ADVENT VARIC ‘Tumulus Part I: It Begins’ EP Review.

Words El Jefe.

Advent Varic, the Boston Massachusetts (via the planet Tumulus!) doom trio have loaded up the tape and laid down a hotbed of stonery doom with their EP Tumulus Pt I: It Begins.

Tumulus is almost proggy in its style, an epic 20 minutes in length, with multiple breakdowns and gentle atmospheric interludes scattered amongst the powerhouse riffs. Doug Graves (guitar/vox) has an ironclad larynx that reminds me at times of Japanese band Greenmachine in its “sheetmetal ripping” intensity, and also tears things up nicely on guitar. Phill Graves holds down a low-end nightmare bass attack, and coupled with the thundering drums of Rob Graves, they lay down a rock solid path for Doug to exorcise his aural demons. His guitar playing also fits well with this rhythm section. Continue reading

LO-PAN ‘Subtle’ LP Review.

Words El Jefe.

Columbus Ohio’s Lo-Pan have been knocking around the traps for a few years now, playing their brand of sub-metal stoner riff’n’roll and are about to release their fourth LP, Subtle. And interestingly, Subtle does show of the gentler side of Lo-Pan at times. Don’t get me wrong, they haven’t mashed their (collective) foot down on the brakes and taken a sideways screech into MOR-land; more just an exploration of the dynamics of the tunes.

The first thing that caught my ear with Lo-Pan, when I first heard ‘em some years back is the vocals. Jeff Martin, Lo-Pan’s vocalist, has a clean, soulful and strident set of pipes, not what you’d generally come to expect from this style of rock’n’roll, and gives the band a “unique selling point”. The rest of the band are certainly no slouches when it comes to playing either, laying down stone-cold grooves and tense riffing end to end on each Lo-Pan LP. Continue reading


Here’s a few of the Desert Highways team’s Top lists for 2018. Thank you all for your support again throughout 2018, it’s very much appreciated! Also a massive thanx to all of our contributors. Very proud to work with such an incredibly talented group of people!

Mark Ireland – Writer.

Best gigs 2018:
Power TripBendigo Hotel.
Roger WatersRod Lavar Arena.
MAMMALCroxton Bandroom.
Streaker Gate Benefit GigGasometer.
Meredith Music Festival: The Presets, Billy Bragg, Little Ugly Girls.
The Stems, Even Northcote Social Club.
Boogie Festival: Cable Ties, Clowns, The Southern River Band, Birdcloud, Cash Savage.
Golden Plains Festival: Mogwai, Baker Boy, Black Angels.
Stiff Little FingersCroxton Bandroom.
Download Festival: NoFx, Hot Water Music, Prophets of Rage, Arch Enemy.
BeckMargaret Court Arena.
David ByrneMargaret Court Arena.
The Demon Parade – Psych FestThe Tote Hotel.
Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene, El Colosso Sookie Lounge.
ShameThe Tote Hotel.
Future Of The LeftThe Old Bar.

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A CELEBRATION OF CHRIS CORNELL. The Bendigo Hotel, Melbourne. 27-07-2018.

Photos Dot Hopkins – DOTshots.

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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