screams to gravelrash intestine shredding and the music from the dirtiest sludge to plain old heavy rock’n’roll shot through with blues licks. But I love it all, start to finish!

Enter Devil Electric! They’re a four-piece from Melbourne and have just punched heavy music fans everywhere right between the eyes with their self-titled debut. The sound is classic doom, but they’ve also managed to twist an age-old formula to their own perverted uses, and in turn created a distinctly unique collection of songs. Continue reading

NASHVILLE PUSSY, Rust, The Neptune Power Federation, Tequila Mockingbyrd. The Bald Faced Stag, Sydney. 12-05-2017.

Words El Jefe.

Yeah, Friday had finally hit. I’d spent the week learning new systems and processes in a brand new job, and whilst not physically tiring, it’s certainly mentally draining, but the Nashville Pussy gig (and a beer or two… dozen) was never far from my mind.

I grabbed a beer and hit the room to check out Melbourne’s Tequila Mockingbyrd. This all-girl three-piece do a great trade in ‘70s hard rock, big riffs, hair, and a fuckload of energy and enthusiasm. It was clear they were having a blast onstage. Singer / guitarist Estelle Artois plays some mean guitar, and has a great set of pipes too. Backed by a solid rhythm section, which is comprised of bass player Jess Reily (who was wielding a pretty funky silverburst T-bird too!) and drummer Josie O’Toole, they’ve got all their bases covered. Check ‘em out when you can. Continue reading

GEEZER Self-titled Album Review.

Words El Jefe.

At first glance, Geezer made me think of Fu Manchu minus the pop sensibilities a lot of Fu stuff has. A few spins later, and I’m still vaguely reminded of Fu, but there’s a whole cauldron of other sounds bubbling away here as well. But more on that later.

Geezer come from Kingston NY, and formed around an obvious love of Sabbath and all other things imbued with stoner goodness. This trio has a cool take on riff-rock, and the debut LP has plenty of great moments.

They break the ice with ‘Sunday Speed Demon’ and ‘One Leg Up’, foot to the floor rock tunes with gravel rash vocals, a neat rhythm pummel and some savage guitar playing too. Continue reading

BORRACHO ‘Atacama’ Album Review.

Words El Jefe.

Lumbering, fuzzed-out doom with road-rash vocals is something I love. The riff! All those bastard spawn of Sabbath. And I know in my bones that the power-trio Borracho have the same unwavering love for it that I have. Launching from Washington DC, (right next door to Maryland, and we know the level of STONER/DOOM that Maryland has delivered!) Borracho can really deliver on all fronts when it’s time to bring the heavy too. Atacama is the third full length LP they’ve unleashed, and fine evidence that the party ain’t nearly over yet.

‘Descent’ lurches into the blackest of Sabbath’s with a guitar tone that could rattle ya teeth outta ya head, but it’s also a surprisingly tender instrumental. Bells, some lysergic emanations throbbing in the background and easily serves to set the scene for the rest of the album. Continue reading

2016 TOP 10 RELEASES! Desert Highways staff + special guests from Orange Goblin, Monolord, Pagan / Little Lamb & The Rosemary’s!!

Words Anthony Moore.

There were some amazing releases that come out in 2016, and as with every year, I start out with the best of intentions keeping a list of my favourites as they hit, only to let it fall by the wayside by about March. Yeah I know, it doesn’t last long! So undoubtedly I will forgot lots of great releases from 2016. There’s been the talked about releases like Metallica’s Hardwired… To Self Destruct (which for me has been quite a disappointment, some moments of clarity and power but as whole, it wasn’t the driving force I was hoping for), then there’s been some that have come out of left field that have really thrown me for six and impressed me quite a lot, like Electric Magus Olympus Noms, which is Raul Sanchez (Magic Dirt, River Of Snakes, Midnight Woolf) latest offering through Wild Animals Records. Like with John Frusciante’s solo albums, some sound quite unique and very different to his work with Red Hot Chili Peppers (which is an awesome thing these days!) yet his style and soul still comes through in various ways. Electric Magus is like this for Sanchez compared to his ‘usual’ guitar driven work. It’s totally different yet still somehow connects with me for the same reasons.

I still listen to loads of releases from all around the world, but more and more as time goes on I find myself mainly listening to local bands. Possibly for a few reasons, I like to support local muso’s and friends, it’s possible to see them more live which in turn gets us more stoked on listening back to a band later, and maybe most importantly, there are just so many fuckin incredible bands in Melbourne and throughout Australia that there’s not enough time to sometimes reach out further. Continue reading

THE WATCHERS ‘Sabbath Highway’ Album Review.

Words El Jefe.

They’re called The Watchers. Sabbath Highway is their debut EP. Not too hard to guess what they may sound like with a title like that. Or perhaps it’s just a hint at some influences. Never the less, this EP is an absolute fucking little beast! Hard, dirty biker rock, with some sublime playing and riffmongering. Awesome vocals too, and as is usually the case, can lift a great band (or even a mediocre band) to levels way higher than they could ever hope to achieve with a less than amazing singer.

‘Sabbath Highway’ is a rock solid blast of purebred rock and roll. Straight outta the gate, this fucker just won’t lie down and die. From the opening cockrock guitar blast through to the powerhouse rhythm section, this song has the lot for any discerning rock’n’roll fan.  Continue reading

BRANT BJORK And The Low Desert Punk Band ‘Tao Of The Devil’ Album Review.

Words El Jefe.

So it’s no secret that Kyuss have had a massive influence over the heavy / stoner / desert rock (whatever you want to call it; stoner works for me) scene since their inception in the late ‘80s. Tuning down to C, (although Homme claims he wasn’t familiar with Sabbath. Yeah, I’m skeptical too), and playing laidback heavy grooves. Garcia’s vocals were a huge part of the sound and influence, but it was Brant Bjork’s influence on Garcia that led to this vocal style; during Garcia’s audition suggested he try to sing slower and sang him an example. Bjork also hand a large hand in the songwriting. The rest is (musical) history.

‘The Gree Heen’ opens the ledger on Tao Of The Devil, and kicks off with a slick melodic droney run. Some jazzy drums are a cool touch too. Continue reading

RED FANG ‘Only Ghosts’ Album Review.

Words El Jefe.

Red Fang. I hadn’t heard of them, but caught most of their set on a couple of years back when they shared a bill with Kyuss Lives and Orange Goblin. Pretty rockin’ I thought. Raunchy, distorted, abrasive. Loud and nasty. My kinda filth, and an excellent warm-up for both OG and Kyuss too.

Ten or eleven years into their existence, this Portland quartet are not taking the foot off the pedal and coasting. The new LP, Only Ghosts is a down and dirty mud-ride plum fulla mangled guitars, drums having the shit beaten outta them and stomach pump bass riffs. The road rash vocals are handled by guitarist Bryan Giles, while bassist Aaron Beam keeps things on the straight and narrow. Combined, they add an excellent depth to the whole shitstorm of sonic dementia. Continue reading