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

ELECTRIC MAGUS (RAUL SANCHEZ) Interview.

Words Mikaelie A. Evans.

Renowned Australian musician, Raul Sanchez, has created an enticing reputation throughout his career that has been lingering in the public eye since the ‘90s. From his early days of playing in various garage rock bands that included The Bugbears, Muffcake and the much loved Magic Dirt, the Melbourne based guitarist has also shared vocal, guitar and songwriting roles in most of the bands he has played with. Currently playing with the likes of Tex Perkins’ supergroup, The Ape, Sanchez is also a part of the line ups that make River of Snakes and Midnight Woolf. With these influential bands having distinctively various sounds, one could begin to wonder what his solo album might sound like… And in 2015 Sanchez produced those sounds on his own instrumental album to answer the thoughts of those wondering punters. Released via Wild Animals Records and titled Masks, Sanchez’s first solo output came together over several years. Comprised primarily with guitars, there were also drums weaved through the variety of other instruments and “whatever was lying around the house that would make a sound”. Continue reading

ADAM HARDING (DUMB NUMBERS) Interview + Album Review.

Words Mikaelie A. Evans.

Dumb Numbers are back with their latest collaborative showcase that has been self-titled; Dumb Numbers II. Following their 2013 album, this gem was released to the public via Joyful Noise Recordings on August 19. Predominantly formulated by Australian musician, Adam Harding who was joined by a variety of artists, this album of only eight songs has without a doubt created a rad selection of lengthy and transient jams. Joining Harding on this recent release were the ever-alternating line up of musicians that on this occasion included the likes of: Lou Barlow (Dinosaur Jr. / Sebadoh), Dale Crover (Melvins), David Yow (The Jesus Lizard / Scratch Acid), Murph (Dinosaur Jr.), Bobb Bruno (Best Coast). With each musician bringing their own little zing to the sound, it inevitably has turned into this crazy array of genres that make it quite hard to label, adding to the bonus of how enticing this album actually is. Continue reading

JOEL PARNELL (THE PARNELLS) Interview, launch gig details & more!

Words Anthony Moore.
Photos Paul Dunham.

There are a few reasons why I wanted to do a Q&A with Joel Parnell, firstly, he writes exceptional pieces for Desert Highways, but that’s not the only reason, he’s also an awesome musician and songwriter. His newest creation, The Parnells (with younger brother Michael) are about to release their debut and do a double EP launch with Rathead at The Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar.

I started with what I thought to be a ridiculous first question and Joel (who later admitted he was going to tell me to fuck off but wasn’t sure if I was being serious or not), went along and answered it beautifully.

Anthony Moore: Where does your band name come from?

Joel Parnell: Obviously the band name comes from our last name, which is Parnell. I guess we thought that it would be cool to use it because it has the feel of something like ‘The Ramones’ or ‘The Smiths’, only it actually is our real name. We also hope to bring in other Parnells on future records as most of the people in our family play music. If we have any success with the band, it would be nice to have made our name something to be proud of. Continue reading

RAÜL SANCHEZ i JORGE (River Of Snakes, Midnight Woolf, Magic Dirt) Interview.

Words Ian Hawkins.

In a dream one night I found myself at a raging party, when I stepped through a door into a room with a dimly lit pool in it. The water was cool and blue, the tiles red & black. I jumped in and as I floated, suspended in motion, I heard music coming from giant speakers in the side of the pool. The unmistakeable sound of Magic Dirt was pulsating through the liquid, the tone filtered and murky.

Magic Dirt axeman, Raül Sanchez i Jorge has recently put out his second solo record, Masks, (as he also played all the instruments on Midnight Woolf’s original release, it’s counted as his first), and it’s best described as sounding like fragments from a dream.

“Just yesterday I dreamt I was playing with PJ Harvey” Raul tells me when I ask him if he’s hears music in his sleep. “I dream music and about music all the time, I’ve written songs that came to me in dreams, its nuts! The hard bit then is remembering it and getting it down before it evaporates.”

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SEEDY JEEZUS Album Launch with Sun God Replica, River Of Snakes, TTTDC. The Tote. 20-03-2015.

Words Justin Tawil.
Photos Adam Russ – Right Eye Media Australia.

The line-up Seedy Jeezus put together for their launch was thematically cohesive, yet still diverse enough to the point that every single set was putting forward something fresh, so as to consistently provide something exciting throughout the night.

Opening act TTTDC were notably individual in their amalgam of groove and progressive rock, characterised by their drummers remarkable ability to incorporate wild and complex beats into their super sludgy riffs. A visually interesting set as well, having their two bald, bearded guitarists rocking Les Pauls facing each other from either side of the stage with a raging drummer in the middle soaking up the marvellous lighting setup that was provided for the entire night.

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DRIFTER ‘Violent At Altitude’ Album Launch with River Of Snakes, Battle Axe Howlers, Low Fly Incline. The Old Bar, Melbourne. 10-01-2015.

Words Justin Tawil.
Photos Adam Russ – Right Eye Media Australia.

A seemingly unending sea of flannies and mullets is what consumed The Old Bar on this sweaty Saturday night. The bill was loaded with bands who bust out sweet riffs on the reg and can throw down a shred or two; a fitting line up for Drifter’s ‘Violent At Altitude’ album launch.

The two-piece outfit of Low Fly Incline kicked the night off with some red hot riffs. It was an excellent sight to see the drummer’s extremely excitable self blasting out some monster beats while still keeping it tight. When a band in the opening slot kicks this much ass you know you’re in for a top notch gig. Continue reading

Child, River Of Snakes, Spacejunk. Cherry Bar, Melbourne. 27-09-2014.

Words Alexandra Ferrier
Photos Adam Russ – Right Eye Media Australia

Post AFL Grand Final madness on the weekend, Cherry Bar was a safe haven to head to Saturday night to escape anything footy related and check out some local talent.

Spacejunk kicked off the evening and those who rocked up early were treated with some tenacious energy and humour from bass player / vocalist Betty Righteous and guitarist Mark E Moon. Minus a set list, they encouraged the crowd to “purchase their album” and, after their set, I made it a mission to grab one. It was a fusion of fast paced punk rhythm and garage rock riff. The Cherry stage was no match for these rock and rollers, the small crowd were swept up in their energy and charm. Live, this band will enthral you and whatever day you may have had will fall by the wayside. Continue reading

River Of Snakes ‘Black Noise’ Album Review

Words Jackyboy

“I was on the run from love’s cruel hand…”

As the opening song swells with a fuzzy Fender guitar progression and a rambling lead, River of Snakes debut album release ‘Black Noise’ starts strong. The choice of equipment and method of song-writing takes you back to indie Australia in the early ’90s; bleak and desperate. The vocals on the first number ‘Beauty’ are poetic and bold, mixed right up the front baring all.

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DESERT HIGHWAYS TOP 10 Releases for 2013 & more…

First of all, a massive thanx to all who have supported Desert Highways and to all the bands I have worked with especially The Hidden Venture, Drifter, Don Fernando, Seedy Jeezus and TTTDC. 2013 has been a massive year including the release of the debut Desert Highways 7″ with friends all being a part of its release, Chainsaw Hookers, Electric Frankenstein, Ben Brown and Mr Frumpy.

The below 10 –> 1 list is from my HEAVY Magazine Staff Top 10 Albums for 2013 List, under that I had to add some more as it’s just so hard to narrow things down! Check out the HEAVY link for some more kick arse lists. Some amazing releases amongst them!

Top 10 Releases for 2013. Continue reading