GREENLEAF, Jack Harlon & The Dead Crows. The Vanguard, Newtown. 8-11-2019.

Words El Jefe.

So it’s Friday night, and catching Greenleaf was the only thing on my agenda. I took a stroll the length of King St, and took in the scenes. A warmish Friday night, and the hordes were out!

I missed Arrowhead unfortunately, although I have seen them countless times over the last decade of so. Easily the best and most consistent stoner band Sydney has ever produced, a classic power trio led by Brett Pearl, whose guitar and vocals are both world class.

Next up was (were?) Jack Harlon And The Dead Crows, a Mexican outfit on tour with Greenleaf. Having heard several excellent reports about these dude, I was keen as mustard to get a birdseye view. They certainly didn’t disappoint me either! Fat as fuck, greasy-sounding guitars, an excellent drummer and a ripsnorting bassist who left nothing behind when they plowed through their set of stoner/psyche/blues rock that easily coulda been straight outta ’69. Great presence, and a lot of the set left me feeling like I was swimming in a heavy swell and the dark was closing in, such were the dynamics of the band. Check ‘em out! I grabbed a copy of their LP Hymns as well, which I’m sure will be getting some heavy use very soon. Continue reading

ELECTRIC MARY ‘Mother’ Album Review.

Words El Jefe.

I first heard Electric Mary maybe ten or twelve years back when a mate tossed me a copy of one of the albums and stated he thought I’d dig ‘em. I did. Roaring guitars, blunt-force trauma bass and drums with an effortless swing, combined with Rusty’s gravelly rock’n’roll rasp vocals, there’s plenty to like too. With a dirty blues rock style that harks back to the glory years of Australian pub rock and some solid and high quality releases under their belt, EM have added to their mighty legacy with the latest LP, Mother.

High energy guitars and rock solid riffs have long been Electric Mary’s stock in trade. ‘Gimme Love’ is classic EM tunage in very way, and a great opener to boot!

‘Hold Onto What You Got’ is a true Road Warrior. Power, grunt and some excellent drumming too. Continue reading

GREENLEAF ‘Hear The Rivers’ Album Review.

Words El Jefe.

Sweden, a country that has produced some of the greatest rock’n’roll known to man in the past couple of decades, and is showing no sign whatsoever of letting up. Thank fuck. The Awesome Machine, The Hellacopters, Truckfighters, Silver Devil just to name a few. Purebred rock’n’roll, one and all. Which brings me to Greenleaf. They began as a side band for Tommi Holappa of Dozer, but in 2009, in the wake of Dozer announcing their hiatus, Greenleaf climbed into the driver’s seat, dropped the clutch and hit the road albeit with Tommi being the only constant member throughout their existence. Their recent tour of Australia was also an excellent showcase for what a behemoth these guys are. So now, several LP’s later, released with an almost frightening regularity brings us to Hear The Rivers, yet another epic collection of tunes by Greenleaf.

‘Let It Out’ kicks things off with a stomping drumbeat, and a snarl of over-distorted bass soon follows. Tommi’s guitar and Arvid Hällagård’s vocals link the whole shebang together. Continue reading

El Colosso – Not Drowning, Touring… Part 1 of 4…

We’re lucky enough to have Koops, El Colosso vocalist, submitting a tour diary while they’re away on their European tour. We wish them all the best! Thanx Koops and El Colosso! – Ed.

In another few days the band that I sing in – El Colosso – is traveling to Europe for its first international tour. First tour of anywhere, actually. We haven’t toured Australia yet, apart from a few gigs in Ballarat, Bendigo and Frankston.

We’re heading off to play twenty-odd shows in thirty-odd days, promoting our debut album Pathways, taking in Germany, Slovakia, Belgium, France and Spain. It’s a tour that doesn’t just involve a crap-ton of money and a big flight to get there, but also a kind of leap-of-faith to remove ourselves from our families and jobs and commit to really living rock and roll every night for more than a month in a different city every day, in rooms full of perfect strangers, 14,000 kilometres away from everything we know.

Not fucking fantastic being away from our families though. In truth, that totally sucks.

Preparing for the tour has been a lot of work, but huge fun. We’ve not just stepped up rehearsals for the many weeks leading up to it, we’ve also been preparing new songs for our next record. AND we’ve also had the opportunity to play at The Forum, supporting South African band Seether. How many times have we all been at that venue and dared to dream of one day playing there? We were like kids in candy stores. Or just like the big bloody kids we really are playing at the Forum! But the new album is written, we are super-tight with our tunes, and all that remains is for us to get there and show a different part of the world what we can do. 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

GOZU ‘Revival’ Album Review.

Words El Jefe.

Gozu. I’m guessing this is Japanese for “hardhitting stoner four-piece from Boston”. Flashy guitars, hyperactive drumming, thunderous bassplaying and a booming powerhouse vocalist to cap it all off is what we’re dealing. The songs are strong, and awesomely gritty too.

Marc Gaffney’s supreme vocal prowess hints at Ian Astbury and occasionally Chris Cornell and are both soulful and rockin’. Musically, they display alot of originality with lotsa chunk and some well balanced with melody too. Doug Sherman is a riffmaster when he gets his paws on his guitar, and more than ably backed up by the rhythm section comprised of Joe Grotto on bass and Mike Hubbard on drums. Continue reading

DON FERNANDO – Main CLUTCH support Syd / Melb !!

Clutch
We’re extremely proud to announce that Desert Highways very own Don Fernando will be the main support for Clutch for the Sydney and Melbourne sideshows as part of their upcoming Australian Soundwave tour. Clutch is a definite favourite of ours and the band and we’re really stoked Don Fernando will be a part of what is set to be an amazing tour! Clutch have a massive history of solid releases and their latest Earth Rocker is undoubtedly one of their best!

The tour is presented by Weathermaker Music and Wildfire Agency who we’d like to give a shout out to for their support.

Dates:

2/20/14: Sydney, Australia @ The Metro – TICKETS
With: Don Fernando Continue reading